Postgraduate (Graduate School) coursework is mostly similar to undergraduate coursework, in terms of
course delivery and assessment. Many postgraduate courses do not assume specific knowledge other than a good command of the language used for instruction and the ability to work independently as a scholar.
Postgraduate class and cohort sizes tend to be smaller. A workshop (combined lecture and tutorial format) is more common than the split lecture and split tutorial sessions used in larger undergraduate cohorts.
Graduate School courses tend to attract older ('mature-age') students who are working part-time or full-time in a profession. Classes are more likely to be conducted after business hours, on weekends or online to accommodate working professionals who may have other family commitments such as children.
Graduate School courses tend to have longer assessments, that are otherwise mostly similar to undergraduate units. A level 111 Bachelor Degree course in Sociology (e.g. Critical Theory Level 111) may have a 2, 000 word essay as a major final assessment. A postgraduate course such as Critical Theory 6001 may set a
3, 000 word paper as a major final assessment. Graduate students are normally expected to demonstrate a higher degree of originality and critical thinking than undergraduate students.
Postgraduate courses outside of Canada and the United States are more likely to use coursework assessments and other projects (e.g. group presentations) that you complete in your own time to assess the course as opposed to using scheduled supervised examinations to determine a component of your overall grade. Some postgraduate courses may offer a take-home exam format.
Coursework materials used for postgraduate teaching may use longer journal articles than are used for Bachelor Degree courses in the same subject area and the readings may offer more sophisticated analysis.
Many colleges and universities have a dedicated Course Coordinator for Postgraduate Research and for Postgraduate Coursework programs. You may e-mail them prior to enrolling in a program or after enrolling in a program to clarify any information you need to know to succeed in your course.