All postgraduate students must enroll to at least a module per academic year. The program comprises four modules and a dissertation. The duration of each module is ten (10) months, that is, two (2) semesters. Each module contains four courses, two of which are taught in the fall semester and the other two in the spring semester. Thus, students are awarded a Master’s degree upon the successful completion of sixteen courses and a dissertation.
For each course, contact sessions are organized. These are called Group Working Meetings (GWM) are four-hour tutorials, held in Athens, and carried out on non-working days and hours (i.e. weekends). The aim of the Group Working Meetings is mainly the discussion and in depth analysis of the issues the students are expected to deal with during the course.
Each course has a written assignment and a final examination at the end of each semester. A student’s final grade of each course is a weighted sum of these two components. Students may take final course examination if they have successfully completed the written assignment with an average grade of at least 50 percent. Students who do not successfully complete assignment are not entitled to take the final course examination. Written Assignments constitute a 30 percent of the student’s grade.
Student groups are created for every course (usually consisting of approximately 40 students). It is possible that more than one group is created for a given course, depending on the number of student enrolment. The minimum number of students required to create a group is twenty people (≥ 20). Each student group has a tutor, a Faculty member or an adjunct Faculty, who supervises the group, answers students’ questions, grades their assignments and papers and monitors their overall progress providing students with the necessary feedback. At the same time, she/he encourages active participation in teaching and learning, using both the University’s email and the tools provided by the University’s educational platform.
The employed educational methodology is that of Blended Learning, which combines face-to-face instruction with computer mediated instruction. Thus the program combines conventional face-to-face study in classroom, with distance education.
In addition, the program employs tutorial support through the use of email, email discussion groups, virtual learning environments (VLEs) and other technology-aided means. This includes opportunities for one-to-one interaction with members of staff, during which students can receive individual help or personalized feedback on their progress. It is certainly different in that the instructor has no physical presence in the room, but live video and audio streaming means that interaction happens in real-time just like in any traditional classroom setting. “Office hours” for example, are a frequent feature, where members of staff are available for one-to-one sessions during set times via internet (e.g. skype) or face-to-face. Interaction via email or skype is another example of one-to-one contact time. It is important that students are able to recognize these as opportunities for interaction with institutional staff. When students receive feedback on assessed work, whether one-to-one or in a group setting, this can also be considered to be an important element of contact time which contributes to students’ learning. Thus the program combines conventional face-to-face study with distance education. Distance education supports the use of the modern educational methodology and the technology of lifelong learning. In distance education, members of the Faculty and tutors provide high quality teaching making use of technological means of communications for student support and monitoring of student progress. Students are not required to attend conventional classes and lectures, apart from the Group Working Meetings. They have the flexibility to study at any time of the day, at home, from any location regardless of the distance from the University premises. Thus, the students are able to study and obtain a postgraduate degree, without disrupting work or be obliged to move from their place.