Postgraduate Study

Applying for post-grad study

Considering a post-grad study course? Not sure about how to apply? Take a look at our guide to applying for the right course for you.

If the trauma of completing your degree hasn’t put you off higher education for life, you might be thinking about embarking on some more studying after graduation.

With jobs in short supply, it can be a wise option for those who want to make their CVs stand out from the crowd and fight off competition from those with a similar degree and experience.

Once you’ve made the decision though, that’s when you start to face the hard part – the application process. You needn’t fret though, because in this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about securing a place on a post-grad course that’s right for you.

When should you apply?

clockAll universities will have their own closing dates for their courses, so it’s not possible to provide a definitive answer here. Check the individual websites for further information.

As a general rule, if you’re in your final year of your undergraduate degree and you want to go on to post-grad study without taking any time out, you need to take action ASAP. The post-grad application season tends to be in the summer seasons.

It should also be noted though that it doesn’t matter how long it is since you graduated. If you left university ten years ago and have been spending your time travelling the world or working in a job that just doesn’t make you happy, it’s not too late. Simply follow the application process just like a recent graduate would.

You should never stop learning!

Where should you apply?

UK mapYou’ll have two main options when it comes to post-grad study. You can either do a taught course, which is largely similar to an undergraduate degree and involves attending lectures and sitting exams or writing a dissertation, or a research course, in which you’ll carry out your own research project with the guidance of an assigned tutor.

The course that you’d prefer to follow will determine what’s available in terms of institutions and locations.

Always research the universities in question and look at how highly they’re regarded when it comes to your chosen field. Check out where they place in league tables and find out what their recent post-grads have gone on to do. If a lot of them are in employment, it could be a good indicator of the quality of the course.

When considering where you want to study, cash is likely to play a big role too. Studying in London, for example, will incur much higher living costs, so remember to carefully consider where you can stay and how you’ll fund it.

If you’re struggling with your options, try to make it down to a few post-grad study fairs. You’ll have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with lecturers and existing students, which could be a massive help in your decision making process.

Don’t make the mistake of just sticking with the university that you did your undergraduate course at.

How do you apply?

ComputerUKPASS (UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service) allows you to search through available programmes online, and you can also directly submit your application through their site.

Many universities accept online applications these days, but for those which don’t, the UKPASS site lists their contact details and further information about applying.

You’ll usually be required to fill in details of your previous academic qualifications, and let the university know why you’re interested in further study.

Depending on the course, you might be informed by letter whether you’re accepted, or you might be invited to an interview with your future course leaders.

The process can vary from one university to another, so make sure that you fully understand the procedure at where you’d like to apply.

Are you considering post-grad study? Have you started to familiarise yourself with the application process?