At Master’s level, your own learning and development is carried out in partnership with your lecturer. The most common method of teaching is through lectures, but there may also be a strong focus on online learning, independent project-based work and lab work.

There are a number of ways in which Master's study will differ from undergraduate learning, for example:

  • Subjects will be covered at a much faster pace, as it is assumed you will have some background knowledge and familiarity with study methods
  • It is likely that you will be required to do a lot more independent study
  • You may not receive as many printed notes as you did when you were an undergraduate, as learning materials are more frequently made available online
  • You will be expected to work on topics that you are unsure of, and fill in any missing information yourself
  • You may be expected to participate in discussion during lectures, especially if in small classes
  • You will be expected to undertake more directed background reading during the course

Overall, you will be expected to be pro-active in your learning, rather than being reliant on material passed on by your lecturer in traditional face-to-face classroom environments.

What to expect from your tutors

Lecturers may do a number of things, including:

Student and staff using equipment

  • Organise and teach on the course
  • Give you reading lists/recommendations and practice opportunities
  • Provide support material, either on paper or online
  • Set practical work for you
  • Set formal and less formal assessments (these may be formative or summative)
  • Suggest research projects or help you to identify projects that you can complete in your workplace based on your professional environment and circumstances - on some courses you may be expected to have ideas about these yourself
  • Give you feedback through discussion or via comments written on your work

You will be expected to spend much of your time studying independently or with your peers, but your lecturers will be available if you need support. If you feel your background knowledge or experience is weak in a certain area your lecturers may be able to suggest solutions or make special arrangements. Try to take advantage of any extra study opportunities, such as extra reading, teaching, online study or diagnostic testing.