So, is it possible to take all postgraduate programs in an online version? The short answer to this question is that ‘yes’, you can take almost all postgraduate programs in an online version.
However, some postgraduate courses are not as easy to study online as others, you may lose out on the chance to personally connect and network with others in the same field which means that PG courses based in a laboratory or similar circumstances are not always easily transferred to an online format. Let’s take a look ay some of the different postgraduate qualifications and how well they transfer to online study.
A Master of Art (MA) or Master of Letters (MLitt) are both easily transferred to the online format. Lectures can be pre-recorded or conducted live and tutorials are done by video conferencing. There are plenty of master degrees subjects that transfer well to online learning such as History, English, Creative Writing, Journalism, Law and Cultural Studies.
Some Master of Science (MSc) courses are not easily studied online. Those courses that require large amounts of lab time, for example Chemistry or Microbiology, are a little more difficult, but not impossible. Some MSc online courses adapt by including a residential session where students attend on-campus for a week or two as part of the program. Alternatively, there are online MSc courses in Archeology and Geography which may not need a campus visit, as well as subjects such as Nursing and Medicine that are aimed at working professionals.
There are lots of Master of Business Adminstration programs (MBAs) offered online at a plethora of quality institutions and you will easily be able to learn plenty with this mode of teaching. However, part of an MBA is the networking opportunities presented, along with meeting your fellow students, and you do lose a little of this with an online MBA. To get round this you could try an MBA that includes a summer school or residential session to allow you to do some networking or alternatively be sure to make full use of online forums and social media.
MArch & MEng
A Masters of Architecture (MArch) and a Masters of Engineering (MEng) are both parts of the training to become architects and engineers, and traditionally have large amounts of lab time. There are online courses for them both, but networking to find your next training position is a big part of the process for both careers, so online courses are aimed at students already working for architects and engineering firms.
MRes & PhDs
Masters by Research (MRes) or PhD students need to be passionate and driven to successfully complete their program online. Their research will be carried out alone with all of the support conducted by email, telephone and video conferencing. Many universities are offering PhDs online, but it is not unusual for the student to still need to head to the campus occasionally, so the ability to be able to travel to your university occasionally should be a consideration.
Teacher training can be done online and in the UK it depends on the route you are taking. A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is the most popular forms of teaching training, but there are other postgraduate courses that get students to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by online learning although these are mostly aimed at students already working in education.
How long does it take?
Here are some examples of how long the various different postgraduate qualifications take to complete online.