Types of master's course

Master's degrees are postgraduate courses that provide training to allow you to specialise in a specific area or develop research skills across one or more disciplines.

Our taught courses in of biological, medical and health sciences offer a combination of research and taught course units, which use a range of teaching methods including tutorials, lectures, seminars, practical workshops and e-learning.

See the 'Course details' section of the master's courses you are interested in to view the balance of taught and research units on each individual course.

Our taught master's courses lead to various qualifications. Learn about the differences between our degree awards below.

What is an MSc/MA/MPH/MDPH?

A master's degree title can vary, but the nature of the training you'll receive is broadly similar, following a taught course unit structure that results in a written dissertation.

A master's degree is primarily aimed at graduates seeking to further their knowledge in a specific area, having studied it at undergraduate level.

You can also take up certificate or diploma options that enable you to follow selective course units without having to produce a dissertation.

These routes are ideal if you want to gain intensive experience in a particular area for continuing professional development, or if you wish to undertake further research in your chosen discipline. You can also use your master's degree to switch to an area of specialisation that is different to the subject of your undergraduate degree.

Individual courses may vary, but the typical structure consists of eight 15-credit course units plus a 60-credit dissertation (total: 180 credits) taken over 12 months full-time, or two to five years part-time.

Depending on the course you study you will be awarded a Master of Science, Master of Art, Master in Public Health or a Master in Dental Public Health.

What is an MRes?

A Master of Research (MRes) degree provides preparatory training for academic research.

It's ideal if you want to eventually progress on to a PhD and develop a research career, or if you wish to gain research skills within specialist areas before committing to a PhD.

The structure of the MRes course is weighted towards research, with research placements forming between 50% and 75% of your training and assessment.

You will receive an initial introduction to research methods on most of our MRes courses, followed by seminars and masterclasses focusing on key areas of the subject - offering a theoretical framework for subsequent practical research.

You'll get to review the latest literature on the subject and become familiar with emerging research developments.

You will then be offered projects spanning various areas and offering complementary experience. You might take up two project rotations or one extensive project.

In both instances, you'll gain experience of undertaking independent research within that subject area. You'll use your research project for your assessed dissertation.