Interested in taking the next step on from undergraduate study? Postgraduate study, both research and taught, is a popular choice for Exeter graduates. Of those Exeter undergraduate students graduating in 2018, around 22% continued into some form of further level study.

There are essentially two different types of postgraduate study, taught programmes and research or doctoral degrees, and the University of Exeter offers a full range of postgraduate programmes at both levels.

Postgraduate Taught

The majority of our taught postgraduate programmes are Masters degrees. They are at NQF level 7 (National Qualifications Framework) and are similar in style and structure to undergraduate degrees, but the tuition you receive will be more advanced. You will usually have a choice of modules so that you can tailor your programme to your own interests. They also generally consist of lectures, seminars, assessments (via essays and/or exams, dissertations or group projects, for example). You’ll be expected to work more independently than at undergraduate level, but still receive support from your tutors.

Take a look at this list of Postgraduate Taught courses and find the perfect course for you.

Particularly interested in research?

The University of Exeter offer both a Masters of Research (MRes) and Masters by Research (MbyRes). While having similar names, these are not to be confused as the MRes is NFQ level 7 and MbyRes is NFQ level 8.

The MRes combines advanced subject-specific tuition with advanced level training in the methodological, analytic and research skills which are vital for the undertaking of further research.

For the MbyRes, candidates carry out an independent research project under supervision, before submitting a thesis or dissertation consisting of original material. As the MbyRes offers the chance to obtain a research degree without the commitment of the longer-term PhD, it’s ideal for people interested in pursuing a specific shorter-term research project, perhaps while working.

PhD and Research Degrees

Research degrees are the highest level of qualification awarded by universities in the UK at NFQ level 8 and offer a challenging and exciting opportunity to work at the cutting-edge of research. Candidates carry out an independent research project under supervision over an extended period of time, before submitting a thesis or dissertation consisting of original material.

At the University of Exeter, research students are supported by our Doctoral College.

We offer various types of research degrees, including:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) – The MPhil, although a qualification in its own right, is often used as a route to the longer PhD. A PhD is only awarded when the results make an original contribution to knowledge in the field, which is normally assessed by a written thesis and oral examination.
  • Masters by Research (MbyRes)
  • Professional doctorates, such as Professional Doctorate Psychology (DClin CEDAR), Engineering doctorate (EngD), Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Surgery (MS) – Professional doctorates combine a significant taught element with production of a research thesis, and are designed to help members of specific professions develop both their academic and professional knowledge (eg educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, teachers and lecturers).

For a full list of our research degrees, please see this list, or you can view the options for Research Degrees and PhDs in each College:

Business School

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

College of Humanities – Masters by Research

College of Humanities – PhDs

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

College of Medicine and Health

College of Social Sciences and International Studies

Career Zone offer guidance on choosing postgraduate study, with advice on writing a personal statement, to information on funding options.

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