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FAQs – Postgraduate study

1. Choosing your postgraduate course

Why should I do a postgraduate course?

Doing a postgraduate courses is a fantastic way to widen your career prospects and gain more detailed knowledge in a particular area that you find interesting. We offer a number of postgraduate courses at our University and we encourage you to take a look at our postgraduate courses or research degrees to find the right course for you.

What’s the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate?

A postgraduate qualification is the next level after a bachelor’s degree. Our postgraduate courses will give you the opportunity to study in a lot more depth the subjects you studied during your bachelor degree. We offer both full-time and Distance Learning (DL) postgraduate courses. If you are studying full-time, your postgraduate course will usually be shorter than an undergraduate course – on average taking a year to complete. Whereas with Distance Learning courses, the course duration might be slightly longer than if you were studying full-time.

Why the University of Northampton?

Here we put you first. We dedicate a lot of our time and research into making sure you have the best experience you can whilst studying. We are a modern institution that is changing and evolving to suit modern day needs and developments, such as online learning and work placements.

To learn more about the benefits of studying a postgraduate degree with us, please take a look at our Top reasons why to choose us page.

What are the entry requirements?

On average, courses expect an undergraduate degree award of 2.1 and above, but each course is different so please check the entry requirements on the course that you are interested in.

How can I find out more about the course I’m interested in?

The best way to find out more about our postgraduate courses, and to make your decision of where to study, is to come and speak to us.

We have dedicated postgraduate drop-in sessions at all of our Open Days throughout the year. At these sessions you can drop-in to speak to our postgraduate representatives from the Faculty in which you are looking to study to find out more about the course, ask any specific queries and to see the facilities and services we offer, including a tour of our new Waterside campus.

Please visit our Postgraduate events page to find out when the next Postgraduate-drop in session will take place.

What study options are there to study a postgraduate course?

Our postgraduate courses can be studied on a Full time, Part-time or Distance Learning basis. Please view our postgraduate courses on our website to find the right course for you.

Should I study part-time or full-time?

The decision to study part-time or full-time is a personal one and is dependent on how you like to study and how you can fit in your studies around your personal life and other commitments. A full-time course can be more intensive and is normally completed within 12 months, whereas part-time courses can be split over 24 months.

Therefore we would advise you to look at your personal circumstances and decide which study option is best suited to fit around your other commitments. Whether you decide to study full-time or part-time, our aim is to help you get the very best out of University through excellent teaching and helpful support.

What is the difference between taught and research based postgraduate study?

A taught postgraduate (PG) course is very similar to undergraduate study, with seminars lectures and assignments. Whereas a research based postgraduate course, such as a PhD, is a lot more independent, in which you will have tutorials but it will be mainly focused on your thesis with your supervisor.

On average a taught PG course is 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time, whereas a research PG course can take 18-36 months full-time or 36-48 months part-time.

How long will I study?

Here are the average study time periods in the UK:
● MA/MSc Full-time 12 months / Part-time 24 months / Distance Learning 12-36 month
● MRes/MPhil Full-time 18-36 months / Part-time 36-48 months
● PhD Full-time 3-4 years / Part-time 5-6 years

2. Applying for your postgraduate course

How do I apply?

When applying for a postgraduate course you will need to apply directly to the university, which we do through our website, and apply for your specific course.

Please see our how to apply for postgraduate study page for more information.

Can I apply for more than one course?

Yes, you can apply for as many courses as you would like. You won’t need to pay any application fees when you apply directly, but you will need to submit a separate application and provide all necessary documents for each. Depending on whether the courses you’ve applied for involve an interview, you will be asked to attend a separate interview for each course.

Please note, that you can only study one course at a time. So if you have been accepted for more than one course, you will need to make a choice.

3. Waiting for your postgraduate offer

How long will it take for me to receive a decision?

It takes up to three weeks for our Admissions team to process an application, however this might increase during the periods when the volumes of application are higher than usual.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

For any further questions concerning postgraduate studying at the University of Northampton please email

4. Decisions

What accommodation do we have?

We have numerous on-campus and town accommodation. This is normally reserved for our undergraduate students, but you are more than welcome to live in halls of residence as well.

We also have a list of approved private accommodation, if you would rather not live in halls.

If you want to speak to someone further about halls of residence please email accommodation.

Can I defer my place?

Yes, you can. All you need to do is drop an email to with your request and someone from the team will get in touch with you to discuss your circumstances further.

5. Postgraduate Fees and Funding

Is there an application fee?


How do I fund my postgraduate studies?

To fund your further education you will have to organise your own finances. Student Finance England (SFE) now offer a postgraduate loan of £10,280, subject to eligibility criteria. To see if you qualify and for more information see the SFE website.

Is there any additional financial help I could get?

To help you if you choose to study a postgraduate course with us we have a few scholarships available, but they may be specialised to certain courses or types of study so please check if you qualify before applying to avoid disappointment. The following scholarships are eligible for postgraduate students:

TD Lewis Scholarship is a scholarship for postgraduate students with education excellence or potential. Another general postgraduate scholarship is The Chancellor’s Fund which is designed to help you develop as a well-rounded individual.

The more specialist scholarships we have available are the Dr Mike Daniel Research Degree Scholarship, which only applies to people studying a research degree, and the Sir John Lowther Scholarship for students studying in the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology.


As a international student can I study part-time?

Yes, but you must have the correct visa in which to do this.

How do I apply as an international student?

When applying for a postgraduate course you will need to apply directly to the university, through our website, and apply for your specific course. Some universities ask for an application fee.

Please see our how to apply page for more information.

What are the requirements for postgraduate study?

Each course has their own entry requirements, but generally most postgraduate courses look for:

  • for a taught masters, you will need a qualification that is comparable to a UK undergraduate degree of a award of a 2.1 standard or above. Alongside the qualification enthusiasm, skill and knowledge is needed
  • for a PhD or a Master’s in Research (MRes) entry requirements may be higher. You need a master’s degree to study at a doctorate (Phd) level
  • if you want to become a PhD student, you will need to create a research proposal

Can I apply for more than one course?

Similar to home students, you can apply for more than one course. But you will have to pay an application fee for each course you apply for. It is advisable to apply for more than one course, to improve your chances of being accepted.

How much are course fees for international students in the UK?

Course prices vary for international students, you will need to check each course to see the difference. So have a look at our courses to find out more.

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