Our taught masters programmes are normally aimed at those who have completed an undergraduate degree and want to develop more specialised knowledge in the same subject area.
However, some of our taught programmes act as conversion routes, allowing you to change or develop your area of specialisation from that undertaken at undergraduate level.
You should think about whether you want to develop a deeper understanding of a specific area of knowledge, or if you need to acquire expertise in a field that you haven’t studied academically before.
If your career aspirations are vocational - for example, in teaching, social work or architecture - your choice will usually be prescribed by the relevant professional requirements. These degrees will have a more practical emphasis and may include work placements. Check the relevant professional body in your field for information on approved or accredited academic programmes.
Most masters programmes involve 12 months of full-time study. If you study part-time - either on-campus on online - it will take you longer to complete the programme.
Some programmes - often those offered in collaboration with EU universities - take 24 months to complete.
Taught masters programmes generally include coursework with assessments that are chosen to suit the circumstances and practice of the discipline you are studying. You will also undertake independent work, which is normally submitted as a dissertation.
Find a masters programme on our degree finder to find out more about the structure of the specific programme you are interested in.
Master of Arts (MA)
Most of our Master of Arts (MA) awards are undergraduate awards given to students who have completed an undergraduate programme in a humanities-related subject. However, Edinburgh College of Art also offers some postgraduate MA programmes.
Master of Science (MSc)
Our MSc is an internationally recognised postgraduate award that is given to students who have completed postgraduate programmes in science or humanities subjects across the University.
Some specialised subject areas may call the award something other than an MSc, such as the LLM (Masters of Laws). All of these programmes are of equal value and are Bologna compatible.
You normally need to have an undergraduate degree to be accepted onto one of these masters programmes, although you may be accepted on the basis of equivalent work experience. Contact the Programme Director to find out if you may be eligible.
Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) - primary or secondary
For graduates interested in teaching, our Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programmes will give you the skills and qualification you need to teach at primary or secondary school level.
These programmes are taught full-time over 36 weeks, starting in mid-August each year. You will need to apply through UCAS and the application deadline is early January.