Choosing Between Studying Full-Time and Part-Time at Masters Level

Deciding to study for a Masters is a significant commitment as it will require you to dedicate time to attending lectures, developing skills, learning new knowledge and preparing for assessments. So, it’s important that you choose the programme that is right for you. This will include the subject area, mode of study and importantly the pace at which you are expected to complete the programme.

To support you in your learning journey, several of the Masters programmes at the Northumbria University London Campus are available as full-time or part-time Masters for UK and EU students.

But what do we mean when we talk about full-time and part-time? Here we take a look at some of the key differences.

Duration and intensity

It might sound obvious, but studying part-time rather than full-time means that you will study your Masters over a longer time period. For example, if you choose to study MSc Project Management full-time, your course will usually be 1 year, compared to 2 years for those studying part-time.

This ultimately means that for part-time students your classes and learning is spread out over a longer period of time as you study one module at a time, therefore it will take you longer to complete your course. In comparison, full-time programmes are more intensive as modules are studied together, typically 3 at a time.

Teaching days

Our full-time courses are all taught during the week so you should expect to be on campus for 2 to 3 days a week, with your classes generally scheduled between 9:00am– 5:30pm. We try to ensure that your classes are timetabled together to allow you to study alongside your other commitments.

Our part-time Masters lectures are timetabled over weekends. You should expect teaching weekends to usually have classes on both Saturday and Sunday, but the number of weekends for your programme will be spread across 2 years. For example, if you study a programme that has 16 weekends, this might mean you have 8 weekends of classroom tuition in the first year, and a further 8 weekends in the second year. Almost all part-time students work full-time, so its important that the timetable is less intensive to allow students to combine both work and study.

Whether you study full-time during the week, or part-time at weekends, you will still be able to access all campus facilities throughout the duration of your studies; whether you want somewhere quiet to work on an assignment, or to meet up with one of your lecturers to discuss a topic in more detail.

In addition to scheduled classes there are a variety of on campus support sessions and workshops that you will be invited to attend, these are not part of your core curriculum but our understanding is that joining these sessions adds to your learning experience and ultimate success.

Start dates and application deadlines

The application process is the same regardless of whether you are applying for a full-time or part-time Masters programme (check our application process infographic). There is however, a difference in application deadlines as courses have different start dates.

Our full-time Masters programmes often have intakes in:

  • September
  • January
  • May

Most of our part-time Masters programmes have intakes in:

  • October
  • January
  • April
  • July

Intakes do vary by programme, so please check the course page for more details.

Fees and finance

Your tuition fees, and payment dates will vary depending on whether you choose to study full-time or part-time.

Whichever study mode you choose, there are a variety of finance and funding options that you may be eligible for, including:

Full-Time Part-Time
UK Government Postgraduate Loan of £10,609 Available Available
Instalment / payment plans Available Available
Employer sponsorship Available
Early payment discount Available
Early application discount Available

More information on all of the above can be found on our dates and fees page, or please contact one of our team to discuss your options and eligibility.

So how do you choose between studying full-time and part-time?

Everyone is different when it comes to deciding which study mode best suits them. It’s important that you consider how quickly you want to complete your course and how much time you are able to commit to attend classes and undertake self-study (including for recommended reading and writing your assignments).

If you are currently working in a full-time role or looking to spread your studies over a longer period of time to fit around family and social commitments then our part-time Masters are designed to suit working professionals with teaching distributed across a longer timeframe. Many universities offer this longer option by studying with full-time students in the week, however, our experience of working with professionals and other part-time learners is that, being able to study out of hours at the weekend works better for them.

If you are looking to gain your Masters qualification within a shorter timeframe and have time to commit in the week to attend lectures and undertake the required self-study, then we would typically recommended choosing one of our full-time programmes.

No! Whether you study full-time or part-time, you will still receive the same qualification awarded by Northumbria University upon completing your Masters.

Of course. Many of our part-time weekend Masters programmes also include the blended learning elements to ensure that you can make the most of your time between teaching weekends throughout the 2 years too.

If you’re unable to make it in to the campus outside of teaching weekends but want to catch up with your lecturers, you can also arrange to meet remotely with them, via skype or have a call with them too.

Whether you study full-time or part-time, your timetable will be confirmed on enrolment, but you can view sample timetables here:

Full-time sample timetables Part-time sample timetables

Alongside your time in class, you’ll also be required to spend time on directed and self-directed learning outside of the classroom. This will include preparing for classes and follow up reading around set topics designed to further your understanding and enhance your learning.

The recommended hours of self-study for each programme can be found on your course page but as an approximate guide, for those studying a full-time Masters you should expect to spend an additional 28 to 45 hours a week outside of lectures and seminars on self and directed study.

For those who choose to study part-time, in addition to your weekend workshops, you should expect to spend 200 hours of independent study per 20 credit module. As each module is taught over a 10 week period with assessment hand-in in week 11, this means as a rough guide, you should expect to spend approximately 18 hours a week outside of class on self and directed study.

The exact details regarding study hours can be found on your course page.

It’s also important to recognise that your study hours can take a variety of tutor, group and self-led study, including:

  • Preparing for workshops and class-based teaching
  • Reading and researching given topics
  • Researching and writing your assessments
  • Engaging with key stakeholders and obtaining feedback
  • Logging and evidencing knowledge, skills and behaviours

Yes. The part-time tuition calendar still includes teaching breaks so you’ll be able to plan ahead for any occasions you might have coming up. If you’d like to know more about the teaching structure, please contact our team and we’d be happy to help.

Yes. A majority, if not all, of our part-time weekend Masters students are well suited to those working full-time, whether in permanent roles, or contracting. Our weekend timetables are designed to support those in full-time work.

Hear from some of our part-time students and their experiences of balancing work and study:

All of our London Campus Masters programmes are listed below.

Full-Time Part-Time
MA Design Management Available
MA Luxury Brand Management* Available
MSc Business with Entrepreneurship* Available
MSc Business with Financial Management* Available
MSc Business with Human Resource Management* Available
MSc Business with International Management* Available
MSc Business with Marketing Management* Available
MSc Computing and Technology* Available Available
MSc Cyber Security* Available Available
MSc Cyber Security Technology Available
MSc Digital Marketing* Available
MSc Global Logistics, Operations and Supply Chain Management* Available
MSc Information Security Management Available
MSc Professional Practice Available
MSc Project Management* Available Available
MSc Web and Mobile Development Technologies Available

*Also available with Advanced Practice to include an internship or project.

Want to discuss your options?

If you’re still unsure about which study mode will suit you best, our team are always on hand to discuss the different options with you. Contact them here.

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testimonial image

“I would say that the benefits to this programme have been a lot more than just educational. For starters, you can look to work out where the skills and knowledge you have gained from the programme will become most applicable to you as an individual.”

Stefan Kend
MSc Cyber Security (Part-Time)

DATES AND FEES
DATES AND FEES

DATES AND FEES

We run multiple start dates throughout the year depending on your chosen course. Check our application deadlines, tuition fees and details of the payment plans we offer here.

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