Types of master's programmes

Thinking of studying a master’s but unsure what qualification to choose? To help with your decision we’ve explained what a master’s programme is and what postgraduate taught qualifications we offer at Loughborough.

What is a master's degree?

A master's is one of the most popular postgraduate qualifications available and demonstrates a high level of expertise in a specific field of study. It’s a level 7 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which sits above an undergraduate bachelor's degree but below a doctoral programme.

A master’s degree is more academically challenging and intense than a bachelor’s, requiring a higher level of independent study. You will build on your existing qualifications and experience but will focus on a particular subject area in more detail. A full-time master's will see you take 180 credits over a 12-month period. Part-time programmes vary in duration and you may take a different number of credits each year.

There are lots of different types of master’s available and at Loughborough, we offer MA, MSc and MBA

Master of Arts (MA): usually awarded in the arts, humanities or social sciences.

Master of Science (MSc): awarded in subjects with a science, engineering, technology or maths (STEM) focus.

Master of Business Administration (MBA): designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need for career progression in business and management roles. Prospective MBA students are required to have at least three to five years' professional work experience.

Alternative postgraduate degrees (PG Dip, PG Cert, PGCE)

In addition to these, we also offer a number of other postgraduate qualifications, including postgraduate diplomas (PGDip), postgraduate certificates (PGCert) and postgraduate certificates in education (PGCE).

Postgraduate Diplomas (PGDip) and Certificates (PGCert): these are shorter taught postgraduate courses comprised of 120 (PGDip) and 60 credits (PGCert). They include master's-level content but take less time to complete and may be designed to further your skills in a certain area or train you for a specific career path.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE): this teacher training qualification combines education theory with practical placements in schools. Upon successful competition of a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will be able to teach your subject in the UK.

Why study a master's degree at Loughborough?

Our master’s programmes will enhance your employability whilst offering an award-winning student experience and so much more along the way.


We're ranked in the top 10 of all major UK league tables (2016-2022)

Two great campuses

Become part of our vibrant Loughborough or London postgraduate community

Careers support

We help capitalise and boost your employability and career opportunities

Hands-on experience

Our degrees feature guest speakers and industry-based projects

Launch your business

We offer aspiring entrepreneurs the support they need

Expert academics

Teaching and research that's led by industry insights and discoveries

Next steps: doctorate

Undertake a PhD after your master's to uncover unique research

Support all the way

Gain access to a range of academic and pastoral support in order to succeed