Postgraduate course content

Postgraduate course content

Postgraduate course content, structure and delivery

Masters courses at NUA can be studied either full-time over 42 weeks or part-time over 84 weeks. 

Our approach to postgraduate study is designed to facilitate collaboration across our programmes, so whether you’re studying full-time or part-time, you’ll learn to specialise and work with others on creative projects and research.

MA structure

Masters courses at NUA can be studied either full-time over 42 weeks or part-time over 84 weeks.

Teaching is broken down into three teaching blocks per year, each comprising 14 weeks.

All full-time and first year part-time students participate in the Research into Practice and Award Specific Unit 2 at the same time, with opportunities to collaborate and discuss ideas and approaches.

Second year part-time students will have similar opportunities in Award Specific Unit 1 and the Masters Project, and will take part in the final exhibition together.

While there is no dissertation, students write evaluations and extended reflective journals for every unit.

Your idea, your practice, your discipline

Research into Practice

Understand practice-based research methods and engage in critical research around your practice. This unit will help you combine your practice with academic research.

Award specific units

Each course features two units where subject specialist issues are explored, promoting the acquisition of new knowledge and skills.

Self-negotiated study

Design and conduct an independent project within a given timescale. This unit will help prepare you for the Masters Project and encourages you to engage with creative industries and practitioners while you experiment and try new ways of working.

Masters Project

You’ll undertake a major independent project specific to your course and chosen specialism. The Masters degree culminates in a public exhibition of work in the final September of study.

"The NUA philosophy is that subject area knowledge is advanced by engaging with and critically challenging the individual’s creative work."

Marie Brennan, Associate Dean, Head of Taught Postgraduate Awards

NUA Masters courses – structure and delivery

Teaching block 1 Teaching block 2 Teaching block 3
Award Specific-Unit Award Specific-Unit Masters Project
Research into Practice Self-negotiated Study  
Part time route: Year 1    
Teaching block 1 Teaching block 2 Teaching block 3
Research into Practice Award Specific-Unit Self-negotiated Study
Part time route: Year 2    
Teaching block 1 Teaching block 2 Teaching block 3  
Award Specific-Unit Masters Project  Masters Project
Core units  
Research in Practice 30 credits
Self-negotiated Study 30 credits
Masters Project 60 credits
Subject specific units  
Award specific 1 30 credits
Award specific 2 30 credits

Learning and Teaching

All of our MA courses are taught programmes of study. We use a range of approaches to maximise opportunities for learning and teaching, and to provide a stimulating and rich environment in which to study.

These include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Individual and Group Tutorials
  • Interdisciplinary discussion
  • Self-initiated study
  • Independent fieldwork
  • Presentation
  • Critique
  • Peer learning

Much of our teaching is focused on nurturing and supporting the development of individual research projects, encouraging students to focus their creative thinking towards innovative practice-based outcomes.

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Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please give us a call.