Postgraduate taught courses
Our postgraduate courses allow you to demonstrate your academic
potential in a research-intensive environment, with support from our
research-active staff and access to our excellent facilities.
A postgraduate course will enable you to study a subject in further
detail, gaining greater knowledge and more understanding. For some of you, a
postgraduate course may be a pre-requisite for your future career plans, while
for others it is a qualification that simply gives you an edge in the
competitive world of work.
In the 2011 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, of all our taught
postgraduates who responded, 90 per cent said their overall experience of their
course at Essex had met or exceeded their expectations.
A Masters course is an academically rigorous programme during which you
explore your chosen subject in depth, reaching a high level of specialist
knowledge in a short time. You draw on your knowledge and skills from your
undergraduate studies or professional life to produce work of a high academic
standard, informed by current thinking and debate.
A Masters course lasts for twelve months (full-time) and consists of
taught modules and normally a research-based dissertation totalling 180 credits.
This balance varies according to the subject but, typically, the research
element will count for 60 credits and there will be 120 credits of taught
modules, varying from 10 to 40 credits each. There are usually several
compulsory modules and a range of optional modules. (If you are from the EU,
then you should note that our Masters courses are regarded as ‘second-cycle’
qualifications under the Bologna Declaration and consist of 90 ECTS credits).
Our courses start in October, so you take taught modules during your
autumn and spring terms. If any of your taught modules include an examination,
this will be in May and June. Your dissertation or other project-based work is
submitted in September.
Studying with us gives you an opportunity to develop your own ideas and
interests, and to engage with thinking at the leading edge of your subject, as
part of the research community in your department, school or centre and our
wider academic and professional community. Our graduates go into a variety of
jobs, where the key employability skills and knowledge they have gained through
postgraduate study at Essex are put to good use.
If you achieve your Masters, you may wish to extend your knowledge with
a research degree and many who graduate from Essex choose to stay here for
research study. Some of our Masters may be taken as the first part of an
Integrated PhD, leading to your PhD after a further three years of full-time
Certificates and Diplomas
In some of our subjects, Postgraduate or Graduate Certificates and
Diplomas are available, which last for six to nine months (full-time) and
consist of 60 or 120 credits of taught modules, respectively. Our Graduate
Diplomas equip those with a Bachelors degree with specific knowledge to proceed
to a Masters in a different subject area. Our Postgraduate Certificates and
Diplomas consist of the modules and assessed work of a Masters, without your