Taught postgraduate degrees have a wide range of vocational and academic objectives and aim to provide advanced and specialist knowledge and may bring together themes from a number of disciplines.
Some taught programmes also allow you the opportunity to change career direction, such as some of the programmes we offer in Journalism and Computer Science & Informatics.
Benefits of a taught degree
The many benefits of undertaking postgraduate study include:
- increasing your career and promotion prospects by developing a stronger academic and/or vocational profile;
- the chance to change career direction;
- increasing your transferable skills for a future or current career;
- intellectual development;
- developing new skills and problemsolving abilities.
Further information about postgraduate taught study can be found on the 'Steps to Postgraduate Study' website, the official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course, produced by the four UK higher education funding bodies.
There is a range of taught master's degree titles: The two most common degree titles are Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc). Other master's degrees are specifically named, at Cardiff University these include MScEcon, MBA, MPA, MPH, LLM, MMus, MTh.
All taught master programmes involve a period of structured teaching, normally over two semesters full-time or modules of the value of 120 credits, combining instruction through lectures, seminars, tutorials, directed reading and independent study as well as practical work. Some courses may also include industrial or work-related placements.
The taught element of a masters is directly followed by the preparation and submission of an independent dissertation, normally over the summer, which reports the outcomes of a single research or practical-based project, worth 60 credits at masters level for a total of 180 credits.
Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
A PgDip offers the same level of specialised knowledge and the same structured teaching as a masters but without the dissertation component. Postgraduate diplomas comprise 120 credits.
Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
Postgraduate Certificates offer the same standard and level of teaching as a masters and PgDip but are less extensive than postgraduate diplomas comprising modules totalling 60 credits.
Cardiff University offers two Graduate Diplomas: the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Both allow a graduate of a non-subject specific degree to gain a degree in the respective area, which allows to proceed further in the chosen career path.
Taught modules can be assessed using a variety of methods, including essays, reports, written examinations, and presentations.
Master degrees also include a written dissertation comprising approximately 15,000 to 20,000 words, which reports the outcomes of a single research or practical-based project.