Postgraduate studies abroad
Does it make good sense to study for a postgraduate degree abroad?
Postgraduate studies provide you with an opportunity to hone your skills, and broaden your knowledge in your subject. It’s generally a sensible and conscious choice – and many more people, not simply recent graduates, are now starting to apply for postgraduate courses. Your perspective changes slightly if we are discussing studying for a postgraduate qualification abroad.
You will come across many references to postgraduate studies in these pages, but the term is not interchangeable with post-degree studies.
The answer is quite straightforward, since it depends on the educational system in different countries. Post-degree studies are open to graduates, as well as individuals who have qualified in engineering or have a Master’s. You also do not have to take a post-degree course related to your original bachelor’s degree.
These courses normally last for two semesters, and the lecturers are experienced and qualified individuals who hold high positions in their field. The main aim of post-degree studies is to provide students with practical and specialised knowledge, which they can immediately apply in their job role.
Postgraduate studies abroad
One of the main differences between studying at a home country university after your first degree and going abroad is the aim of the teaching and the way in which classes are run, as well as how the course of studies is put together. Universities abroad, for example in the UK, Denmark and Holland, emphasise the important of making sure students are engaged in learning, have outstanding skills and are able to apply theory to practice.
Students most often opt for continuing and extending their undergraduate course – which lasts three years. Once they have qualified they are fully prepared to take up employment, and many of the students take precisely this decision. People usually decide to carry on studying and do a Master’s because they believe that having a first degree is not enough. This focus on the practical, the experience and knowledge of the lecturers, and excellent technical support, are the reasons why students decide to do a postgraduate course at a university abroad. And that is why Master’s degrees are called postgraduate studies, since they complete an educational journey, and demonstrate that you have mastered your subject – whereas an undergraduate degree provides individuals with a solid foundation in their field.
Get your master abroad!
MA v MBA
Since Master’s studies abroad are highly practical and concentrate on providing students with experience, what is the difference between a MA and a MBA?
The MA, or Master’s degree, is taught in a traditional, academic style. MAs take one to two years to complete, and the program of study is constructed in a way which allows students to connect their work (professional role, internship or practical tasks) with getting ready to take up an occupation. This demands a great deal of independent learning and fewer hours attending courses at the university.
When you get your MA, this shows that you have developed strong academic skills and a body of theoretical knowledge in your chosen field. You also know how to harness this knowledge and skills in your own practical work.
Who should take a Master’s degree abroad?
If you have finished your first degree and want to carry on studying in an academic environment, familiarising yourself with the more practical elements of knowledge, and gaining experience while studying, the MA is an ideal option for you.
If you do your MA in the UK or Holland, for example, it will take one year, whereas in Austria certain courses last for two years. You might also consider applying to other destinations, such as Ireland, Denmark or Germany – and many, many more.
The shorter course length means that doing a Master’s is affordable. Austria’s universities charge virtually nothing, and in Germany these programs are quite free – unless you decide to go to a private university. In Italy, you will pay somewhere in the region of 1500 euros – which varies from one university to another.
Until very recently, the majority of students chose the UK for their postgraduate studies. Post-Brexit it is, however, highly likely that costs will go up significantly, and the fact that you will no longer be able to secure a tuition fee grant is an incentive to look elsewhere. Anyone who is considering starting a course in the summer term in the UK should apply for the January intake, and submit an application by mid-December 2020. In this way, they will still be eligible to apply for a student grant, since the UK formally leaves the EU on 31 December. If this option interests you, contact us at Elab and we will start the process of preparing your application, so that it meets the deadline.
The MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is designed for people who already have a few years’ professional experience at work and want to learn the skills which are essential to managing teams and projects. These courses are ideal for highly ambitious people, who are committed to their work and building a long-term future in their field.
You cannot apply to do an MBA unless you meet two basic criteria : you have at least two years’ professional experience and you have successfully passed the GMAT or GRE.
Where should I study for an MBA and how much will it cost?
Elab’s applicants have chosen to go to:
- Oxford University
- University of Cambridge
- Grenoble École de Management
- Cass Business School, to name but a few...
The elite status of the MBA comes from the cost factor, to a certain extent. Tuition fees are $61,000 per year, for example, at the Swiss International Institute for Management Development (a leading global business school), or almost $120,000 if you want to go to Stanford Graduate School of Business. Is it worth making this kind of investment?
The answer is – absolutely. Individuals who have gained an MBA from a business school earn up to ten times more than other experts in the same field. And of course it is not just about the salary. The network you build up during your studies has launched more than one business, and the knowledge and experience you gain directly influence and upgrade your management abilities and the way you approach practical tasks.
How can I finance a postgraduate course?
Some institutions offer generous scholarships to outstanding candidates – and this is often case in American universities, and not just for MBA programs. Europe is not lagging behind in this area, since certain universities offer financial aid to 70 per cent of their students. It is well worth looking through available scholarships before you decide where to apply.
Sometimes, your employer might want to invest in you by paying for your studies, and it also worth looking at international scholarships and your union. You will able to find a list of the organisations which offer this kind of support on the page dedicated to the program you wish to follow at a university.
Taking a postgraduate course is an excellent solution for people who want to acquire not just knowledge, but also broad experience. From the lectures given by Nobel laureates, to building up a network of contacts, both the MA and MBA programs offered overseas will help you to build your career, as well as your problem-solving abilities and communication skills.