As postgraduate degrees become increasingly. Master s Degrees - A Guide to Studying Online. Flexible Learning to Fit Your Life

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1 Master s Degrees - A Guide to Studying Online Why Study With the University of Liverpool? As postgraduate degrees become increasingly necessary for career advancement, employees are becoming far more discerning about the qualifications held by prospective employees. Just having a postgraduate degree is no longer enough. Where you studied is becoming increasingly important to stay ahead of the competition and achieve the best career opportunities. The University of Liverpool has existed for over 120 years. A member of the Russell Group which consists of twenty of the United Kingdom s top research universities, we are recognised as one of the best universities in the UK. This and the reputation we have gained as a world-class university from our ground-breaking research and expert academic staff (including Nobel Prize winners) makes a graduate from the University of Liverpool standout from the crowd. Not only do we offer you a degree from one of the best universities in the UK, we offer you a postgraduate programme that fits into your work and personal commitments. Flexible Learning to Fit Your Life Your life as a working professional is already busy enough. Watching the clock so you leave the office in time for an evening class on campus, missing a class because of work or personal commitments, limited interaction time with your instructors and other students, or sacrificing your valuable vacation time for residential courses is going to make studying far more difficult and stressful than it needs to be. Although any qualification worth having is going to require hard work, our flexible online learning format puts you in control of your studies. Study any time of the day the online classroom is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week No geographical restrictions with a 100% online programme you can study whenever you want, wherever you are in the world Flexible study our programmes give you the opportunity to take breaks in your studies for personal vacations or if your work commitments require it.

2 2 3 High Levels of Support With over ten years of experience in providing postgraduate education online, we have developed programme structures and support systems that help you achieve academic success from your time and commitment during your studies. Online study often gives the impressions of studying alone. However in our online classrooms, students have greater interaction with their instructors and fellow classmates than in a typical face-to-face classroom environment. As an online student with the University of Liverpool, you should expect: To participate in classes with an average of 18 students therefore you can expect to receive detailed, weekly feedback on your work from your Instructor and can easily contact them when you need their guidance High levels of interaction with other students in online discussions several times a week Support from a team of specialists who are onhand to give you the advice and assistance you need. A Global Classroom for Experienced Professionals Our online programmes offer unique opportunities that campus programmes find hard to replicate. Our students come from over 180 different countries, lending the classroom a unique global perspective and exposing you to a wide range of international experiences. This brochure will give more information about why the University of Liverpool offers you a smarter way to study, how you can apply, and how we help you succeed. Applying to Study During this phase of your contact with the University, we will assign you an Enrolment Advisor. Your Enrolment Advisor will discuss what you want to achieve with your studies and will give you advice about which of our programmes will best help you to reach your goals. They will assess your suitability for the programme and help you to prepare an application. When applying you will have to submit documents (for example, copies of your identification documents (ID) and educational certificates) as requested by your Enrolment Advisor, complete an online application form, and make an initial payment. After you submit your application, the Board of Admissions will examine it. If you meet the requirements of the programme, they will recommend that the Faculty accept your application. The Faculty will normally confirm your acceptance within five working days. Once your acceptance is confirmed and you complete any remaining requirements for admission, you will be admitted as a student to the University of Liverpool. Before You Start Studying Before you start studying we make sure you can access the University s e-learning platform, have the required textbooks, and know how to use the online classroom and any other important information you will need as a student. Your Enrolment Advisor remains available to offer you any advice or assistance, but you are also given access to a website that will guide you through this process. Five weeks before the start of your programme you take the Student Readiness Orientation module. Students admitted to the University less than five weeks before the start of their studies will take the Student Readiness Orientation within a few days of admission. The Student Readiness Orientation is an online, self-study preparatory module that helps you orientate the online classroom so you know how it works and where to find information before your classes begin. This module takes about ten hours to complete including a short final assessment. You would normally spread this time over two or three days. This module must be completed before you start your programme, however it is non-credit bearing and does not count towards your degree grade. Starting Your Studies On the first day of your studies, you will begin the Foundations for Academic Success module. This is a non-credit bearing preparatory module. In this threeweek long module you receive advice on how to structure academic papers, the philosophy and usage of citation and referencing, and general guidance for successful study. As with the Student Readiness Orientation, Foundations for Academic Success is a compulsory module which must be completed before you continue with your studies. In the second and third week of study, the Foundations for Academic Success module runs alongside Module One of your programme. Your study time will be split between the two modules. This allows the content of the Foundations for Academic Success module to overlap and complement Module One of your programme. After the third week your study, time will be devoted to Module One of your programme. In total you will have ten weeks of continuous study from your start date to the end of Module One; all subsequent modules last eight weeks. The flexibility of our programmes makes them more suitable for professionals who are mid-career and unable to take time off to study The average age and level of experience of our students is higher than many equivalent campus programmes, leading to an enriched classroom experience

