find your perfect postgrad program
Search our Database of 30,000 Courses

Postgraduate Conversion Course

Postgraduate Conversion CourseAre you in your final year of your undergraduate degree and you've realised that you should have studied a professional degree? Or maybe you've been working for a little while and think that a degree in another subject might give your CV the focus it needs. Fear not you don't need to start all over with another undergraduate degree you can study a postgraduate conversion course and get on track. 

What is a postgraduate conversion course?

Simply put a postgraduate conversion course is a course that allows you to change career tracks onto a professional career which requires a specialist degree that your first degree or previous work experience has not prepared you for. Some postgraduate conversion courses can be a short – maybe only seven months’ long – and others can take three or even four years to complete, but the general idea is that it will quickly change your career prospects with one intensive postgraduate course. 

Are there different types of conversion courses?

Some conversion courses will give you another undergraduate degree at the end, others will result in a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate and some will be a masters course. Lots of professions can benefit from a conversion course and the University of the West of England has a good example list. For example, to become a teacher you can do a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) rather than start a new undergraduate degree in teaching. There are postgraduate conversion courses in Medicine that allow you to complete the first part of your medical degree in four years rather than the usual five. In the Property Management and IT professions it is possible to take a postgraduate conversion course to become a Chartered Surveyor or IT Manager. Cardiff University, for example, has a Computing Conversion Course as well as a Computing with IT Management Conversion Course. To become a Lawyer you will need to take a Graduate Diploma in Law, which is available to those without a related undergraduate degree. 


What does a conversion course involve?

Conversion CourseSince you've already completed an undergraduate degree you will be familiar with the system of lectures, tutorials, coursework and exams that are all part of a conversion course as well. You will also find periods of work or clinical placements are involved along with your course. The combination of the concentrated time period and work placements make conversion courses an intense period of work and study that will leave you with very little spare time.

What qualifications are needed to study a conversion course?

For some courses you just need an undergraduate degree at a suitable grade, in the UK this is usually at least a 2:2 degree and more often a 2:1 with honours in any subject, but it depends on the course. Some courses are happy to accept you with extensive work experience if your academic qualifications are not up to the standard the course requires. It's best to contact the institution directly if you're not sure your qualifications are quite up to the entry requirements. For other courses such as Medicine and Law you will find that you will need an undergraduate degree or extensive work experience in a relevant field. For example, a Medical conversion course would require an undergraduate degree with a strong Bioscience or Health Science base and for a GDL course you might need an undergraduate degree with a strong Law base. 

How much does a conversion course cost?

Course costs vary between institutions and courses, for example the Graduate Diploma in Psychology at University College London costs £4,225 for all students; the Medicine conversion course at King's College London costs £9,250 per year for UK and EU students and £33,000 per year for international students. A PGCE in Secondary School Education at the University of Nottingham will cost £9,250 for UK and EU students and £15,885 for international students. 

Reasons to study a postgrad conversion course

If you've realised in your final year of your undergraduate degree that you've made a mistake and want to take a different path, then a conversion course is for you. Or if you've found yourself working in a field that is unrelated to your first degree you'll find a conversion course could propel your career forwards. Conversion courses tend to be for professional careers and if you think you might want to go down a more academic route with a PhD, a conversion course might not be the right choice for you. 

How long does a conversion course take to complete?

This is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string! You can study plenty of conversion courses on a full-time or part-time basis and by distance learning or online. This means the time it takes to complete a conversion course can vary according to your choice. Some courses suit to being fit around your work and others, such as a Medicine, are more suited to full-time studying. If you are planning on becoming a Solicitor or Barrister, then the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) will involve covering all of the subject matter that an undergraduate degree covers in 18 months. The PGCE course takes 1 year to complete full time, as do the courses to become a Surveyor and to work in IT. A Graduate Diploma in Psychology can take between seven and nine months on a part-time basis and a conversion course in Medicine, like the one at King's College London, will take at least four years. 

How do you apply for a postgraduate conversion course?

It depends on the course. In the UK some applications are made through UCAS and others are made directly to the institution. It's best to contact the university you are considering to ensure you apply through the right route. Some courses like Medicine and Law will require an interview, as will some other courses particularly if your degree is not quite at the standard they need for entry or if you are relying on extensive work experience. 

Postgraduate conversion course = great career prospects

A postgraduate conversion course is a great solution for lots of different career paths if your first degree isn't in the right subject. You also don't need to worry that you've wasted your time on your first degree as all that experience and learning are being put to good use. Do your research to ensure you are making the right choice for your future success.


Related Articles

Why Should You Study A Postgrad Conversion Course?

Reason To Study A PGCE

Postgraduate Legal Qualifications

Postgraduate Qualifications

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries