Which postgraduate course is right for me?

There are a number of routes you can take if you want a postgraduate-level qualification. Here is a synopsis of the options available to you, so you can make the right decision for your future.

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Flexible study: Masters courses for busy people
Deciding to undertake postgraduate study can be very demanding on your time – find out how our students fit in everyday life around their studies.

Taught postgraduate courses

95% of our postgraduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (latest DLHE survey postgraduate results 2014-2015).

Masters, postgraduate certificates and diplomas

Taught courses most commonly come in the form of a Masters degree: one to two years full-time, or two to three years part-time.

You will attend seminars, lectures and tutorials. You may also undertake project work, business consultancy, presentations, some research, a thesis / dissertation and exams. The balance of these varies between courses.

Browse our postgraduate taught courses pages for more information.

Postgraduate student engineer placement
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Postgraduate student engineer placement

Professional courses

These courses are taught by industry experts, and delivered with working professionals in mind. Courses available include Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM); Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA); and Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) qualifications.

Follow the links below, and find out more about accredited courses across our Schools:

Distance learning

We understand that some of our students need flexible study options – which is why we’ve made studying here more inclusive with a range of fully online postgraduate courses.

As an online student here, you’ll benefit from the same top class teaching, award-winning research expertise and excellent career opportunities as our students studying on campus – wherever you live in the world.

Find out more about distance learning here.

Biomedical engineering MRes
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Biomedical engineering MRes

Research degrees


These rely on your own research activities, supervised by an experienced academic, rather than a taught programme. They are usually one to two years full-time or up to four years part-time. You will find that they have a similar structure to a doctorate, but are just shorter. They usually culminate in a thesis and a viva voce, which is a verbal examination.

Search our MRes course pages for more information.

Student Law Library
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Student Law Library

MPhil and PhD

These can be started immediately after your first or Masters degree, depending on your subject. The normal PhD study route is MPhil / PhD where students transfer registration from MPhil to PhD registration after 15 to 18 months of the programme. They involve research into a chosen topic under the supervision of an experienced academic. They are:

  • up to four years full-time;
  • up to eight years part-time
  • the stepping stone for progression into an academic research career; and
  • courses that contribute to the worldwide knowledge and understanding in the broader discipline.

PhDs include a thesis and a viva voce examination and are accompanied by a taught research training course.

Browse our MPhil and PhD course pages for more information.

NTU awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize for world-class research
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NTU awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize for world-class research

Professional Doctorates

We offer Professional Doctorates in a range of subjects. You will need to complete an original piece of research for your doctorate and present it as a thesis.

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

Browse our professional courses for more information.

Still need help?

Postgraduate team
0115 848 4200