About postgraduate study

There are three types of postgraduate degree at the University of Glasgow:

Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate Taught refers to taught degrees with a set amount of contact time with the course providers. This takes the form of seminars, tutorials and lectures.

Taught programmes can lead to the award of:

  • Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates
  • Masters degrees

Duration of study

  • Taught Masters degrees usually last for one year (full-time study) and the final assessment is often based on the submission of a research-based dissertation.
  • Most Postgraduate Diplomas last for nine months full-time.
  • Postgraduate Certificates generally last for four to five months full-time.

Many Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma programmes are available on a part-time basis.


Assessment of taught courses is by examination or coursework (or a combination of both) depending on the requirements of the programme of study.

The structure of Taught Masters programmes varies but progress through the different stages (e.g. from the taught courses to the dissertation stage) depends on satisfactory performance in assessment.

A candidate who does not do well enough in this assessment or who chooses not to proceed to the next stage of the programme, but who otherwise attains a satisfactory standard, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate.

Generally, a candidate must complete minimum credits as follows:

  • For the award of a Postgraduate Diploma: 120 credits of taught courses 
  • For the award of a Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits of taught courses

Please note:
Full details of the requirements for the award of Postgraduate Taught degrees are given in the relevant University regulations. A student admitted onto a programme leading to an award must also follow the instructions issued on behalf of the relevant School and be aware of the content of the Programme Document (often referred to as the Programme or ‘Course' Handbook) which will contain further details on the Programme including, in some cases, further requirements associated with the award.

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Postgraduate research

Postgraduate Research degrees can generally be divided into:

  • Research Masters degrees
  • Doctorates

Postgraduate Research degrees are often aimed at people who already have a Masters degree.

The University offers Postgraduate Research degrees of various durations.

Students undertake a research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor and, unlike a postgraduate degree by coursework and dissertation, there are no formal lectures or seminars and work is not formally examined until after the final thesis is submitted. 

The University has developed a code of practice for postgraduate research degrees which sets out the minimum standards that research students can expect of the University and makes clear the responsibilities of all parties involved in a research student’s experience. 

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Integrated PhD

Our 4 year Integrated PhDs combine a taught masters and research degree 

  • Year 1: completion of taught Masters level modules 
  • Years 2- 4: research degree