Types of POSTGRADUATE study

Which is the right postgraduate qualification for you?

  1. Master's (MA / MSc)

    • Master's courses usually take between one or three years to complete – studying full-time or part-time
    • Master's courses tend to focus more on academic research and usually offer greater study choice through a selection of modules and study choice, enabling students to tailor course content to their individual interests
    • They can be a great way of entry on to a PhD
    • More expensive, but loans up to £11,222 are available for many of our master's courses


  2. Postgraduate certificate (PGCert) and postgraduate diploma (PGDip)

    • Certificates and diplomas are not as long as master's courses
    • Certificates and diplomas tend not to cost as much as master's courses
    • Certificates and diplomas are the same level as master's degrees, but unlike a master's you do not have to write a dissertation
    • Fantastic avenue to support career development, particularly if you are less interested in significant amounts of academic research, or don’t have the time to do a master's


  3. Research (PhD)

    • If your goal is to become a specialist in the field you are passionate about, or pursue an academic career, a PhD is essential
    • PhDs last longer than master's but give you total independence so you can focus on your research, which is very important since your aim will be to contribute entirely new knowledge in your chosen field

    Many students think that a master's is an important step towards obtaining a PhD. This is not always true, however, and sometimes going straight into a PhD may be a more efficient way to achieve your individual goals.

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What else do I need to know?

Like some of our Masters courses, many diplomas at Leeds Beckett University are also accredited by professional organisations, meaning your qualification will be highly regarded in the industry it relates to.

If obtaining a Masters degree is your ultimate goal, just remember that there is more than one pathway to get there. You don’t have to decide right from the start. A certificate or diploma could either fully cover your needs or pave the way for you to get there. In some cases, students who start a Masters, but are then unable to commit to a dissertation can graduate with a certificate or a diploma.

How to decide?

Before you start researching, take some time to ask yourself what you want to achieve with a postgraduate degree and how fast you want to complete it. Whether to climb up the career ladder, change careers altogether or just expand your knowledge in a subject you are passionate about, the motivation behind your goals is the best guide towards choosing the type of qualification that is right for you.

To find out more about our postgraduate courses, the types of degrees we offer and which is the right degree for you, visit us for an Open Day. We hold events around the year to help you discover the benefits of being a postgraduate student at Leeds Beckett University.


take your next steps

If you're almost ready to jump into postgraduate study but still have a few questions to help you decide, we have you covered. There's lots of ways to get in touch -  you can call or email our admissions team, chat to one of our amazing student ambassadors or stay in touch by providing us with a few contact details to get all the latest information about courses, events and student life!