Why postgraduate at Keele?

Keele has always been forward thinking. It was founded on the ethos that we should look at things differently; challenge the status quo, to make a positive change and impact on our futures. This is true now, if not more so, than ever before.

Our students join us for a variety of reasons, either to personally progress themselves academically, or to further their professional career, to improve and enhance their opportunities for promotion, or to enable them to diversify and change their career path.

Whatever your needs or reasons are for deciding upon postgraduate study, Keele offers a variety of study options to suit your lifestyle needs and area of expertise.

Our postgraduate courses combine advanced level of tuition with the completion of a research project and dissertation, under the guidance of your tutor, if you decide upon a full Master’s course.

PgCert and PgDip

Options are available depending on your needs:

  • Masters This contains 180 credits, made up of 120 taught credits plus 60 credits for original research and dissertation
  • Postgraduate Diploma This contains 120 credits (the Postgraduate Diploma is the taught part of a Masters programme)
  • Postgraduate Certificate A minimum of 60 credits is required.

You can choose to conclude your studies after the successful completion of half the taught units and receive a postgraduate certificate. Alternatively, if you successfully complete all of the taught units, but choose not to undertake the research project and dissertation, you will receive a Postgraduate Diploma.

MA and MSc

Our taught masters courses are 12 months full-time or two to three years part-time. The first two-thirds are taught based with assessment through coursework and examinations. The final third of the course is a research project and usually includes writing a dissertation.


Master of Research, this course introduces you to research methods and is for those who want to pursue a research-related career or doctoral study. You will be exposed to a range of research skills and methodologies, giving you the proficiency and confidence to approach a research project in a systematic and professional way.

An MRes programme will assist and prepare you to move on to successfully complete a PhD.

It should be noted that if you wish to take a doctoral programme in the Humanities and Social Sciences, you may be asked to undertake research training for a year (or equivalent).

Fitting study around your life

Contact hours vary between programmes. Science courses can involve a full schedule of lectures and lab sessions; whilst Humanities degrees may feature only a few hours of timetabled classes a week, but will require you to undertake a substantial amount of reading and research outside of teaching hours.

If you are studying full-time, expect to be working approximately 40 hours per week towards your degree, and for part-time approximately 20 hours per week.

Some part-time programmes are delivered via block teaching; three to five day intensive bursts of lectures, seminars, and activities held on campus, which for some can fit easier around your working life. Actual course structure will vary depending on the course.