On this page, we’ll explain the different types of postgraduate course that are available.
Postgraduate taught degrees
Most of our postgraduate students undertake a taught course – usually a masters but sometimes a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma.
Unlike research degrees, taught courses include tutor-led sessions with groups of students (lectures, seminars, tutorials and if relevant, laboratory work).
Most taught courses require you to have an undergraduate degree in the same subject or a similar one, but some allow you to change direction.
Most of our postgraduate taught courses are masters degrees, which usually consist of three stages:
- Postgraduate Certificate
- Postgraduate Diploma
You need to successfully complete each stage before you can move on to the next. They usually take one year of full-time study or up to two years of part-time study.
There are different titles for masters degrees, depending on the subject:
- Master of Arts (MA)
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Laws (LLM)
- Master of Research (MRes)
If you have a thirst for knowledge and an independent mind, our applied research degrees enable you to delve deeper into a subject, ask challenging questions and help the University make a real and positive impact on the world.
We offer several different types of research degree:
If you hold an undergraduate degree, this is a good choice for you. You will undertake an approved programme of original research, supported by two supervisors. You will gain a strong knowledge of your discipline and contribute to the development of your field.
An MPhil usually takes two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study.
You will undertake original research into a chosen topic within a field of enquiry, fully supported by two supervisors. You will produce a thesis or creative work and a critical appraisal. Most traditional PhD students hold a postgraduate degree already.
A traditional PhD takes three to six years, depending on whether you study full-time or part-time.
If you graduated recently but haven’t had significant training in research methods, our Integrated PhD may suit you.
It includes a programme of modules so it can take longer to complete (four to six years), but you’ll have the opportunity to achieve a Master of Research (MRes) qualification in addition to your PhD.
PhD by Published Works
If you have already produced a series of research-informed works (published or creative), you can undertake this PhD. You will need to prepare these works for examination and undertake a critical appraisal of them.
Professional or practice-based doctorates
We currently offer professional or practice-based doctorates in education, health and social care practice (in a named field), and professional practice. Unlike our MPhil and PhD degrees, they include a substantial programme of modules and the thesis must relate to your area of practice.
You might be looking for a specialist course that can help you move forward in your profession. We have many courses that can do this – PG Cert in Understanding Radicalisation, MSc Audio Engineering or MSc Hand Therapy are just a few examples. Search our postgraduate courses to find more.
Many of our courses are accredited by professional bodies, such as:
- Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
- Institute of Acoustics (IOA)
- Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC)
- British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
This means the course is approved by industry and can sometimes offer you a faster route to becoming a registered or chartered professional in your field. Look for details of accreditations on course pages.
We also offer some qualifications that are awarded by professional bodies such as the ACCA qualifications (professional accountancy qualifications) or CIPS qualifications (for procurement and supply professionals).
If you can’t commit to a long programme of study but want to develop your knowledge in a particular topic relevant to your career, browse our short courses and CPD.