Careers Future Learning

What’s next? Could Postgraduate study be for you?

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As you head into the last leg of your final year chances are you’ll have started to think about what comes next. If your unsure about a ‘careers’ following graduation and aren’t excited by the prospect of a 9-5 just yet then further study might be for you. In fact around 20 per cent of undergraduates go on to further study.

Things to think about…

And, if postgraduate study isn’t something you’ve seriously thought about before here are some 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 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.

Funding postgraduate study

We know this can be a big issue when thinking about further study and it’s important to explore your option and sites such as FindAMasters , Find A PhD, Postgraduate Studentships and  Prospects are all really useful resources.

The University website has information about funding and the University also has a bursary for students who are looking at studying a Master’s at Manchester. The Manchester Master’s Bursary is now open for applications up until 31 May.

Further advice and information

Take a look at our virtual open day resources to get a sense of what it’s like to study for a Masters, and specifically what it’s like to study for one at the University.

On a final note, it’s easy to feel rushed or pressured at this time in your studies if you don’t have anything definite planned, but it’s important that you really think about whether postgraduate study is the right option for you. Further advice your next steps, including postgraduate study and can be found from The Careers Service.

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