Learning and assessment

On this MSc programme you will experience a variety of approaches to learning, including lectures, group workshops, individual tutorials, and research projects with academic supervision.

Core areas are taught through lectures and workshops throughout the first two terms. The classroom teaching style is typically highly interactive, so you will need to be prepare to debate and defend your ideas with your fellow students and members of faculty. The diversity of educational, cultural and occupational backgrounds within the class will make for rich and varied cross-fertilisation of experience.

Self-directed study

You also undertake guided independent study throughout, enabling you to tailor your existing knowledge to the programme content, and this will form a vital part of your learning process. You will be expected to read extensively, making full use of the extensive resources of the University library, both print-based and online, and other material made available via the programme’s virtual learning environment.


Each module is followed by some form of assessment: sometimes this will be on an individual basis, and at other times you will be assessed on work you have done as a group.

The assessment methods used include essays and book reviews, written examinations, and group projects and presentations. We test your practical as well as your intellectual skills, and the combination of methods used is designed to allow you to demonstrate that you can present realistic solutions to the problems you encounter during your studies.

The ideas you explore and develop in the first two terms help to inform the dissertation you produce at the end of the programme, where you design and carry out an extended research project on a topic relating to the particular programme pathway you have chosen. This forms the basis of your final 15,000-word dissertation.