Do you want to start postgraduate studies?
Postgraduate studies – Over half a million individuals are currently studying for their postgraduate degrees in the UK, and while their choices of courses are very different, the reasons they give for carrying on with their studies are quite similar. Postgraduate degrees are an investment in your future, bring better wages and raise your promotion prospects, allow you to deepen your interest in a particular subject area and to build a lifelong network of connections which will help you in your career.
One of the benefits of doing a Master’s in England is the fact that most Master’s courses take one year, rather than the two commonly required in many countries , to complete – significantly reducing the costs of studying for a postgraduate qualification.
What postgraduate studies can I start in England?
The term postgraduate studies covers a number of options:
- MA – Master of Arts , which includes the humanities and the arts
- MSc – Master of Science
- Subject-specific Masters, such as the MFA -Master of Fine Arts; the LLM – Master of Law; or the MEng -Master of Engineering etc
- The MPhil, Master of Philosophy, is a research degree which leads to a PhD
- The MBA, or Master of Business Administration , is an internationally recognised management qualification
- PhD – Doctor of Philosophy: a globally-recognised degree awarded for advanced original research, which entitles you to use the title Doctor. PhD studies normally take four years .
Finally, you could do a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate ,which are shorter than a Master’s, taught at the same advanced level, and do not involve writing a thesis. The Diploma takes two terms to complete and is worth 120 credits, while the Certificate lasts for one term and is worth 60 credits. In comparison, a full Master’s degree is worth 180 credits.
You can study for almost any subject which is offered as a Master’s course
since they normally share the same modules, and can upgrade – or downgrade – between the three courses. For example, if you are enrolled on a PGDiploma, you can convert it to a Master’s by adding a dissertation.
How do I apply for postgraduate studies in England?
In general, you will have to apply to each university you are interested in individually. The university website will have an application form for you to download, list the requirements and language proficiency levels they are looking for, and the deadlines you have to meet.
It is a good idea to start applying six months in advance, because it can take up to two months for you to find out whether you are being offered a place. So, if you wish to start your course in September, then you must begin preparing your paperwork in around March. Here at Elab, we suggest that you apply to between five and ten universities, so you can see how much form-filling is involved!
What are the requirements for postgraduate studies in England?
- If you are applying for a Master’s most universities will ask applicants for a 2:1, or its equivalent (60 per cent pass at undergraduate level) and proof of English language proficiency. This could be an IELTS score, or evidence that you have been taught in English.
- You will need to write a cover letter, a CV, and provide two references and a Personal Statement, explaining and evidencing your interest in the course you want to study at postgraduate level.
- If you are applying to do an MBA at prestigious institutions such as London Business School, the University of Oxford, Warwick University etc, you will need to pass the GMAT, an entry exam. The GMAT is scored between 200 and 800, and top business schools normally have cut-off points around 700 marks. However, many business schools do not require the GMAT and judge applicants on the basis of academic excellence and work experience. Contact Elab for up to date information.
Does UCAS deal with postgraduate applications?
Yes, UCAS does process applications to the following universities through its UCAS Postgraduate Apply online platform:
- Edge Hill University
- London South Bank University
- Oxford Brookes University
- Ravensbourne University London
- Richmond, The American International University in London
- University of Westminster
- The University of Winchester.
If you wish to apply to the above universities, the process is identical to UCAS undergraduate applications. You have to register with Postgraduate Apply, fill in your profile, find a course, upload a Personal Statement and two references and wait for responses from the universities.
Remember, there is no UCAS Clearing for postgraduate studies, since the majority of UK universities receive applications directly, and are not part of Postgraduate Apply.
Can I get a scholarship for postgraduate studies in England?
There are a limited number of scholarships available, the most famous of which is the Chevening Scholarship, which relies on British embassies abroad to nominate outstanding students. Certain individual universities do offer their own scholarships – including Oxford and Cambridge, LSE and Imperial. Check on the university websites, or contact Elab, for up to date information.
What is the New Route in postgraduate studies in England?
The new route is an integrated Master’s and PhD course, where you spend the first year getting your Master’s and move on to three years of PhD studies.
If you are considering continuing your studies and taking a postgraduate course in England, congratulations on investing in your future. Postgraduate degrees bring their own intellectual, financial and career rewards and help you stand out in what is now becoming a highly competitive job market.
Good luck with your studies and contact us for any further advice and guidance you may need.