Master’s teaching and learning

We give our master’s students excellence in teaching and the very best learning environments.

You’ll learn from leading teachers and scholars who are acknowledged international experts in their respective fields. You’ll develop skills and gain experience that will go beyond your master’s and be fundamental to your future career.

We employ a wide variety of teaching techniques on our master’s courses, from traditional laboratory-based work, lectures and seminars to e-learning.

And our wealth of facilities will give you the flexibility and resources to make the most of your postgraduate studies.

The University of Manchester offers many different ways to study for a master’s degree or other postgraduate qualification.

Like most potential postgraduate students, you probably have a clear idea of what subject you’re interested in, but you may be less certain of the way you want to study it, and to what level.

We offer the following types of taught courses:

Postgraduate diplomas and certificates

Diplomas usually last nine months and certificates usually last six months. Many courses cover general areas of study while others are more specialised, such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). They can be structured in a similar way to master’s courses (but without the need for a dissertation), or, as with the PGCE, are specifically vocational.

Master’s degrees

These are intensive taught courses that include a dissertation or project, and which usually last for 12 months full-time, or 24 months part-time (compared to two years full-time in most other countries). Our MBA lasts 18 months full-time and up to five years part-time. Master’s degrees include the following:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Master of Law (LLM)
  • Master of Music (MusM)
  • Master of Research (MRes)

Master’s degrees usually involve two semesters of classes and assessed work, followed by four or five months’ research, culminating in a dissertation. The balance of taught and research elements and the methods of assessment vary from course to course.

The Master of Research (MRes) is structured slightly differently and provides you with an opportunity for extensive research training and subject-specific advanced learning, with a view to proceeding to doctoral research.

Full-time or part-time?

While most of our students study for a postgraduate qualification on a full-time basis, you may study many of our taught courses on a more flexible part-time basis.

If you are an international applicant from a non-EU country, you should note that the terms of entry into the UK normally prevent you from registering for a programme on a part-time basis.

Distance learning

Some of our master’s courses are available via distance learning (also known as distributed learning or e-learning). Distance learning allows you to progress via self-study, using printed materials and web-based resources.

We invest heavily in online and interactive technologies to allow you to connect with staff and fellow students, and enjoy the same support as you would on campus.

Methods and materials for master’s and taught courses

As a student on a master’s or other postgraduate taught course at The University of Manchester, you’ll benefit from our excellence in teaching methods and the very best learning environments and materials.

As well as this, you’ll learn from leading teachers and scholars who are acknowledged international experts in their respective fields.

You’ll develop skills and gain experience that will be fundamental to your future career. We employ a wide variety of teaching techniques, from traditional laboratory-based work, lectures and seminars to e-learning.

How we teach on postgraduate courses

Teaching and learning methods at postgraduate level can be quite different from those at an undergraduate level. How you are taught will largely depend on your course content, level of study and your academic tutor – but, however you are taught, you will be required to undertake a large proportion of your study independently.

Since most of our master’s courses are only one year in duration, the academic experience can be quite intense compared to an undergraduate degree. As a master’s student you will begin to specialise in topics that interest you or start to work on a particular area of research which you may wish to undertake for further study.

Studying at a postgraduate level involves a greater emphasis on self-directed study than at an undergraduate level. You’ll be expected to think and study independently, conduct more extensive background reading and bring your ideas to seminars and tutorials for discussion and debate.

The main teaching and learning methods for master’s courses are

Rewarding excellence

We recognise and reward excellent student performance. A range of prizes and bursaries, including the Manchester Medal, are presented each year to the best students.

When you graduate we’ll provide you with a comprehensive higher education record of achievement covering your entire course. Your record will identify and detail transferable life skills as well as your academic grades, to help you demonstrate the value of your learning experience to future employers.