3 4 5 Summary of Application Process APPLICATION ACCEPTANCE ENROLMENT MODULE ONE Your Enrolment Advisor will advise you about the programme that best meets your requirements, assess your suitability and help you prepare your application. What you need to do: Provide documents Complete Application Form Discuss your potential start date Make initial payment RECOMMENDATION Your Enrolment Advisor will present your completed application to the Board of Admissions. If you meet the admission requirements, you will be recommended to the relevant University Faculty for admission. The Faculty will consider your application; this normally takes around five working days. If successful, you will be accepted on to the programme by the University. You will receive an from the Registrar with a letter confirming your acceptance. ADMISSION After being accepted on to your programme you must complete any final requirements before being admitted to the University as a student. To be admitted you must: Be accepted by the University Sign and return a Student Agreement Select a payment plan for the costs of tuition Make all initial payments After being admitted you take the Student Readiness Orientation module. This does not count carry credit towards your degree. However, it must be completed before you can be enrolled and your start date confirmed. The Student Readiness Orientation teaches you how to use the online classroom. STARTING YOUR STUDIES On your start date you begin your second non-credit bearing module - Foundations for Academic Success. This provides you with a deeper insight into the requirements for successful participation on the programme, and gives you the opportunity to put some of the essential skills and techniques learned during the Student Readiness Orientation into practice. This module lasts three weeks. One week after you start studying you you begin Module One of your programme. This runs alongside the Foundations for Academic Success module for the next two weeks, with you dividing your study time evenly between the the two modules. This allows you to put into practice what you have learnt in the Foundations for Academic Success module. Confirm your start date

4 6 7 The E-Learning Platform Weekly Assignments to gain insights from a variety of countries, cultures, industries, viewpoints and experiences. They can form Write an assignment (c. 700 words) OR work on a project requiring around the same amount of the beginning of an invaluable global network and work The e-learning platform consists of four main parts: A study week starts on a Thursday and ends on a wonderful relationships, which you will benefit from Wednesday long after you have finished studying. Write one or two short answers (a few hundred my.ohecampus.com is where you log-in to the words) to discussion questions set by your instruc- University s online classroom. From this page you Every Thursday your instructor will make the lec- tor can access your grades, other administrative information, the other parts of the online University ture notes, reading list and assignments for the week available in the online classroom Flexible Study Participate in the online discussion board at least and your Student Support Manager* three out of seven days, responding to what other Each week you will normally need to either com- You must complete each assignment by the deadline students have written around six times (substan- ecampus is where you access your study plete a written assignment, or work on a project set. You must also spread your participation in the tial, relevant contributions, not just a few sen- and meet students from other classes and pro- that you submit at the end of the module. Each online discussions over at least three days each week. tences) grammes in discussion boards - these are known assignment must be completed by a deadline. Other than this, you are free to study whenever is most as Student Lounges convenient for you. The online classroom is available Reflect on what you have learned. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your interaction Blackboard is the name of the online classroom. This is where you receive and submit assignments, Interaction with Other Students with other students is asynchronous; you do not have to be online at the same time as them. You can read This list should enable you to make a good estimate of the required study time in a typical week, but on and interact with your instructor and the other and respond to what other students have written at average our students find they spend approximately students in your class In addition to the assignments described above, your any time - it is just like checking your hours per week studying. instructor will also ask you one or two discussion ques- The Online Library gives you access to thousands tions each week. Your answers to these will not be of books, magazines and journal articles to use in your studies. long, maybe a few hundred words. You can read all the answers to these questions by other students in How Many Hours per Week? Academic Integrity the online classroom and they can read your answers. All parts of the e-learning platform are easy to use. If You are expected to respond to other students an- Our online programmes are part-time programmes, You submit all your work through the online class- you can surf the internet and send an you will swers by making comments and asking questions, and structured so that busy professionals with full-time room. When you submit an assignment it is compared have no problems getting to grips with our e-learning to reply to any questions or comments they have for jobs and family commitments can successfully complete with a vast database of printed publications, websites platform. Most computers (PC or Mac with compat- you. This allows you to demonstrate your understand- them. You may find that you have to sacrifice your free and assignments that have already been submitted to ible MS software) manufactured within the last five ing of the subject to the instructor, to learn from other time in the evenings and at weekends, but the work- other universities around the world. Instructors can see years will have a high enough specification to use the professionals experience, and to let them learn from load is realistic for full-time professionals. the amount of material in a student s work that has e-learning platform, but we can provide detailed tech- yours. The exact amount of time you will spend studying already appeared elsewhere. This allows them to check nical requirements if you need them. You will of course The quality, not quantity of your responses is what is each week is hard to predict. People absorb written you are correctly citing and referencing any material need a reliable internet connection and although important. You are normally expected to make about information and complete assignments at different you have quoted in your assignments. It also ensures broadband (cable/asdl) will enhance the speed at six responses (exact requirements vary) each week, in speeds. Although the assignments set vary between the University of Liverpool s standards of academic in- which you can access the e-learning platform, it is still addition to your initial answers to the instructor s ques- programmes and the week of the module you are in, tegrity are maintained and that students only receive possible to study if you only have a dial-up connection. tions. the below list gives a good example of a typical week: credit for work that they have done themselves. * see below for details of the Student Support Manager and the other members of the University staff. You will study each module with a class of around 18 other students. Although you may work with some Plan when you will do your assignments and do students in more than one module, normally the com- any preparatory work position of each class varies, allowing you to interact with different people over the course of your studies. Read sections of your textbook/s and other as- Our postgraduate students come from all over the signed reading from the online library and other world. The online discussions give you the opportunity sources

