Masters degrees fulfil a number of different roles – some are closely linked to research specialisms, such as Shakespeare in English and Data Science and Analytics in Computer Science. Others offer a broader preparation for research in a particular discipline, for example our MMus in Advanced Musical Studies or the MSc in Physics Research.
Masters degrees are an excellent opportunity for interdisciplinary work as topics may not be confined to one subject. Others combine university work with professional, commercial or industrial applications, as in the MSc in Information Security or the MBA in International Management.
Postgraduate diplomas, which you can also study here, are often designed as conversion courses for graduates of related subjects or for those with non-standard qualifications. Successful completion of these can lead to study for a Masters or research degree but they are also a qualification in their own right.
Teaching methods for postgraduate taught courses and diplomas are as varied as the programmes themselves. A significant emphasis is placed on private study and the preparation of assessed pieces of work, and in some degrees the teaching may be arranged so that full-time students are required to attend timetabled sessions on only two or three days a week. A few courses take place at our Central London base in Bedford Square rather than on campus, such as the MA Creative Writing.
Assessment is also varied: some degrees and diplomas have a mixture of coursework and unseen examinations, while others rely solely on assessed coursework such as a portfolio of essays. A dissertation based on independent research is a feature of all Masters degrees.
Most Masters degrees can be taken over one year full-time or two years part-time with some exceptions.
Postgraduate Diplomas usually take nine months full-time or 21 months part-time. For more information on the duration of a course, please visit the relevant department's page. You can also discover more about our departments and courses here.