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Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework))

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The Master of Arts (Coursework) programme is designed to give students the skills sought-after by employers around the globe, with a balance of specific subject knowledge plus broad-based transferable skills – such as oral and written communication, and analytical skills.

The degree is also an entry qualification for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The MA(Coursework) normally requires either 12 months or three semesters of full-time, or equivalent part-time, study and entails completion of papers and a dissertation. The normal admission requirement is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in one of at least 24 subjects but admission on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience is possible.

The dissertation is a major piece of supervised research of up to 20,000 words.

The primary aim of the MA(Coursework) is to provide candidates with a grounding in their chosen subject area within a wider disciplinary frame. The degree cultivates the skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement a significant piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership.

Find out more about the Master of Arts (Coursework) degree


Regulations for the Degree of Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework))

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
    2. Every applicant must either
      1. be a graduate, or
      2. have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
    3. In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme. Applicants must normally have achieved an average grade of at least B in the papers at the highest level in the programme.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The degree may be awarded in any of the subjects listed in the MA(Coursework) Schedule. With the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) the degree may be awarded in a subject not listed in the MA(Coursework) Schedule.
    2. The programme of study shall be as prescribed for the subject concerned in Part 2 of the MA(Coursework) Schedule and shall in each case consist of a research dissertation or studio project (60 points), two 500-level HUMS papers (30 points each) from HUMS 501-503, and further papers worth 60 points at 400- or 500-level for the subject concerned, to a total value of 180 points.
    3. With the permission of the Dean, Director, Head of School, or Head of Programme concerned, a candidate may substitute for one required paper a paper of another subject at the same level.
    4. A candidate shall, before commencing the research dissertation or studio option, secure the approval of the Dean, Director, Head of the School or Head of Programme concerned for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
    5. A candidate may not present a research dissertation or studio project which has previously been accepted for another degree.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    A candidate shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than eighteen months of full-time study.

    Exceptions to the normal duration of a programme shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) and no programme of study shall exceed five calendar years from the date of first admission.

  4. Examination of the Research Dissertation, or Studio Project

    1. The MA(Coursework) Coordinator (or nominee) shall appoint a Convenor of Examiners who shall oversee the examination of each research dissertation or studio project.
    2. The research dissertation or studio project shall be examined by at least two examiners, who may both be internal to the University.
    3. Where both examiners are internal to the University, the examined research dissertation or studio project shall be subject to external moderation.
    4. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner.
    5. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the research dissertation or studio project and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work as submitted.
    6. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Dean, Head of School or Head of Programme concerned should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.

  5. Withdrawal from the Programme

    Where a candidate withdraws from the programme after completing the prescribed papers, but does not complete the research dissertation or studio project, the Pro- Vice Chancellor (Humanities) or nominee may recommend the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects, or determine which papers shall be credited towards the Diploma.

  6. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  7. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

Note: The due date for applications for first enrolment in the programme is 10 December. Late applications will be considered.

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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