Many universities offer CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses, often in the form of short courses, and these are often run by academic departments or from a central CPD or short courses office within the university.

These CPD courses can take the form of specific modules from, for example, Masters or Diploma programmes, and in some cases Universities may allow you to take relevant modules over a given period of time in order to gain a postgraduate qualification. However, you should not assume that, because certain masters level modules or courses can be studied individually, you will be able to gain an award if you study in this way: always check with the department concerned.

Some specialist masters and diplomas can act as Continuing Professional Development as they are generally only undertaken by professionals in a specific field intending to enhance their knowledge and expertise.

If you are working and cannot decide whether to study for a full postgraduate qualification, it may be useful to study for a single module, if possible in the department you are considering applying to. Whilst not an infallible guide, it will give you some indication of the type and level of study involved.

You can start looking now for Masters opportunities with funding on PostgraduateStudentships, or for courses in your subject area on MastersCompare.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a short course?

A short course often focuses on a specific learning topic and is delivered in a short time frame. These are commonly used to expand practical knowledge and have less theory involved than you might find on most university courses.

Is a short course worth it?

A short course can boost your employability and help you gain valuable skills in a relatively short period of time.

Where can I find masters courses?

Check out the Masters courses and online masters courses section on Masters Compare for more information.