Grad.Cert. Narrative Research

University of East London

Application deadline: January/September
Tuition fee:
  • £ 995 / Module (EEA)
Start date: September  2015, January  2016
Credits: 60 credits
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: Blended
Educational variant: Part-time
Intensity: Flexible
Duration part-time: 12 months
Part-time variant: Flexible
Structure: Fully structured
Student interaction: Online group works/assignments
Attendance: No Attendance
Teacher support: Continuous support with feedback on request

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Other fields where this work is becoming more significant include health studies, computer studies (particularly in the development and theorization of narrative-based games), and biographically-based art work.

Within established social science research MAs, students rarely receive enough specific training to adopt a narrative methodological approach. This absence is even more pronounced within MAs in other areas. Narrative studies are however methodologically and theoretically very diverse, and students require academic experience in the area in order to be able to use them effectively.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Narrative Research is the only distance learning programme in the UK covering this area. Individual courses, covering some of the same ground are available internationally principally in the US, Australia and Scandinavia however, there are no distance learning programmes. This programme therefore offers a unique student opportunity, both nationally and internationally.

* Topics covered and materials delivered reflect the real needs of narrative researchers
* Academic support is provided by internationally recognised experts in the field
* The freedom to continue working while pursuing your studies.
* Help and guidance from our Distance Learning Advice Team
* An opportunity for students from a wide range of countries and varied educational contexts to interact and exchange ideas.
* The flexibility to pay for modules on an individual basis

The Postgraduate Certificate in Narrative Research by distance learning shares a core module with the on campus MA in Narrative Research. Students may therefore transfer to the on campus programme following the successful completion of the Narrative Research module by distance learning. The transfer is done using the Accredited Certificated Learning process. Likewise, students can transfer from the on campus programme to the distance learning programme to undertake the Narrative Force module and complete the Postgraduate Certificate.


Through a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, the programme will address a number of questions including:
* How do we decide on a research question in narrative analysis?
* What are the advantages and disadvantages of different modes of narrative inquiry?
* What are the benefits and difficulties of a range of methods of narrative analysis?
* What are the possibilities and limitations of narrative research for drawing conclusions of theoretical and practical significance?
* How do people come to see themselves as distinct subjects about whom a story can be told?
* What role do memory and ideology play in people's accounts of their lives?
* How do class, ethnicity, gender and other social characteristics shape the stories people tell?
* What is the relationship between the stories people tell about their lives, and the political framework which forms the context for those stories?
* How does culture intervene in the way narratives are produced?

Programme structure
The Postgraduate certificate in Narrative Research is comprised of two modules, each of which will take 12-13 weeks to complete,

* Narrative Research (Semester A)
* Narrative Force (Semester B)

Both Narrative Research and Narrative Force are available as stand alone modules, which lead to the award of a Postgraduate Associate Certificate. Despite this, we would strongly encourage you to complete Narrative Research before enrolling on Narrative Force, unless you have significant experience of narrative research. Admission directly to Narrative Force is therefore subject to an academic decision regarding suitability and extent of experience.


Applicants should normally hold a first class or second class honours degree in a relevant field of study such as the humanities or social sciences, however applicants holding an honours degree in a field of study which is not immediately relevant, or who have relevant research or professional experience will be considered.

All applicants with appropriate qualifications will be invited for interview. The interview can take place face to face, via telephone or video conference. Where this is not possible, applicants will be asked to provide detailed written evidence of their interest in Narrative Research and evidence of research, writing or other work of a standard sufficient for successful postgraduate study.

Students that apply to enter stages of the programme may be admitted through normal Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes. Therefore such applicants must be able to demonstrate and evidence that they have the required learning outcomes as listed in the modules for which they are seeking exemption.

Applicants should have basic IT skills and should also be able fulfil the technical requirements of the programme.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

180 (Grade C)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) 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. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

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

Technological Requirements

Access to a PC or Mac with CD drive, 56K modem with Internet access (a broadband connection is strongly recommended), a supported Internet browser, Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or equivalent, and graphics software capable of viewing j-peg files. The PC should be capable of running the standard MS Office suite (or equivalent) for producing word-processed documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You will be expected to spend approximately 5 hours online per week, participating in discussions and accessing additional resources. (You may find it beneficial to spend more time online to investigate more fully any areas that are of particular interest to you.)



UEL has a strong commitment to being an ethical organisation, and we take very seriously our responsibilities within the wider community. Thats why we take great pride when we win awards that highlight our success in fulfilling that commitment. Here are some of the awards we currently hold:

QAA Quality Mark

QAA checks how UK universities and colleges maintain the standard of their higher education provision and improve the quality of UK higher education. The QAA diamond logo and 'QAA' are registered trademarks of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

Living Wage Employer

UEL is a Living Wage Employer. The Living Wage means that all UEL staff and the employees of its contractors earn at least an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, based on the cost of living in the capital.


UEL is a Fairtrade University, ensuring Fairtrade products are as widely available on campus as possible.

Environmental Management

We hold the ISO14001 international standard for our environmental performance

People and Planet Green League Table

In 2013 UEL was awarded first-class honours in the Green University League Table for the second year running, a result of our strong commitment to the environment.

Carbon Trust Standard

UEL has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition for our achievements in carbon reduction and demonstrates our commitment to reducing carbon emissions year on year.

Positive About Disabled People

Awarded by the Employment Service in recognition of our actions to meet five commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees.

Stonewall Diversity Champion

Stonewall has awarded UEL Diversity Champion accreditation for our attempts to address the needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the wider community. We are committed to equality in all aspects of participation at UEL.

Investors in People

IiP is a quality standard that focuses on delivering continuous improvement in service delivery through the development of all employees within an organisation.

Customer Service Excellence

The Customer Service Excellence scheme is a tool designed to help organisations focus on, and improve, their customer service and delivery to users. We are one of only a handful of universities to have this accreditation across our whole service provision.


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