When it comes to choosing and applying for a postgraduate program there are plenty of steps involved.
Here are a few of the main things you should spend some time considering before becoming a postgraduate student.
Can you afford to study a postgraduate program?
Studying at the postgraduate level can be expensive, especially if you are taking time away from paid employment to study. Carefully think about the impacts of working while studying full time and don't forget that part-time study combined with working is not for the faint-hearted. Have you explored all of the funding options? Many countries offer funding to postgraduate students often in the form of subsidised loans and there are usually private loans available for those students who don't qualify for government funding. Prodigy Finance is a great option for home or international students as they are a private loans company focussed specifically on funding students and they offer a range of loan options for postgraduate study around the world. Find out more here.
Do you have high enough grades to fulfil the eligibility requirements?
If you've been working for a little while, then grades are not the whole part of your application. However, if you have just completed your undergraduate degree, then your grades are going to be more important. It's not just your grades that count as many qualified candidates don't gain a place on an oversubscribed course. Gaining a place on the course is about explaining your motivations for doing the course as well as having the right grades.
Do you have relevant work experience?
Many courses require relevant work experience especially those courses that are for experienced professionals such as courses in medicine, those in the allied health professions like physiotherapy or some business management courses. If you don't have the grades, then your experience is going to be even more important. Networking is important and useful for all students and it's even more important for students who are lacking work experience. Getting relevant work experience is easier when you've spent time meeting people working in the industry you are interested in.
Do you want to study a taught or research postgraduate program?
You need to work out whether you want to to study a taught or research masters program. https://www.postgrad.com/advice/masters_programs/your_perfect_masters_match/ A Masters by Research or a PhD is a significant academic undertaking where you will be researching your subject area, often alone or in a small team, and contributing to academic understanding. You can concentrate on what interests you the most and don't have to worry about studying subject areas that do not hold your attention. A taught postgraduate program is an excellent choice for those who want to build and grow new skills and will contain a significant of research as well.
How do you want to study?
There are plenty of options for postgraduate students, even those undertaking PhDs or Masters by Research as many students now study online and part-time. The vast majority of students do still study on campus full time, but there are plenty of other options available for those who can't commit to full-time study.
Is this the right course for you?
Have you made sure that this is the right course for you? Is the institution in the right place? Speak to people in the industry to find out what they think of the course and spend some time considering what you will do after the course is finished or where you will be based.
How do UK students study?
Here’s a table showing the mode of study for postgraduate students in the UK over the last few years.