Degree Programmes

At Exeter University a Masters degree is a postgraduate qualification that can be gained by completing a programme of study that includes taught modules and normally a short research dissertation. The University says that:

Students successfully completing programme requirements at level 7 will have demonstrated:

(a) a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice;

(b) a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;

(c) originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;

(d) conceptual understanding that enables the student:

  • to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and
  • to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

Typically, successful students at this level will be able to:

  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;
  • continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level; and will have
  • the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;

decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;

and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Exeter operates a modular, credit-based system for MA, MEd, LLM, MSc and MRes degree programmes that can be taken either full or part-time. In order to obtain any Masters degree provided by the College you must successfully complete modules, each of which has a credit value, to a total of 180 credits. Every student has to take the Core modules for their programme. These include a number of taught modules, which either address key areas of the subject area of the degree or explore central methodological or technical aspects of a discipline. Every programme also requires the completion of a dissertation module. Programmes also have a range of Option modules that you can choose from. However, every student has the right to substitute up to 30 credits of their programme (though not a core module or dissertation) for an equivalent level module taught anywhere in the University. It is also possible to complete only a part of the full MA/MEd/MSc/LLM/MRes programme, for which a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate can be awarded.

Full-time students take the taught part of their programme over two semesters (with modules lasting either one or two semesters) and then complete a dissertation which is submitted in the following August/September. Part-time students normally take half of the taught component in the first year of their studies and the remainder in the following year. They then submit their dissertation in the August/September of the second year. Accordingly, the work-load of part-time students is roughly half that of full-time students. Taught programmes require attendance at the University, as well as individual study, and can only be taken by distance learning methods if specific programme arrangements are in place. The Graduate School of Education runs some distance based Masters programmes.

Your choice of modules is decided with your Programme Co-ordinator at the beginning of the academic year. They are then registered on the University’s system. N.B. It is not normally possible to change your choice of modules later than week 2 of term 1. This is because we need to confirm numbers on each module in advance of the second term and because the University requires us to provide a complete programme for each student over the academic year. We can make changes in exceptional circumstances but this requires the agreement of the Programme Co-ordinator you have any queries about the modules you are taking or wish to discuss changing them please ask at the College Office (Info at St Luke's office for St Luke's).