Is a Master’s for you? Can you study a new subject for your Master’s? How on earth do you fund one? We know there are so many things to consider about further study. But, if you are currently debating the pros and cons of further study, the good news is, the next month or so is a great time to explore your options.
The University is holding an online open event next week (2nd – 6th November), and later in November there is also the chance to meet other institutions at the Postgraduate Study Fair.
Could Postgraduate study be for you?
If postgraduate study isn’t something you’ve seriously thought about before, here are a few of the reasons graduates go onto further study:
You absolutely love the subject you have been studying at undergraduate level. You still have a passion for it 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 need to be able to articulate all the additional skills your extra studies have given you.
That said, postgraduate study is a prerequisite for some jobs (for example, postgraduate conversion courses can enable you to enter a profession you have not studied at an undergraduate level) 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.
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.
Getting the most out of the online events
Open days and study events have followed the same familiar pattern for years, however as with many things this year, they’re going to look at bit different but we want to make sure that you get everything you need from then new format. So, here are some tips to help you make the most of an online event:
- Limit distractions
Treat your virtual events as if you were attending the event in person. This means clearing your schedule and limiting any distractions. You need to give your full attention to the event and live sessions, which becomes harder when working from home with multiple distractions.
2. Schedule your time
When you’re booking onto your sessions remember to book in some breaks as well. When attending an event in person there are natural breaks within the day for lunch and coffee. But there’s also the small breaks you get in between sessions which gives you time to process what you’ve been listening to and switch off for a bit as you make your way to the next one. It’s tiring concentrating in back to back zoom sessions so make sure you plan in some breaks throughout the day
3. Notes or no notes
Unlike face-to-face events most virtual events talks and sessions will be recorded talks and available after the event. You could also check with the organiser if you will have access to the speaker’s presentation or notes following the session. If this is the case, you don’t have to spend as much time scribbling down notes and you can give the presenter your full attention
4. Check your tech
Over the past few months we’ve been downloading and accessing a variety of new technology to support working remotely. Although most of us are now pretty savvy at using the new platforms it still worth making sure you have all the right tech you need to be able to access all the events and sessions you want to. Have you got the right version of Zoom? Will you need a create specific account or profile for anything? These are all things to check beforehand.
With any events and sessions, you have booked onto make sure you know how to join well in advance. The last thing you want is five minutes before a session trying to figure out how to join. We’d also suggest arriving early, at least five minutes so you can check sound and video.
5. Make sure you’re prepared
Finally, as with any event whether it’s virtual or in person take the time to do some preparation. Find out what sessions/talks are taking place and book onto the ones you want to attend. Also have a look at the website beforehand, there’s plenty of information readily available and if there’s anything you want to know more about make a note. With an increased number of sessions from last time, there’s plenty of opportunity to meet current students, and ask them any questions you might have about postgraduate study.
At the Virtual Postgraduate Open week there will be something for you, whatever stage of considering postgrad study you’re at – whether you are wanting to narrow down your final choice of programme, or just dipping your toe in the water and wanting to find out what postgrad study is all about.
Postgraduate Open Event: Further information and registration
Postgraduate Study Fair: Further information