Advice for prospective PhD and Masters Students

So you’re thinking about postgraduate study and wondering where to start and how to become a masters or PhD student? What kind of information is out there to help you?

You might be looking to up-skill as part of your job, so returning to postgraduate study will help you improve your job prospects or put you in a strong position of promotion. Perhaps you are in your last year of study and preparing for your final exams and need to consider what happens once you graduate. Or maybe University was a long time in the past and you are unsure where to turn to for advice?

Where can I find Masters student information?

When you are just starting to look, there can be so much information out there that it’s hard to know where to start, so here are a few ideas.

If you want to found out the full range of what’s out there in your subject area, then it can be a good idea to start with one of the postgraduate listing websites.

There are so many masters courses out there you’ll need something to help you see the range of what’s available, but also some way to narrow down your choices. There are a number of websites that list masters courses, but some have more information than others. We can help you with Masters Compare, which lets you compare the courses you are interested in online and filter your choices so you find the course that’s right for you.

Listing websites also may have a wealth of additional information, including profiles of the University, profiles about their students and information about open days. these are really useful because you can take part in a webinar at a time that suits you which is ideal if you are overseas.  Some also have videos produced by the University.

What is a PhD student and how can I find information?

A PhD student is a mature student who has already finished a postgraduate degree and is looking to take their education to the next level.

There are also websites for you if you are looking for a PhD which list PhD projects, funding, or both. We can help you here on Postgraduate Studentships where you can look for funding for either a PhD or Masters, either from Universities or from charities and other organisations.

If there is a website or publication linked to your academic area, and/or to your profession if you are working, these may have lists of relevant courses and opportunities, and they can sometimes include reviews by experts and past students who have completed the course. If you are not sure where to look on their website, start with links like ‘find out about a department’

Are there any postgraduate events I can attend?

Yes, there are quite a few events around the country, usually taking place between November and around Easter. Depending on where you live, you may also find a Postgraduate Fair somewhere near you – the biggest Fairs are in Manchester (in November) and in London (in October and January) but there are others. They include stands from a wide range of Universities from across the UK, and further afield, so if you want an easy way to dive in and actually talk to the Universities as a starting point, they are a great place to start.

If you are looking for PhD Funding, apply to attend our annual PhD Funding Fair. Meet leading UK Universities with funding on offer, chat to current PhD students, attend talks on how to apply, and find out what it’s really like to be a PhD student.

Making a shortlist of courses or opportunities

Once you’ve got a shortlist of the courses or opportunities you might be interested in, and the Universities you’d like to talk to, visits to their websites and open days are often the next step: prepare yourself by thinking about what matters to you about postgraduate study.

Next Steps

Looking for a Masters? Search and compare Masters courses now on MastersCompare

Looking for PhD Funding? Meet leading UK Universities with funding on offer at our annual PhD Funding Fair in December.

Receive Email Updates of the latest PhD and Masters opportunities and funding as they are added to Postgraduate Studentships and Masters Compare.Tell us about your search for postgraduate study or ask us a question on our Think Postgrad Facebook page.