Frequently asked questions about postgraduate study in Humanities
If you're looking to improve your career prospects, the right postgraduate qualification could give you a real edge. Our courses are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills demanded by employers.
If you've got a query about postgraduate study please read through our frequently asked questions below which may be able to help:
There are three main reasons why postgraduate study is becoming increasingly important.
Firstly, the graduate jobs market is now fiercely competitive and employers will view postgraduate qualifications as a useful measure to distinguish between candidates who hold a first degree. Somebody with a Master’s can on average expect to earn £5,500 more a year – or £200,000 over a 40 year working life - than someone only holding a Bachelor’s degree.
Secondly, taught MAs are designed and taught by academic scholars operating within their areas of research expertise so they provide a vital opportunity for established professionals to refresh and revitalise their existing knowledge and practice in a variety of fields.
Finally, they provide an opportunity for individuals to pursue their interests in literary, cultural or creative fields in an environment which is academically-led and supportive and in the company of like-minded individuals. Online activities and communications will enhance and enlarge this community of learners.
“The syllabus, conceptual framework, aims, and learning outcomes make this module challenging and exciting. The interdisciplinary focus requires complex processes of critical thought, and the better students acquire an impressively rangy vocabulary.” (MA English External Examiner ,2013)
“Every step towards the MA provided us with the correct tools to complete the task, and the reading recommendations and tutor support made it possible in even the most difficult of situations.” (2011-12 MA English graduate)
Each programme consists of six taught modules and a final research dissertation that is supervised by a specialist tutor. The taught modules are typically seminar sessions, which is to say they are discussions led by either the tutor or by the students based upon the directed learning for each week. That work will vary from one module or one programme to another, but a fair rule of thumb is to suggest that a minimum of four hours of reading/preparation is required for each module.
|Study mode||Duration||Teaching hours|
|Full-time||One year||Two classes per week (approx 5-6 hours)|
|Part-time||Two years||One class per week (approx 2-3 hours)|
The assessment for each module, again, will vary and you can look at the module information given in the course details above to see what is required in each programme. All courses, however, are finally assessed by a 12-15,000 word research dissertation which is developed and written under the supervision of a tutor. You can usually select your supervising tutor from the course team although we may suggest an alternative where specific research specialisms exist within our faculty.
Students are able to vary their pattern of study to suit any changes in their circumstances. So, full-time students can become part-time students and a student can suspend their studies for agreed periods of time. In all of these cases, your course leader will be available to advise you.
Each programme is divided into four teaching blocks across the calendar year with time allocated between each block for the completion of assessments.
Applicants should hold a good honours degree, but relevant professional experience or qualifications can substitute for graduate status. All applications are considered on an individual basis, so if you are uncertain about the subject relevance of your first degree or its grade we would encourage you to contact the course leader in advance of any application.
Applications to all of our courses can be made directly to the University using the link on the course details for each of our programmes.
If you would like more information about our course before you proceed with your application, the course leaders will be happy to answer any enquiries. We also have a schedule of Open Days and live chat room events where you can get an immediate reply to your questions.
The University welcomes applications from international students. You will be supported by our International Centre in order to prepare for your stay and during your time us. If English is not your first language, you will need a score of 7 in the IELTS.
Where an interview as part of your application is not practical, other arrangements will be made to ensure you have chosen the right course.