Taught or research?

The right course for you

If you are studying at postgraduate level you will be following either a taught course or a research programme of study. Take a look at the information below and find out what you can expect from the each pathway.

Taught courses

LJMU offers taught courses in all faculties. Taught courses invite you to explore your subject in greater depth and many enable you to further specialise through a choice of optional modules.

Although you will attend some lectures and tutorials as part of your taught masters, there is a real focus on independent learning and reading around your subject.

LJMU offers the following taught qualifications:

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Postgraduate certificates (PgCert) and postgraduate diplomas (PgDip)

Frequently required for career advancement, these programmes are shorter than a full masters and do not feature a research element. They can act as the first steps towards a full masters qualification.

Masters (MA/MSc)

Usually studied over one year full-time or two years part-time, these programmes include a dissertation or project. Masters study enables you to develop critical, creative and independent thinking skills. Some courses are designed for career changers and thus require little previous academic experience in that particular subject area.

Master of Research (MRes)

Ideal for those wishing to study for a PhD and pursue a research career, the Master of Research is usually studied full time over a year and focuses on independent project work. Gaining the qualitative and quantitative research skills required to carry out a long-term project, you will be assigned a dedicated academic mentor.

Pre-masters courses

These courses are aimed at international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for postgraduate study. They involve a term of academic subjects, study skills and English language training. You can progress from a pre-masters to a masters course in Business, Management and Law or Engineering and Computing.

Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)/School Direct

These courses, which focus on time spent in local schools, offer a route into primary and secondary school teaching and are aimed at those holding an undergraduate degree. LJMU offers PGDE in place of the typically provided PGCE so you will gain additional credits and Qualified Teacher Status for the same cost and length of study as a PGCE.

Upon completion on your PGDE you can progress to the MA Education Practice which will enable you to complete a full MA during your first year of employment. School Direct is an alternative route into teaching from traditional PGCE and PGDE programmes and offers trainees a more school-led approach. Some PGDE subject conversion courses are available, see our postgraduate course finder for further information. 

Find out more about teacher training at LJMU.

Degree Apprenticeships

A Degree Apprenticeship is an exciting new route into work-based learning that enables apprentices to achieve a masters degree while developing practical skills in the workplace.

Ready to find out more?

You’ll find all our taught courses on our course search page

Research degrees

A research degree enables you to explore a topic in depth. LJMU is a leading research-active University that collaborates across disciplines with institutions around the world. We rank in the top half of the overall research league table and are second in the University Alliance group.

Supervision for your research is provided by an academic with specialist expertise in your area of interest. He or she will help you to formulate a research proposal and will support you with advice, guidance and feedback. The Doctoral Academy will also be on hand to offer generic support and training to develop your skills as a researcher.

In terms of assessment, you'll submit a thesis of your research findings which contribute new knowledge to your subject area. You will also have an oral examination.

LJMU offers the following research qualifications:

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Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

A senior or second masters degree, positioned between a taught masters and a PhD, the MPhil can be studied over two to four years. You will learn and apply appropriate research methods and techniques to conduct an independent enquiry.

Doctorate or PhD

A PhD is usually studied over four to seven years. This qualification is all about making an original personal contribution to the understanding of a problem, the advancement of knowledge or the generation of new ideas. At the end of your studies you will produce a 40,000 to 80,000 word thesis.

Professional Doctorates

A specialist doctorate-level qualification, the Prof Doc is offered in areas where students have made a significant contribution to enhancing a professional area through the application, development and testing of theoretical frameworks.

Research areas

LJMU has a reputation for world-class research. Our research covers a range of disciplines, it's varied in scope, and dynamic and multidisciplinary in practice. It also informs our taught programmes and helps to ensure our courses are positioned at the forefront of developments in the field.

Explore our research areas

Ready to find out more?

Find the right research course on our course search page

Contact us

Get in touch using our online form or call +44 (0) 151 231 5090.

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