How You Study as a Postgraduate

Postgraduate study offers a challenging and engaging balance of teaching and research. It can include seminars, tutorials, laboratory work and research activities. Whichever programme you choose, you will be expected to demonstrate a high degree of independent study.

Taught Programmes

Taught postgraduate programmes comprise three main stages with each stage providing an opportunity to exit. The first two stages are Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma, which consist of a number of primarily taught modules that are individually assessed. The third stage, the Master’s, usually consists of an individual research-based project supervised by an academic with expertise in the subject area. Taught programmes typically last from one year full-time to two or three years part-time. They are delivered in a variety of ways, ranging from weekly tutorial and seminar programmes, to modular study blocks of two to three days. Students can learn in seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions and debates.

Assessment Methods

The way students are assessed may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that are used may include coursework, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests. The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across stage of the programme.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Weekly contact hours may vary depending on the individual module options chosen and the stage of study. Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend at least two - three hours in independent study. Optional modules will usually run if minimum student numbers are met. Timetabling arrangements may limit the availability of modules to some students. As the options often reflect staff research interests, they may alter over time due to staff availability.

More course-specific information on contact hours, optional modules, and the expected level of independent study can be found on individual course pages.

Research Programmes

Research programme provide you with the opportunity to produce a piece of individual research, supported by a written thesis and oral examination. The University offers a programme of training in research skills and research is conducted under the supervision of a team of experienced academics with specialist knowledge in the subject area you choose. The topic of your research will be aligned to research conducted by our expert staff, taking into account an area of specific interest to you.

MA/MSc by Research courses offer a tailored, supervised research programme and are suited to students wishing to undertake a research degree of specific interest in a niche area. These normally take one year full-time or two years part-time to complete. An MPhil qualification requires you to use your critical investigation skills and show a comprehensive understanding of appropriate research methodologies in your field. Subject to satisfactory progress on the MPhil, students often continue to PhD-level study. A PhD is often seen as the pinnacle of academic achievement. To receive a PhD you must produce a thesis which makes a distinct and original contribution to knowledge in an area of specific interest to you. Completion usually takes three years full-time or five to six years part-time.

More information on the duration and assessment criteria for specific research programmes can be found on our individual course pages.

UofL 022 June27th2017 5ds_9493 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Opportunities

As part of its portfolio of taught postgraduate programmes, the University of Lincoln offers a range of CPD opportunities and a number of accredited short courses. Our short course are designed to boost your career prospects and allow you to pursue your interests.

Find out more
ulimages_18431581 Real-World Experience

The University of Lincoln is award-winning for employer engagement and our excellent links to industry mean that during many of our courses you have the opportunity to undertake relevant work placements, get industry-specific career advice, hear from business experts and take part in relevant trips and visits. These insider experiences within your field of study enhance your employability when you graduate.

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Contact Us

If you have any questions, contact our Postgraduate Team:

Telephone +44 (0)1522 886644 or email

Alternatively, if you would simply like to talk to someone about any aspect of the University of Lincoln, please call us on +44 (0)1522 886644 or fill in the enquiry form and we will get right back to you.