Frequently asked questions
Answers to frequently asked questions about the programme.
Q1. Who will be on the programme with me?
Students on the programme come from a variety of backgrounds. Students also come from various parts of the world, for example: UK and Ireland, Europe, USA and Canada, South Africa etc. Consequently, an additional strength of the programme is that you will learn from your peers as well as from the lecturers.
Q2. Is there a virtual open day for prospective postgraduate online students?
Yes there is - please feel free to register for our next Virtual Drop-In Sessions.
Q3. What is online distance learning?
Online learning is aimed at people who want to study for a postgraduate qualification alongside ongoing work or other commitments. You can study at times most convenient to you. Most of our students continue in their employment while they study, and many have families.
Q4. How is the teaching done?
The courses are taught in distance learning mode and are completed entirely online. The teaching is quite varied, including: online lectures, tutorials, specialist external lectures, scientific group discussions, case studies, problem-based learning scenarios, literature based research, computer-assisted learning, quizzes and the dissertation project.
Q5. How is the programme assessed?
The programme is assessed using a variety of creative methods, which develop critical thinking and encouragement of ideas, including: report writing, scientific presentations, paper critiques, critical review of literature, problem solving and statistical analyses, written examinations and the dissertation thesis.
Q6. What time commitment do I need to make?
It is envisaged that students will need to spend approximately 10 hours per week actively engaged in studying; however, some students may need to spend more time reading around the subject area depending on their prior knowledge and experience.
Q7. What are the computer requirements for this programme?
This is an online programme so you will be accessing materials, discussion boards and a range of tools via the internet. While the programme team and the University’s Information Services (IS) department provide distance learning support, please remember that you are still responsible for your own technical set-up.
You are not expected to be a technical whizz, and we provide guidance and training for the tools we use. However, we expect that you will take responsibility for your access to the programme, make back-ups of your work and organise alternative access if required.
Q8. What software programmes are used?
We currently use Blackboard Learn 9.1 and Second Life for our online distance learning programmes.