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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.

Student in classroom

Taught postgraduate courses

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. However, you could also study a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma, which take less time and involve less academic research.

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.

Select 'postgraduate taught' in our course search for more information.

Professional courses

These courses are taught by industry experts, and designed for working professionals. 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 professional courses across our Schools:

Flexible Study Options

  • Part Time Study

    Many of our courses are available to study part-time, meaning you can fit your study around other commitments such as work or childcare. However, this will extend the time it takes to complete your degree. Most part time courses will require you to attend university one day a week, but this varies between courses. Some courses even include evening and weekend classes, in order to fit around full time work.

    Search 'part time' in our course search for more information.

  • Distance Learning

    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.

  • January start courses

    If you're unable to start your course in September, you may want to consider our January start courses. You can study courses in the subjects of Business and Management, Social Sciences and Construction Management. Your fees for a January start course will be the same as the fees for September entry.

    Find out more about our courses starting in January.


An MRes relies 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. They have a similar structure to a doctorate and enable you to research a specific area of interest in detail. They usually culminate in a thesis and a viva voce, which is a verbal examination.

Search 'MRes' in our course search for more information.


These can be started immediately after your undergraduate or a Masters degree, depending on your subject. A PhD involves 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.

Take a look at our research degrees at NTU page for more information.

Professional Doctorates

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