Frequently asked questions

You probably have a lot of questions if you’re considering studying for your master’s degree online. We’ve listed some of the common questions we get asked by students, both before and after enrolment, along with our answers.   

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Jump to: Studying online | Entry requirements | Funding your studies | Applying | Enrolling | Graduating

Studying online with Liverpool 

How does online study work?

As an online student, you will be given access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is the platform where you will find your study timetable, view interactive lecturecasts, contribute to discussion forums, access module resources (including our online library) and submit your assignments. All programmes are broken up into modules that are assigned a credit value (often 15 credits) and run over several consecutive weeks. You will be allocated a tutor for each module who will guide you through your studies, run online tutorials and mark your assignments.

What are the technical needs?

You will need to have access to a computer with an internet connection. Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) works across desktop, tablet and mobile devices, so you can easily access your learning materials at any time. It is regularly tested to ensure it is up to date with the latest browsers and operating systems. Whilst you can access your learning materials across devices, we would recommend that you use a desktop or laptop to complete coursework. Word processing software is required for most programmes. Where individual programmes may have additional technical and/or software requirements, such as programmes in computer science, these will be made clear to you before you start your studies.

How will I interact with others?

All programmes are designed to give you plenty of opportunities to interact with your fellow students and develop an online community with your peers. This may include discussion forums, group projects, tutorials and social events to help you share knowledge, experiences and socialise with students from around the world.

How will I be assessed?

Almost all our online programmes are assessed by coursework with no need to sit formal exams. Each programme has authentic assessment at the heart of its curriculum. This means that students will be assessed using tasks they might be expected to undertake as professionals, such as research, report writing and individual or group presentations.

How experienced are the staff?

All our academic staff are highly qualified and experienced in their field. Many hold higher education teaching qualifications and have significant experience of teaching online. They are committed to providing students with engaging and interactive programmes that focus on personal growth and professional development alongside the attainment of new skills and knowledge.

How long will I study for?

You can find the indicative study duration for each of our programmes on the course page. This is typically 30 months for a full master’s degree (e.g. MSc), 20 months for a postgraduate diploma (PG Dip) and 10 months for a postgraduate certificate (PG Cert).

Can I take a study break?

Yes, it is possible for you to take a break during your studies, for example between modules. This can be arranged by speaking with our student services team who are always on hand to ensure you are supported as an online student.

How much spare time do I need?

Each 15-credit module is typically studied over an eight-week period and the recommended study time is usually around 20 hours per week. Studying for your master’s degree online is a significant commitment but we will do our best to support you during your studies, including giving you access to our dedicated student services team.

What support do I receive?

You will be supported by our dedicated student services team during your studies. This team includes Student Support, Study Skills and Student Welfare. These services are on hand to help you with non-academic issues, provide disability support and wellbeing resources, and develop your academic skills. You can find out more about our student services team here.

Is it equal to on-campus study?

Our online postgraduate degrees are developed and taught with the same rigour as our on-campus programmes. Studying online, part-time, gives you greater flexibility to study your master’s degree around your other commitments, but there is no difference in the level of qualification, or the ability and aptitude you need to earn it.

Will it suit my circumstances?

Being an online postgraduate student does offer more flexibility than attending on-campus, particularly if you need to work around other commitments such as work or family life. The academic requirements are no less, however, so as an online student you must be prepared to organise your time, find space to concentrate on your studies and stay disciplined and motivated throughout.

Entry requirements 

Are there different entry routes?

Our online postgraduate programmes typically have two entry routes based on either academic qualifications or professional experience. The entry requirements for each programme can be found on the programme page or in our prospectus. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a programme, then please contact our admissions team who will be happy to discuss your background and suitability.

What level of English do I need?

All our online postgraduate programmes are taught in English and you will need a good level of both written and spoken English to be able to succeed in your studies. The exact level of proficiency required can be found under the entry requirements for each programme. If you are not a native English speaker and have any doubt about whether you meet the English language requirements for a programme, then please contact our admissions team who will be happy to discuss this further with you.

Funding your online studies 

Can I apply for a student loan?

If you are a student living in England, then you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan to cover some of the costs of your programme. Find out more by visiting our page on student loans here.

Do you offer any discounts?

We are pleased to offer several discounts and scholarships to students, including a full payment discount if you pay all your tuition fees upfront, and an alumni discount if you are a previous graduate from the University of Liverpool. Find out more about our latest discounts or scholarships on our dedicated webpage, here.

Can I spread the fee payments?

Yes, we allow you to spread the cost of your tuition fees across the duration of your studies with our monthly payment plan. Payments can be made online via our online payment portal, which will allow you to keep track of all your payments. For more information on postgraduate fees and payment options, please visit our tuition fees page here.

Applying to study online

Do I need to pay a fee to apply?

No, we do not charge any fee to apply to study any of our online programmes. Applications can be completed via our website on our application page, here.

How long does the process take?

If you have all the documentation needed to make an application, then it shouldn’t take more than 30-60 minutes to apply. Once you have applied, you will receive a confirmation email and our admissions team will be notified. You should expect to receive a decision within 10 working days. This may take longer if we request further information, but we aim to make the process as quick and straightforward as possible.

What documents do I need to submit?

When you are ready to submit your application, please make sure that you have the following documents ready to attach to our electronic form. 

  • An official form of photo ID (e.g. your passport, driving licence or government ID) 
  • Your CV 
  • Prior qualification certificate(s) (e.g. your degree certificate and transcript and/or any professional qualification certificates) 

To reduce fraud, we are obliged to carry out a series of validation checks on all student documentation. This process may also require us to request additional information and supporting documentation. 

Can I apply for exemptions? 

It is possible for you to apply for exemptions from programme modules based on the study you’ve completed elsewhere or relevant work experience that you have in the field. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can discuss this with our admissions team before submitting your application.

Do I need a visa to apply?

You can study our online programmes from anywhere in the world and there is no requirement for you to attend the Liverpool campus in the UK to complete your studies. This means that you do not need a visa to attain your degree and that our online programmes do not constitute rightful cause for visa extension or visa entitlement.

Enrolling onto a programme 

What happens when I enroll?

Once you have accepted your offer and paid your deposit you will be enrolled onto your chosen programme. Our admissions team will transfer you to our student services team who will arrange your induction on your chosen start date.

How do I pay my deposit?

All payments can be made via our online payment portal, here. If you have any queries about your deposit or tuition fees, your admissions adviser will be happy to assist you.

What is the cancellation policy?

We offer a 21-day money back guarantee so that if you decide the programme is not for you within the first 21 days then you will receive a full refund. All our policies, including terms and conditions, can be found on our policies page here.

Can I defer to another start date?

Please let us know if you wish to change to another start date. Our programmes have intakes throughout the year and our admissions team will be happy to discuss the best start date for your circumstances.

Can I update my residency status?

It is important that we hold the correct residency information for you as this may affect the amount of tuition fees you will pay. Please contact our team if you wish to update your residency status.

Graduating as an online student 

Will I have a graduation ceremony?

Any student who completes an online master’s degree will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Liverpool provided there are no outstanding fees, or travel and gathering restrictions, in place.

Will my award say online?

Your award will state the name of the programme that you have completed. There is no reference to the mode of study on your certificate. It is exactly the same as one awarded to on-campus students, reflecting the equality of the award.

Got a question about a programme?

Our admissions team is happy to answer any questions you have about our programmes, our start dates, or making an application to study with us. You can get in touch with them at any time via our contact page.