On part-time postgraduate study

Here is an article in the Guardian, about part-time postgraduate study.  As a quick recap of how p-t study differs from full-time, and what specific opportunities or challenges it presents, this is a good piece. It distinguishes between effectively three types of course: (i) part-time on-campus study, which is the traditional mode but at a more leisurely pace; (ii) courses that are a hybrid between on-campus study and online learning — perhaps a brief week-long intensive residency, followed by online support; (iii) courses that are entirely online, and have no on-campus dimension. However, what the article does not do is fully articulate these differences in a way that would be useful to prospective students, or to the Universities offering courses.

All three of these are part-time — but the ‘pros and cons’ are quite different, as is the ‘feel’ of studying in these ways. The first type is, in fact, much more like a full-time traditional degree than anything else. I think the The Guardian could have said more about these differences. The distance learning Masters and PhD programs in which Staffordshire University is a pioneer, are type (iii) (although attendance for the PhD final oral examination is normally required).

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