5 8 9 Weekly Assessment All work undertaken is graded on a weekly basis. Each week you will receive grades and feedback from your instructor for the work you did the previous week. At the end of a module we use these weekly grades to give you an overall grade for the module. Two-thirds of your final grade for a master s degree comes from the final grades of your eight modules. The remaining third comes from your dissertation. You will receive feedback, positive and/or negative from your instructor about your work, and be given advice about how to improve grades. Continuous assessment tests your knowledge and your understanding of what you are studying in a more meaningful way than exams, which can often be a test of memory. Modular Structure Your studies are broken into modules; each module focuses on a particular area of the subject you are studying. Each of your credit-bearing modules lasts eight weeks. A full master s degree consists of eight modules followed by a dissertation. Some programmes only have compulsory modules. Other programmes have core modules you must complete, and a number of specialist and/or elective modules you can choose. Please see the relevant programme brochure for details. An instructor who is expert in the relevant subject area teaches each module. All our instructors hold advanced degrees with over 60% holding doctoral degrees. In addition to extensive previous experience as educators many have decades of experience in industry. Study Breaks In addition to the freedom of working each week at your pace, our online programmes allow you to decide when to take breaks in-between modules. This means you can stop studying to coincide with, for example, busy periods at work and to take vacations balancing your studies with your professional and personal life. After completing each module you have the option of carrying on with the next module (normally after a gap of one week), or to have a break before you start your next module. This break is normally one or two months long. It depends on when the next module you need to take starts and on how long a break you want. Longer breaks are possible but you should discuss this with your Student Support Manager. Duration of studies On average, students complete a master s degree in about thirty months. The exact time varies. If a student does not take breaks in-between modules it is possible to complete a master s degree in about 24 months. Dissertation After successfully completing eight modules you will be ready to start your dissertation. We prepare you for your dissertation just as we prepare you for the start of your studies. You will be enrolled into a dissertation class taken by a General Dissertation Instructor. In this eight-week long class you will be taught any skills you need to complete your dissertation, finalise your dissertation topic and be appointed a Dissertation Advisor. Your Dissertation Advisor will then advise and guide your progress as you write your dissertation. Your dissertation will explore in-depth a subject of your choice that is relevant to your programme of study and of interest to yourself. Dissertations average 20,000 words in length and normally take seven months to complete, excluding the eight-week long dissertation class. Support Throughout your studies you will have dedicated support specialists you can turn to for advice and assistance. A personal Enrolment Advisor will help you with your initial enquiry and the application process. After you are admitted to the University they will make sure you are ready to start your studies on the date you have selected. During your studies you will be assigned a Student Support Manager. They will normally stay with you throughout your studies, and will provide you with any non-academic guidance or support you need. In addition to the advice you can get from your Student Support Managers we have a team of Student Advisors who contact students who are falling behind with their studies to see what we can do to help. You will also benefit from access to an Online Librarian to assist you in finding research material, and technical support for the e-learning platform 24 hours a day. If students find their study skills are holding them back from doing their best in their studies, we offer a number of academic skills modules. These modules allow students to improve their study skills in specific areas (Citing and Referencing, English, Academic Writing, and Research). Graduation All of our online degrees follow the same high academic standards as our on-campus equivalent degrees, and meet the academic and quality standards you would expect from one of the leading research universities in the UK. Therefore upon successful completion of your degree, you are welcome to attend your graduation ceremony in Liverpool alongside other students of our online programmes and students who have studied on campus. If you are unable to travel to the UK, we will arrange for the secure delivery of your degree.

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