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Types of programmes

King's College London studentsKing's offers an extensive range of postgraduate-level qualifications. Our programmes encompass pioneering research and world-class teaching and takes traditional subjects forward through interdisciplinary approaches such as business and cultural links, and the use of digital tools in the humanities.

Whatever your reasons, King's offers an extensive range of postgraduate-level qualifications. 

These are divided into the general areas:

Studying for a Taught degree

Certificates and diplomas 

The College offers a small number of certificate programmes in different subject areas generally suitable for students who have studied to degree level but do not have the specific area of expertise to undertake a specialist master’s programme.

Postgraduate diplomas include taught elements that make up an accompanying master’s programme but do not have the dissertation element and normally take nine months to complete.

Information on the nature of individual certificate and diploma programmes, and how they may relate to master's programmes, is outlined in the individual programme description in the online prospectus.

Taught Master’s 

King’s offers around 300 taught programmes across our nine Schools of study and global institutes, providing qualifications from MA, MSc, LLM, MMus to MPH and MClinDent

Taught programmes normally take one year to complete full-time (two years part-time) although some programmes may be longer. Most programmes begin in September of each year and a few may begin in January.

 Please use our online prospectus to search for Master's programmes at King's.

Taught Master’s by Research (MRes) 

MRes programmes, normally 12 months in length, contain substantial research training in the relevant discipline which may be useful if you are planning to progress to a PhD, but need to complete a master’s programme. 

If you are considering a career in research, either in academia or the commercial world or if you are not certain whether a PhD is right for you, it can provide you with some idea of what a research-based degree is like.

Please use our online prospectus to search for MRes programmes at King's.

    Studying for a Research degree

    PhD and MPhil 

    Increasingly, a PhD is recognised as the first step in an academic research career and as a qualification valued in many professional areas as an indication of academic excellence and high level skills. Our PhD programmes provide you with a unique and academically rigorous experience whilst equipping you with the skills you need for your chosen career. We aim to have an appropriate research supervisory framework, together with training and development to support you throughout your PhD so that you can get the most from our postgraduate community.

    Whether you study full or part-time, your PhD will require enormous commitment from both you and King’s: we therefore strongly encourage you to contact the department or research division in which you wish to study, and discuss your research aims in-depth, before you apply.

    All students register initially for the MPhil programme and are then permitted upgrade to the PhD programme usually within three to five terms of work.  To achieve upgrade:

    • Submit at least two substantial pieces of written work (thesis chapters)
    • Presenting an aspect of the research at a seminar
    • Succeed at upgrade interview. 

    Usually this means that a student registering on to the MPhil/PhD will aim to complete their PhD within in three to four years (if full time).

    Please use our online prospectus to search for PhD programmes at King's.
    Professional doctorates 

    If you want to continue your postgraduate study to doctoral level,  have a master’s level qualification and several years’ professional experience, one of our professional doctorates will allow you to enhance and integrate your professional practice with academic work. Academically equivalent in level to a traditional PhD, the College currently offers:

    Professional doctorates vary in length and study mode, but last a minimum of three years. All except the DClinPsy are studied part-time. Please refer to the online prospectus for more information.


    The MD(Res) degree is aimed specifically at students in clinical practice, undertaking research in any branch of medicine, or surgery or medical science, within the College.

    As with other research degrees, the MD(Res) is assessed on the basis of the submission of a thesis, however, there is the option for King’s students to submit the thesis in the form of a series of publications, supplemented by an introduction and conclusion. Students wishing to opt for this format would need to specify this prior to registration. Please refer to the online prospectus for more information.


    The Department of Philosophy offers MPhilStud for students who have an undergraduate degree in which philosophy was a major component and who want to research further. 

    The MPhilStud lasts for two years full-time (between three and four years part time), and involves studying three areas of philosophy in depth. Please refer to the online prospectus for more information.

    Joint PhD 

    King’s partnerships with world-leading international universities provide a number of joint PhD programmes. These enable research students to embark on joint degrees (conferred by both institutions) that considerably enhance their research and employment opportunities on an international scale. Students are registered at both institutions and usually divide their study period equally.

    A list of current programmes and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the King’s Worldwide webpages.

    You can also see the online prospectus for more information on application procedures for these programmes.

    Visiting research students 

    Further information

    There is information on all of our programmes on our online prospectus and you can also download or view an online pdf of our print prospectus
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