Postgraduate Study Choices

Postgraduate study offers students a wide range of options. The following brief guide outlines some key issues about different types of study, and identifies some of the things you may need to think about when choosing which kind of study is right for you.
- Certificates and Diplomas
- Taught Masters
- Masters by research
- MPhil/PhD
- Professional, Specialist and Taught Doctorates
- Short courses and CPD
- Professional Postgraduate Qualifications
- Study Modes: Full-time, Part-time
- Study Modes: Distance learning and e-Learning/online learning
Why choose postgraduate study?
There are many different reasons for choosing postgraduate study, but in general most people choose to study at this level for one or more of the following reasons:
- interest in the subject
- self-development
- career enhancement
- career change
- required career entry qualification
- interest in an academic or research-based career
- supplement to undergraduate degree, especially if lower than expected
- desire to postpone entering the working world.
Whichever reasons you identify most closely with, it is important to make sure that the programme you choose will help you realise your goals, and that you are realistic about the requirements and commitments of the programme as well as the benefits you expect to result from it, and the impact it will have on your life. This may therefore effect where and how you study, how much you can afford to pay or borrow, and how much funding you look for.
If you are choosing postgraduate study for more than one of the reasons above, it may be helpful to consider which of the reasons is more important to you, and which factors should determine how you choose your course.
Applying for postgraduate study in the UK
In the UK, Universities require you to apply separately to each institution, with each University having its own requirements and application form, usually online, and its own set of deadlines, which can even vary from course to course within a single university. There is no central postgraduate application system, although a small number of universities run some or all of their postgraduate applications through UCAS.
To help you manage your applications all in one place, we've created MyPostgradApps, one our ThinkPostgrad websites - as you browse around PostgraduateStudentships and MastersCompare, add opportunities to your account via the Add to MyPostgradApps green button, and you'll see them all there when you visit your account page on MyPostgradApps.
ThinkPostgrad: If you are thinking about postgraduate study as a means of postponing your entry into the world of work, we recommend that you consider whether you will really enjoy the course and benefit from it personally, professionally or academically, and take into account the pros and cons of study, including the cost, before applying.
You can start looking now for Masters or PhD opportunities with funding on PostgraduateStudentships, or for courses in your subject area on MastersCompare.