The duration of a Master's degree programme at NM-AIST is 4 Semesters. Students may be allowed to extend studies to a maximum of 6 semesters, provided there are compelling reasons and proof of meeting the corresponding costs. A Master's degree programme by coursework and dissertation consists of coursework in the first two semesters, and dissertation-work in the third and fourth semesters; whereas a Master's degree programme by thesis will devote most of the time for research-work, but the candidate will be required to take NM-AIST's common Core Courses.
A PhD student can graduate after 6 semesters upon fulfilling all requirements. Students may be allowed to extend studies to a maximum of 10 semesters, provided there are compelling reasons and proof of meeting the corresponding costs. A PhD degree programme by coursework and dissertation consists of coursework and research proposal development during the first 2 semesters; whereas the PhD degree programme by thesis will devote most of the time for research-work but the candidate will be required to take NM-AIST's common core courses.
All courses are delivered in modular form where a module is construed as a compilation of materials that enable the development of independent and self-contained competences within a given time frame.
The course structure comprises core and elective courses. Core Courses are those that a student must study and pass in order to complete the degree programme. Core Courses fall under three sub-categories:
- Common Core Courses which are compulsory for all students across the institution.
- Programme Core Courses which are compulsory for students registered in a particular programme, and which are designed to equip the students with respective know-how and advanced knowledge; and
- Specialty Core Courses which are compulsory for students in an area of specialization within the programme, and are designed to provide deeper understanding and masterly of respective specializations.
Elective Courses on the other hand are those that students select from amongst a list of recommended courses, which may include courses from other degree programmes. Elective Courses are Intended to provide students with broader, more extensive and in-depth knowledge of theory and respective know-how.
The weight of a course is defined in terms of credits, which is based on the time required to complete a course. For the purpose of course weighting, a credit is defined as 10 hours of lectures, practical, research, independent studies, seminars, tutorials and/or assignments.
Master's degree students are required to earn at least 180 credits of which 120 shall be made up of Core Courses (common, programme and specialty core courses) and elective courses, and 60 credits will be from the research work.
PhD students by Coursework and thesis are required to flexibly take 160 credits of coursework during the first two semesters alongside developing their research proposals. The 160 credits may comprise an appropriate combination of common, programme and specialty core, as well as elective courses, depending on the interest of the student and his/her supervisor's recommendations.