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MA/MSc Open - Learning Outcomes

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Educational aims

This qualification will:

  • enable you to personalise your learning to suit your individual interests and career aspirations.
  • enable you to study two or more specialised areas at masters level gaining broader subject-specific knowledge, while expanding your discipline-related knowledge within a cognate study area.
  • enable you to understand key issues, principles and methodologies that inform current knowledge, research or practice within your chosen fields of study.
  • provide you with tools to help you obtain and record information, synthesise and present your learning.
  • provide you with support and guidance to develop as an independent learner.
  • equip you with a range of transferrable skills associated with postgraduate study (including critical and analytical thinking, communication, presentation and digital and information literacy skills) that will support employability and underpin lifelong learning.
  • enable you to tailor your degree and pursue further professional development in areas (including leadership, management, strategy and innovation) that align with your employer’s needs and help boost your professional career.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • a systematic understanding, knowledge and critical awareness of current issues and debate within your chosen specialised areas of study.
  • knowledge and understanding of theories, methodologies and techniques applicable to advanced scholarship and research in your chosen areas of study.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical and analytical thinking and advanced scholarship in your chosen fields of study
  • evaluate claims, methodologies, theories and assumptions, develop critiques and propose alternative theories or hypotheses, where appropriate
  • deal with complex issues and unpredictable situations systematically and proficiently, and make informed judgements, decisions or conclusions on the basis of available evidence
  • demonstrate advanced scholarship and originality of thought in the application of knowledge.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • undertake self-directed study to advance your knowledge and understanding in your chosen areas of specialised study
  • demonstrate a professional approach to your studies and show evidence of proficiency in skills relevant to employment (including the use of initiative or personal responsibility; ability to reflect on your own learning and plan your development needs; to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems; to act autonomously in organising and managing your time, and in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level; and to demonstrate capability to work both independently and to co-operate with others)
  • use independent learning skills acquired, to continue your professional development.

Key skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • use information and communications technology (ICT) responsibly to locate, analyse and present information and to communicate effectively with others
  • communicate information and conclusions effectively, to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • continue to develop relevant new skills to a high level

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Support from your tutor

For each module that you study within the programme, you will have a tutor who will provide individual support, advice and guidance throughout your studies. Your tutor will support your learning by providing feedback on your assignments, marking and commenting on your written work, facilitating online tutorials and group activities (where these apply), and responding to individual queries. Electronic communication will be used extensively.

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching in this qualification is via module texts, electronic media and online forums. The material provided varies between modules on the programme, and can be primarily resource-based, with online study guides. You are therefore encouraged to review the learning strategy for your chosen modules and plan your own learning through the programme.

Teaching materials use a variety of learning approaches, which may include self-assessment questions, working with audio and visual learning materials, using reference electronic texts, directed reading, electronic journals, computer conferencing, and web-based resources. Where relevant, teaching materials are also provided on conducting searches, communication via posters and presentations, and critiquing literature. You will work independently with the teaching materials, but may form self-help groups with other students, communicating online in module or individual study group forums. Tutors will support learning individually and within groups, electronically.


Understanding of principles and concepts is assessed through assignments on constituent modules within the programme. Cognitive, practical/professional and key skills are developed throughout the programme in parallel with knowledge and understanding within this qualification. Details of assessment on constituent modules can be found on the corresponding module pages.

Each module comprises an element of continuous assessment in the form of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) or interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs), and an end-of-module assessment or ‘EMA’. The EMA can take the form of written work and/or a presentation. Unless otherwise specified, you must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). The end-of-module assessment (EMA) must also be submitted online.

You may be expected to take part in group activities on some modules, and will be using a variety of communication methods, including online forums, wikis and online tools for peer feedback linked to assessment. Certain activities may require you to complete tasks over defined periods. Individual module descriptions will have further information concerning any module-specific requirements.

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