If you’re debating the pros and cons of further study, the next couple of weeks are a great time to explore your options.
At the Postgraduate Study Fair on the 15th November, there will be over 70 universities and specialist institutions from across the UK and Europe with thousands of courses on offer. There will also be advice and information sessions about funding and the new postgraduate loans, choosing the right course and studying overseas.
And, the University is also holding its Postgraduate Taught Courses Open Day on 22nd November . Here, you can meet staff and students from the courses you are interested in and find out more about specific finding opportunities and the excellent support and resources available to all our postgraduates.
Not sure whether postgrad study is for you, or need more information about the different types of courses available? That’s okay, these events will give you the information you need to make an informed decision, but in the meantime, here are some things to think about.
So, is postgrad study for you?
Good reasons to consider further study:
- You’re passionate about the subject you’re studying and feel you still have the enthusiasm and commitment for further study. Undertaking specific research during a dissertation or project will allow you to become an authority on your chosen subject, and it’s a real achievement when you see your bound dissertation or thesis.
- Furthering or enhancing your career prospects. There is a word of caution attached to this school of thought. Whilst academic ability is one of the skills a graduate employer will be looking for, you will still need to be able to to articulate all the additional skills your extra studies have given you.
- That said, postgraduate study is a prerequisite for some job (for example, postgraduate conversion courses can enable you to enter s profession you have not studied an undergraduate degree) and can be desirable in others. If this is your primary reason for thinking about further study you might want to discuss your thoughts further with a careers advisor and do some research on your chosen field.
- Building networks. Another way that studying can impact on your future is how it helps you to build networks and gain an insight into your chosen field. Your lecturers and tutors will know (and could well be) academic and industry experts so can be helpful when deciding upon that next step.
- You’re looking for a change of direction. So you are passionate about a subject – just not exactly the one you’re doing? Many postgraduate courses accept people from a range of related academic backgrounds, so don’t necessarily be put off by your undergrad course. Also some postgraduate courses can act as conversion courses if you want to enter a different job sector, but make sure you do your research about which courses employers are looking for.
Other things to consider:
- Staying on because you love university and don’t want to leave or because you don’t know what else to do aren’t the best reasons to apply! Postgraduate study is a real commitment in terms of time and money. Why not come along to the postgraduate study events and talk to staff and current students about what it’s really like and where it could take you. You can also find further advice from the The Careers Service
- If you need funding for either a PhD or a Masters it’s important that you explore your options early. There will be information at the study events about funding and sites such as FindAMasters , Find A PhD, Postgraduate Studentships and Prospects are all really useful resources as is The University website for information about studying here.
- Applying for courses. There is no UCAS application system for postgraduate study and so make sure you talk to the different institutions you are interested in and find out about their application processes– especially if they have a deadline for the course you are interested in.
What do our students say?
When thinking about your options it’s a good idea to talk to current students, so to help we have gathered a few thoughts from current Masters students about their studies.
You can find out more about both events and register online: