Skip to content

What types of postgraduate courses are there?

There are a number of routes you can take into postgraduate study, including taught courses, research degrees and professional, industry-specific qualifications. We also offer a number of flexible study options, so you can find a way of studying that suits you.

Male postgraduate at computer

Taught Masters, Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas

Most taught courses come in the form of a Masters degree: one to two years full-time, or two to three years part-time. You can do a Master of the Arts (MA), a Master of Science (MSc), a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

These kinds of courses involve seminars, lectures and tutorials, just like an undergraduate degree. You may also undertake project work, business consultancy, presentations, research, a thesis / dissertation and exams.

You may choose to study a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma. These take around four to nine months to complete and can provide a route into a particular career or act as a stepping stone towards a full Masters degree.

Bethany Arnold, MRes Chemistry

Master of Research

A Master of Research (MRes) relies on your own research activities, supervised by an experienced academic. They are usually one to two years full-time or up to four years part-time. These qualifications are ideal if you want to gain research training or prepare for a PhD.

MRes Materials Chemistry student, Beth, tells us about her research-focused Masters and how NTU is supporting her work to improve treatments for cataracts using nanoparticles. Hear her story.


Professional courses

These courses have a vocational focus. They are taught by industry experts and accredited by professional bodies. They can provide you with an entry route into a particular career or a platform for promotion.

Courses available include Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM); Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE); and Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) qualifications.

People in a meeting

Conversion courses

A postgraduate conversion course allows you to change direction and gain a qualification in an area unrelated to your undergraduate degree. This can open up new careers in professions such as Law, Psychology or Teaching.  At NTU we provide conversion courses in many popular subject areas.

Student reading book in library

Research Degrees and Professional Doctorates

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research degree that typically takes up to four years full-time or up to eight years part-time. You will undertake original research in a specific field, culminating in a thesis. You can begin a PhD immediately after your undergraduate degree or after a Masters degree, depending on the subject. Search the PhD projects currently available at NTU.

Professional Doctorates offer the equivalent status of a PhD, and are more appropriate for those pursuing professional rather than academic careers. The include a large taught or directed study element, which is formally assessed, as well as a research project.


An apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with academic learning and leads to a nationally recognised qualification. At postgraduate level, we offer apprenticeships in:

  • Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship
  • Level 7 Architect Degree Apprenticeship
  • Level 7 Solicitor Masters Apprenticeship

Search our courses

At NTU we offer all of the postgraduate qualifications above. Use the course search to find the right qualification for you. You can filter by level of study, subject area and study type.

Need advice? Chat to our postgraduate admissions team.

Still need help?

Postgraduate team
0115 848 4200