Taught UK Masters degrees are usually worth 180 credits, split between a number of modules - some compulsory, some optional.
Masters modules usually vary between 10 and 30 credits each, depending on their length and the amount of assessment they require.
The grade for an individual module is based upon the weighting of, and the grades achieved in, the module’s assessments. These could include coursework (such as an essay) or exams to test your core subject knowledge.
Some Masters programmes may assess your participation in taught classes. You may be required to deliver presentations or complete practical placements and internships. You can check the specific details for all of the Masters courses in our database.
Different assessments may be 'weighted' differently for each module.
For example, a module might be assessed by one exam and one piece of coursework, each worth 50% of the grade. In this case, if a student scored 55% in the exam and 65% in the coursework, their final grade for the module would be 60%.
Alternatively, one assessment might be worth a smaller proportion of your final grade for the module.
Most Masters programmes end with a postgraduate dissertation or thesis. This is a substantial peice of coursework based on your own independent research or practice.
In the UK, a dissertation is usually examined as a piece of written work. However, an external examiner (from a different university) is usually appointed to mark your work. In Europe, the dissertation assessment sometimes includes an oral exam. This is where you'll discuss and 'defend' your work (a bit like the viva voce at the end of a PhD).
Your dissertation is usually worth around 60 credits (one third of the total). The rest of the modules make up the other 120 credits needed to earn a UK Masters.