M.A. Independent Study

De Montfort University

Application deadline: 1st July 2009
Tuition fee:
  • € 4,710 / Year (EEA)
Start date: April  2015, September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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Why this course?


It provides you with a wide range of subject areas to choose from. These include traditional fields like English, history or international relations, through to disciplines such as dance or drama, and including areas of study which are innovative or cutting-edge, for example music, technology and innovation. In particular, the Independent Study MA offers you the opportunity to create a programme of study which is interdisciplinary, drawing upon one or two different subject areas.

Career opportunities

Master's degrees in Humanities give added value to your undergraduate degree and if you have been out of education for a while, they help to re-focus your academic energies while at the same time developing your skills. Because of the flexible structure of the course some students enrol part-time and use it to enhance their current profession (for example teachers may use the MA to research an area beyond their existing expertise, but which they are planning to teach in the future); creative practitioners may use it to facilitate critical reflection on their own work, and others may see an MA as a means to a better career or to move on to further study at PhD level. Others will use this pathway simply to study a subject they are passionate about. Humanities students are valued in both the public and private sectors for their ability to absorb and synthesise large quantities of information, construct a lucid and well-structured argument, present their findings both orally and in writing, manage time and deadlines, and because of their advanced analytical skills.


The course has been designed to offer you a range of opportunities to pursue an area of particular interest. While taught MAs offer some restrictions on the topics, the Independent Study MA demands participation in the development of a course to suit your needs and reflect your interests. On admission, you will be allocated two mentors in your chosen area of study. They will help you decide what aspects of your subject to pursue, how you should be assessed, and provide one-to-one guidance throughout your period of registration.

Studying for an MA by this route is demanding and requires you to have the capacity to frame a programme of learning and undertake independent research. There are clear rewards in being able to study the area you're really interested in, with the support and expertise of mentors who will ensure that your work meets postgraduate standards.

Such a course is suitable for all types of student - from those who live locally but whose professional or other commitments make it difficult to fit into a taught MA framework, to those living at some distance from the university and those who are based overseas. Not only is the programme of study flexible, but communication between you and your mentor can be undertaken electronically if regular face-to-face meetings are difficult to arrange.

We recommend that full-time students are in contact with their mentors at least once a fortnight and at least once a month for part-time students. In reality, you will find that you have more contact at busy times before an assessment deadline and during the drawing up of the learning contract for example.

You are allowed to take up to 45 credits via taught modules if this is approved by your supervisory team. We have existing taught MAs which may have elements of interest to you; in addition some undergraduate modules may provide useful background work (with the proviso that the assessments you are set are at postgraduate level). This is something the Course Leader can investigate with you prior to enrolment.

If you are unable to take a taught module, we have a dynamic research culture and a large number of postgraduates at both MA and PhD-level. The Graduate Centre is a good place to study if you are local, and we also organise a postgraduate conference each year, plus numerous research seminars in various subject areas. As one of our postgraduates you are more than welcome to attend any of these. Our website will give you a sense of the academic community at DMU, plus offering more specific news about Humanities. We have a graduate student website, which can be used for interaction and communication. We have numerous resources, such as electronic databases and journals that can be accessed from a distance (visit library.dmu.ac.uk).


You should have the equivalent of a UK Bachelor's degree (2:1 minimum) in a relevant Humanities or related subject. We welcome applications from a wide sector and all non-standard applications will be carefully considered.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

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