The difference between a PgCert, PgDip and an MSc is in the amount of credits the course contains.
If you successfully complete half of the taught units (60 credits), you are awarded a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert).
If you successfully complete all of the taught units (120 credits), you are awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip).
If you complete the taught units (120 credits) successfully, you can then write a dissertation or research project (another 60 credits) and are awarded a Masters (MSc).
Patterns of study
As a postgraduate business school student, if you are studying towards a full-time MSc, this will usually take you one year to complete.
Full-time programmes will normally include three days of attendance per week in taught lectures, tutorials and workshops during the autumn and spring terms. This is supplemented with additional reading, research, group and independent study activity each week.
The dissertation element is introduced in the spring term and is the focus of student engagement in the summer term.
If you are studying part-time, a Masters will take around two years to complete.
The study pattern for part-time postgraduate students can vary depending on which programme you are on. Some programmes have block delivery, where you would study in one or two full day blocks every few weeks. Other part-time programmes will mean your timetabled classes may take place in the daytime or evening, supplemented by independent study and research, and depending on which programme you are on, you may be required, on occasion to attend on a Saturday.
The following diagram outlines the general pattern of study for full-time postgraduate taught students.