Are you clever enough to study a masters degree?

Before searching for a suitable course in the perfect location, the big question you have to ask yourself is are you actually clever enough to study a masters degree? More and more people out there have gained a masters degree, but that doesn't mean it’s an easy thing to do…

Why do you want to study a masters degree?

To start with why are you considering studying a masters in the first place? Is it for a change of pace? A chance at advancement in your career? A move into academia? Lots of us don't do as well as we hope in our undergraduate degrees and plenty of us don't attend the institution of our dreams first time round. Also many people regret our choice of subject matter the first time round. All of these issues can be transformed by attending and excelling in a masters course. But do you worry about the lack of the grades or even a lack of a first degree is a telling sign that you aren't clever enough? Rest assured that once you've narrowed down why you want to study a masters course you'll be able to work out if you've got the smarts for it.

Choose your subject wisely

It’s important to pick your subject wisely – at masters level it really does have to be an area that you are interested in. Surprisingly there are even masters courses out there that don't require a first degree, or at the very least don’t put a huge emphasis on the results you obtained as an undergrad. It all hinges on the subject of your study. Subjects like business management, project management and hospitality management often take experience into consideration. Other subjects like international relations and politics or policy making will consider substantial relevant work experience as a very valuable asset to your application. Obviously some courses, such as architecture and medicine, are always going to require the relevant undergraduate degrees, but a masters course in different types of management value actual management experience highly.

Study to advance your career

If you are studying to advance your career and the course is directly related to your work, then there is a good chance that the course of your dreams will take your work experience into account.

Here are some examples of masters courses that don't necessarily require a first degree and take substantial relevant work experience into account:

MSc in International Hospitality Management, University of Derby
MA in Conflict, Governance and Development, University of York
MBA, Heriot-Watt University
MBA, Athabasca University, Canada

What can you bring to a masters course?

Finally, what you bring to the course, your passion for the subject and your commitment to the course, is the most important factor to success in your masters studies. The reality is that this new stage in your academic life is more important than the existence or results of an undergraduate degree. Being able to work well on your own and ignore the comments of other people like 'you don't have a real job' or that 'you are avoiding the real world' are just as important as how clever you think you are.

So, there you go, you are clever enough to study a masters degree, even if you don't have a bachelors degree. All you need is passion, commitment and the necessary experience for the right course.

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