Postgraduate Programmes

Postgraduate study

Most master’s degrees and MBAs at UK universities last one year compared to two in other countries, including the USA and Australia. Choosing the UK means you only have to pay tuition fees for one year and you’ll be back in the workplace before you know it.
While you’re in UK, you’ll be immersed in English, the world’s most important business language. At the same time, you’ll be part of a truly international community – you may find as many as 50 different nationalities on a single campus.

A master’s degree, PhD or MBA from a UK university will prove to employers that you’re capable of independent thought and self-discipline. They’ll know you can conduct and analyse your own research and make a real contribution to their company or organisation.

The wide range of UK postgraduate courses on offer gives you great flexibility. You can start by enrolling on a postgraduate diploma course (PG Dip), then transfer to a master’s degree, or begin by taking an MRes (master of research), which could lead on to a PhD. It’s up to you.

Full-time postgraduate courses in the UK vary from one year to four years, depending on the type of course you choose:

  • One-year courses: Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma, Master’s degrees, MBAs
  • Two-year courses: Some master’s degrees
  • Three to four-year courses: PhDs, New Route PhDs

Type of Postgraduate course

Pre-master’s courses

Pre-master’s courses can last from one term to a complete academic year and cover academic study, cultural instruction and language training. You may need to take a pre-master’s course if your qualifications or English language skills don’t quite match the standard required for a UK master’s degree. Many courses will guarantee progression on to a master’s course at a particular university.

Postgraduate certificate or diploma (PG Cert/Dip)

Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are one-year taught postgraduate courses that don’t usually involve research. They’re often accepted as professional qualifications, giving you a fantastic head start in your chosen career.

Taught master’s (MA, MSc, LLM, Med, etc.)

Taught master’s courses generally last for one year and consist of two elements. You’ll complete a number of modules (attending lectures and seminars, writing essays and taking examinations) and produce a dissertation from original research.

Research master’s (MRes, MPhil)

On a master’s degree by research in the UK, you won’t typically attend lectures; instead you’ll devote the entire year to research. Your final mark will be determined by the quality of your dissertation.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

An MBA is a specialist business taught master’s course that will give you a real step up the managerial ladder. It’s the best-known and most popular postgraduate qualification.

Doctorate (PhD)

A PhD, also known as a doctorate, takes three to four years to complete, during which time you’ll be working on a single research project. In your final year, you’ll be asked to present a dissertation of approximately 100,000 words.

New Route PhDs include taught elements as well as a research project and give you the opportunity to undertake interdisciplinary study.