Studying postgraduate taught courses

With more than 350 taught programmes to choose from, Birmingham is one of the most popular UK universities for postgraduate study.

Postgraduate taught programmes are usually one year in length (minimum two years part-time). Comprising a number of modules, they are assessed by a combination of coursework, examination and dissertation and lead to the award of a Masters qualification. 

Taught Masters programmes

We offer a wide range of taught Masters programmes, usually in the form of Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc). However, there are a number of other programme types available, including the Master of Education (MEd), Master of Engineering (MEng), and Master of Business Administration (MBA). In addition, we offer Postgraduate Diplomas, Certificates and other qualifications that can be taken on a full-time, part-time or modular basis.

For most Masters programmes you need to have a good degree (usually at least a 2:1) or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject. Some Masters degrees have additional requirements such as relevant work experience.

MA and MSc programmes are normally one year in duration, while Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate courses are usually nine months.

MEd Programmes - the MEd qualification is restricted to qualified and experienced teachers but otherwise it is similar in structure to MA programmes. Students first complete all modules for the PG Diploma and then transfer to an MEd. Therefore a part time MEd can last 3 years.

MBA Programmes - the Birmingham MBA is a suite of high quality programmes in a variety of flexible formats. It can be studied as a 12-month intensive full time programme; alternatively you can choose to study preliminary courses that can extend the programme to 21 or 24 months. It can also be studied part-time over to four years, delivered in intensive blocks.

Please check specific course finder entries for typical course duration.

 

Conversion courses

Conversion courses provide opportunities for those with existing higher education qualifications to gain advanced knowledge and skills in a new subject area or enable a change in career.

Routes available include qualifications in business, computer science, economics, education, human resources, law, marketing, as well as medical and health sciences. Successful completion of these programmes leads to the award of Postgraduate/Graduate Diploma, Certificate or Masters degree.

Entry requirements vary but a good first degree in any subject will be sufficient; some science courses require a science-related qualification.

 

Distance learning/education

If you are unable to study on campus we offer a range of programmes through distance learning (also referred to as distance education in some subject areas), which you can study anywhere in the world providing you have regular access to a computer with internet connection.

With most learning materials online, you will have web access to our libraries along with a vast collection of e-resources.

 

Pre-Masters programmes 

For international students who need additional support prior to undertaking their Masters degree, or who want to pursue a two-year programme leading to a Masters qualification, we offer the option of pre-Masters programmes in certain areas within Social Sciences. This can be taken as a one-year stand-alone programme which leads to the award of a Graduate Diploma or as a two-year programme, leading to the award of a Masters degree. 

These are ideal for those who need to develop their academic English and study skills to help prepare for Masters-level study.

 

The credit system

All Birmingham degrees are set within a credit framework designed to measure your academic achievements. We expect all students to accumulate 180 credits in each full year of study on a postgraduate course which is equivalent to 40 hours learning a week. Learning is considered to include contact learning (lectures and seminars), private study, revision and assessment. 

Credits are acquired by taking compulsory and optional modules, which are part of each degree programme. These are distinct units of learning and may be based around a single subject or a small part of a much broader area.