This type of postgraduate study, usually at masters level, includes qualifications that may only be recognised by a particular professional body, as well as academic qualifications required for entry into a specific professional area, which may or may not include professional accreditation.

Examples include:
– qualifications leading to ‘Chartered’ status in some professions
– qualifications such as the PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education – needed for most teaching in UK schools)
– the BVC (Bar Vocational Course).

Whilst these qualifications may have an academic element to them, and usually require a first degree to undertake them, the main focus tends to be professional: either for entry into or development within a profession.

Funding for these types of qualifications does exist (eg from Trusts related to the profession), and where possible is included on PostgraduateStudentships, but undertaking these qualifications is often viewed as an ‘up front’ investment that students need to make to advance in their chosen career, with clear long term professional and financial benefits.

If you are interested in the academic discipline linked to the profession, but don’t intend to work in the profession, it may also be useful to consider courses in related academic disciplines.

Think Postgrad: when choosing a professional or vocational programme, you may also wish to consider which countries recognise the qualification, both if you are an international student, and if you are a UK student but may wish to work abroad in future.

You can start looking now for Masters opportunities with funding on PostgraduateStudentships, or for courses in your subject area on MastersCompare.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a masters a postgraduate degree?

In short yes. All masters degrees provide students with a postgraduate qualification. In order to study a masters degree you must first have studied and completed an undergraduate course.

Check out Masters Compare if you are looking to find a masters course.

Do postgraduates get paid more?

There have been many studies which confirm that postgraduates go on to earn more than their fellow undergraduate students. On average a postgraduate qualified worker earns around 18% more than a student with an undergraduate qualification.

How do you become a postgraduate student?

To become a postgraduate student with a relevant postgraduate qualification such as a PhD, MBA, MSc, LLM. You must first obtain an undergraduate degree in order to meet entry requirements for a postgraduate programme.