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Postgraduate study FAQs

Thinking about postgraduate study but got some questions? We've answered the commonly asked questions here.

What is postgraduate study?
Postgraduate study is an additional qualification you take on after you've completed your undergraduate course. In some cases you can do a postgraduate qualification with certain employment experience in a relevant field; however, entry requirements vary depending on the course. Find out more about postgraduate study and if it's right for you.
What is the difference between postgraduate taught and postgraduate research?
Postgraduate taught courses are just that - taught by lecturers, with seminars and tutor contact time, much in the same way as an undergraduate degree. Postgraduate research courses are much more autonomous, with research and study led by you in your chosen field. 
What is the difference between a PgCert, a PgDip and a Master's?
  • A Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) is made up of 60 credits of taught modules – usually three 20-credit modules.
  • A Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) is made up of 120 credits of taught modules – usually six 20-credit modules.
  • A Master's programme (MA/MSc) includes both taught modules and a dissertation/major project – usually six 20-credit modules and a 60-credit dissertation/major project, but full details can be found on the course page.

We also offer two extended Master's programmes through the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire:

  • A Master of Music (MMus) – this programme features a combination of taught and practical modules, totalling 240 credits.
  • A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) – this programme features a combination of taught modules and practical modules, along with a major project, totalling 300 credits.
How do I apply for a postgraduate taught course?
Applications for our postgraduate taught courses are usually made directly through our website. Just find your course and hit the apply button and we'll guide you through the process. There are a few exceptions:
  • For postgraduate courses that fall under Music or Acting, these are applied for via UCAS Conservatoires to study at our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
  • For Teacher Training courses, these currently go through UCAS Teacher Training.
  • For some Law courses, but not all, applications are made through LawCabs - please go to the relevant course page on our website to apply.
Will my studies be affected by coronavirus?
The situation is changing every day, but we have put together a student pledge so you know what to expect when you study with us. We also have some helpful coronavirus FAQs to get your questions answered.
I'm a current BCU student - how do I apply for postgraduate study?
As a current BCU student, you can apply through the fast track option - apply through the course page and once signed in you will be fast-tracked through the application in MySRS, which will log your details and that you're a current student.
What do I need for my application?
You will need scanned copies of your prior education certificates, two references (one academic and one employer), and a personal statement.
Are there any scholarships and bursaries available?
All current BCU students are eligible for our It Pays to Stay scholarship, which offers up to £3,000.
What is employability like for BCU students?
BCU graduates go into a diverse range of roles and industries. Each of our course pages lists the kinds of fields and roles our graduates have gone on to do. Our Graduate+ team helps you along the way, giving you tips for everything from your CV to interview prep.
How can I find out more about funding and loans for postgraduate degrees?
Take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £11,222 available for postgraduate study. The loans are available for any subject and are a contribution to costs including fees and living costs. We have a page dedicated to fees and funding to help you, which also provides information on other funding opportunities. Worried about student loan repayments? See how much your repayments will be using the calculator.
What facilities are available for my course?
From mock hospital wards to a green screen studio, our cutting-edge facilities ensure that you're always up-to-date with your skills and industry knowledge. Discover more about the facilities relevant to your course.
How do I find out more about the modules and assessment methods for my course?
Every course page will have a 'course in depth' tab, which will detail the modules you will undertake, plus the assessment frequency and methods. This is a great way to find out if you can specialise in the area you are interested in, or do a course that has minimal exams.
How can I find out more about the staff who would be teaching me?
On each course page, the 'facilities and staff' tab details who teaches on the course. You can then find their staff profiles on our website to find out more about their research, specialities and any publications they may have worked on.
How do I find out the entry requirements for my course?
Entry requirements are listed on each course page under the tab 'entry requirements'. This will break down different types of qualifications so you can see if you would meet the requirements.
What student support services are offered at BCU?
BCU offers a wide range of student support services to help make your time go smoothly from application to post-graduation. From disability and mental health support to career advice, explore what services we offer.
What application help is available at BCU?
We've put together some helpful application advice to get you started.
What is the deadline for postgraduate applications?
There are no official deadlines for most postgraduate courses, but do make sure you apply well before the start date of your chosen course - you can find this on the course page. Some courses – including MSc Social Work, MSc Dietetics, MSc Speech and Language Therapy and MSc Physiotherapy – do have an application deadline. Where this is the case, details can be found on the course page.
Whatever course you’re applying for, don’t leave it until the last minute, as many popular courses will fill up ahead of time.
When will I receive an offer?
For most courses, there are no official timescales on offer making, but once your application has been received, if it is then approved, you will receive an offer through your portal in MySRS. If the offer rests on receiving results or further proof, this will be a conditional offer, and once these items are received it will change to an unconditional offer. You can accept or reject this within the portal.
Some courses – including MSc Social Work, MSc Dietetics, MSc Speech and Language Therapy and MSc Physiotherapy – do have a specific timetable for interviews and offer making. You can find this on the course page.
Who do I contact if I have further questions?
Hopefully we've helped answer your questions, but if you have any other burning queries, you can fill out our enquiry form or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram
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