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Course Structure

Type and duration of courses

Taught Degrees

Masters (or postgraduate taught) degrees require one year (12 months) of full-time study, whilst part-time study may take up to 2-3 years. Most of our MBA, MA and MSc programmes now offer a January intake as well as the traditional September start date.

These programmes consist of two parts:

  • Part 1, which consists of taught modules; and
  • Part 2, during which you will undertake either a dissertation, the Financial Seminar Series, or Applied Business projects, depending on your programme of study.
    • The dissertation - for which you will be expected to submit 12,000 - 15,000 words - is based on a piece of research or a case study, which you undertake on an individual basis. At all stages, you will receive support from academic staff and a supervisor who will advise you on research design, methodology, results, draft chapters and the final submission.
    • The Financial Seminar Series - which is available on programmes in the Accounting, Banking and Finance subject areas - aims to familiarise students with a broad range of current research topics and research methodologies in the academic disciplines of accounting, banking, corporate finance and financial economics. An alternative version of the Financial Seminar Series is offered to those who choose to follow the CFA pathway.
    • The Applied Business Projects module will familiarise students with a broad range of current management topics. Students will follow a taught programme of study in four projects of their choice.

Please see the individual course pages for details of Part 2 on your programme of interest.

For those beginning their programmes in September, Part 1 will be completed between September and June, with the dissertation (or equivalent) being undertaken during the summer period (June - September). Those entering the January intake will undertake their first semester between January and June; complete Part 2 during the summer period (June - September) and take the remaining modules in the Autumn semester, between September and January.

Research Degrees

MPhil and PhD are research degrees and are awarded after the examination of a candidate's thesis, produced following a period of research. While most candidates pursue research degrees on a full-time basis, it is possible to study them on a part-time basis.

PhD degree is usually 3 years full-time, or 5-6 years part-time. Candidates are expected to present the results of their research in a 100,000-word thesis which represents a significant original contribution to knowledge in the subject area studied, and to undergo a viva voce examination.

An MPhil (Master of Philosophy) degree is usually 2 years full-time, or 3 years part-time. Candidates must successfully complete an approved programme of supervised research, and present their results in a thesis of up to 60,000 words.

All research students are allocated to a supervisor with research expertise in the chosen topic of study. Your supervisor will provide advice and guidance on:

  • Your choice of topic
  • The literature in your field and how to access it
  • Your choice of research methods
  • Thesis structure, content and presentation
  • Preparation for your viva voce examination (PhD students)

Doctoral Training Programme

Our first year Postgraduate Researchers undertake a PGCert in Research Methodology. The PGert is made up of two semesters of weekly workshops and seminars that have been designed to meet the training needs of research students. The PGCert comprises 60 credits of modules relating to research designs, research philosophies, research methodologies, and presentation skills.

Our aim is to provide an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment for postgraduate training. The emphasis is on small groups, close working relationships between research students and supervisors, and development towards full professional participation in the subject area. All research students are encouraged to play an active part in the intellectual and social life of the School. Research students make a significant contribution to the School’s high national and international reputation.

We are dedicated to excellence in postgraduate training. Our PhD programme is recognised by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and we have accredited pathways in Management and Business, and in Economics.

Find out more about the Doctoral Training programme on our research environment page.

Student Liaison Committee

All students will receive academic support, advice and guidance, during their postgraduate studies.

The Student Liaison Committee offers an environment in which you can discuss your opinions. It is an association of postgraduate students which has been established with the support of the School to provide a voice to articulate the special needs of postgraduate and research students.