MA FAQs (Master)

You can find a list of common questions about our MA courses below. To view an answer, simply click on the question.

What is meant by 'Contact Time'?

This is the amount of time that you formally engage with tutors (seminars, presentations, critiques or tutorials) throughout the period of the academic programme.

How are my studies supported?

On enrolment you are attached to a particular specialist tutor who will supervise your individual practice and research throughout your MA studies with individual tutorials.

It is important to understand that study at this level demands a strong level of autonomy from students. You develop and reflect upon the materials, methods and contexts of your practice through your Professional Development Portfolio, and other staff or student-led opportunities to discuss your work.

Once agreed, it is up to you to carry this through with guided support from your supervisor.

How many hours a week am I expected to dedicate to my MA studies?

Each of the three taught units are equally weighted, with a study time of 600 hours and 60 credits over 15 weeks (Full Time) and 30 weeks (Part Time).

Taken across the Full Time year, to achieve the award of Master of Arts, you need to achieve 180 credits that represent 1800 hours of study time.

This figure divided by the number of 45 (FT) weeks of the course reveals a figure of 40 hours of Full Time study per week. This converts to 20 study hours per week for Part Time students based on its 90 weeks duration.

How often do I need to formally attend AUB?

The Full Time mode of study requires that you attend five days a week unless by arrangement with your supervisor, or if your studies take you off campus.

Many cross course activities are timetabled on Tuesdays, to coincide with the core attendance day for the Part Time mode.

Typically, such activities may include study visits, lectures, formal or peer assessments, presentations, workshops or inductions, and are specific to the Unit being studied. The students experience benefits from regular contact and discourse with other subject areas.

How does Part Time work?

It is important to remember that Full Time and Part Time students are studying on the same course.

The Part Time mode is carried out over a period of 90 weeks as opposed to that of Full Time of 45 weeks.

Due to the way the taught element is planned, the second year of Part Time requires less formal attendance time, but results in completing the course alongside a Full Time cohort. In some instances, this may be in the form of an exhibition.

Can I be a Part Time student if I need a visa to study in the UK?

Students who need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK cannot study a part-time MA programme

How will I be assessed?

Your performance in terms of production and presentation will be judged in the context of the criteria of the Learning Outcomes for each Unit. The course uses a range of different assessment methods, the forms of which include written submissions, verbal presentations, practice based work and critical analysis and evaluation.

Can I propose to undertake an MA in a different discipline to that which I qualified for in my BA?

Yes – if you can demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skills, commitment and interest in your new postgraduate subject area. It’s important to bear in mind that while your skills base may be advanced, an MA course should not be understood as a substitute for a technical training course and is not the place to singularly develop technical skills or competency, say in the use of a particular software programme.

An MA is a Level 7 academic award and is necessarily rigorous in terms of your understanding of research, analysis and critical evaluation. Study may benefit from prior experience in another subject area.

At what time of the year does the MA course start - and when does it end?

Currently, both Full Time and Part Time students enrol at the start of the last week in September. Full Time students complete their studies at the end of the first week in the following September – at the end of 45 weeks.

Part Time students complete at the same point in the following year – at the end of 90 weeks. There is a one-week interval between each of the first and second Phases, and second and third Phases of the course.

Is there a Pre-Masters course?

Students who need to develop their creative understanding of their chosen subject before being accepted onto a Masters course can join the Preparation programme designed to help students secure entry onto a Masters course.

More information can be found on the Pre-Masters Course page. Please note, completion of the Pre-Masters course does not automatically guarantee entry onto a Masters course.

What is the Professional Development Portfolio (PDP)?

The Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) logs your individual progress on the course and prepares you for the future, enabling you to assess and improve your skills, including writing, oral presentation, and critical skills.  It is a personal document that is maintained by you, updated continuously and made available for assessment at the completion of each Unit.

The PDP enables you to focus your learning, personal development and planning. It helps identify strengths and weaknesses at an early stage so that you can take remedial action to improve and/or develop new relevant skills.