Course type options

An overview of the wide ranging options for postgraduate courses at University of Derby.

We offer three types of postgraduate courses - taught, research and professional. Within each there is a range of qualifications available.

Postgraduate taught courses

These courses allow you to specialise in an area closely matching your interests, skills or career ambitions. Often postgraduate students build on the knowledge they gained at undergraduate level, but some courses allow you to change direction and study a new subject.

Our range of masters degrees include:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Master of Research (MRes)

Some of our postgraduate taught courses are only available at Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma level including:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Psychology Conversion Postgraduate Diploma
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management.


Research degrees

  • 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. They differ from our MPhil and PhD degrees in that they are all part-time, they include a substantial modular-based element and the thesis must relate to the area of practice.

  • MPhil and PhD degrees

These degrees allow you to embark on original research, culminating in the production of a thesis or creative work and a critical appraisal. This leads to either a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

  • MPhil research degrees

You’ll gain a strong knowledge of the subject, taking the discipline forward through an approved programme of original research, supported by two supervisors. If you hold a first degree this is a good choice for you. It usually takes two years full-time or four years part-time.

  • Traditional PhD research degrees

A traditional PhD enables you to pursue an original research investigation into a chosen topic within a field of enquiry, fully supported by two supervisors. You’ll study for three to six years, depending on whether you study full-time or part-time.

  • Integrated PhD research degrees

If you’re a recently qualified graduate without significant research methods training, our Integrated PhD may suit you. Completion of a programme of modules forms a part of this degree. It can take longer than the traditional route to PhD (four to six years), but you’ll also have the opportunity to achieve a Master of Research (MRes).

  • PhD by Published Works research degrees

If you already have a series of research-published or creative works, this route may suit you. You will need to prepare these works for examination and undertake a critical appraisal that contextualises and reflects upon them.

  • PhD by Concurrent Publication research degrees

For this, you will prepare and submit research-informed publications to relevant journals and publishers or undertake creative works for public exhibition, or other public recognition under supervision. You will also write a critical appraisal that contextualises and reflects upon these works.

Find out more about our research


Professional qualifications

Professional courses suit those experienced in a specialist area who want to further that career. An undergraduate degree isn’t always required. Courses are often recognised qualifications accredited by professional bodies, such as the Institute of Acoustics, Institute of Measurement and Control, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists or the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.