THINKING ABOUT GOING POSTGRAD? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
While some students are chomping at the bit to get to graduation and start their journey into the world of work, many students are staying that little bit longer and keep learning. In fact, in the 2020/2021 academic year, taught postgraduate course enrolment was up 16% compared to the previous year, so plenty of people are keen to continue their studies. Postgraduate study can offer a lot of benefits, but it’s good to know what it involves before you jump into another year (or more!) of study.
Whether you’re looking to do a Masters, Doctorate, Postgraduate certificate or Postgraduate diploma, the experts here at Yugo have the lowdown on what it’s like to carry on your studies.
What types of postgraduate study are there?
Unlike undergraduate degrees, which all tend to result in a Bachelor’s degree here in the UK, postgraduate studies can result in a couple of different certification.
Masters degree. Available to many courses including arts, humanities, science and engineering degrees, a Masters degree is usually one to two additional years of study, or two to four part time. A Masters degree is one of the most common types of postgraduate study, and requires a final project, dissertation, or exams to certify.
Doctorate. A PhD or doctorate is typically three years of full time study, but can be up to seven for part time students. Doctorates are the highest level of certification you can achieve through study (and you get to use the title Dr once you graduate!).
Postgraduate certificate. Also known as a PGCE or PGCert, this is the shortest form of postgraduate study available, as it requires only 15 weeks of full-time study. It’s a great option if you want to upskill in a specific specialty or area for your future career. One of the most popular PGCerts is the PGCHE, or Postgraduate certification of higher education, which allows people to become teachers after studying their degree.
Postgraduate diploma. The PGDip is very similar to a Masters degree, but it does not require you to complete a final dissertation or project. The course lengths are roughly the same, and they are ideal for students looking to boost their career prospects through further skills and knowledge.
How can I fund my postgraduate studies?
Deciding you want to do pursue postgraduate study is one thing – funding it is another! Unlike undergraduate degrees, loans for postgraduate study are a bit harder to come by. However, there are options you can explore:
Postgraduate loan. Student loans are available for Masters degrees only. You can apply for a loan of up to £11,836 (as of 2022) , which is paid in instalments. You will likely need the bulk of this to pay for your tuition fees. You will have to start paying it back once you graduate as well.
Scholarships, bursaries, and grants. Universities, charities, and other institutions may offer funding for postgraduate study in the form of scholarships, bursaries or grants. These you do not have to pay back, however if you fail to complete your degree or drop out, you may have to return the money. Often these funds won’t cover the full cost of your tuition or living, but you can apply to multiple sources, so always check what you could be eligible for.
Part time work. Many postgraduate students work alongside their degrees (even when studying full time!). Whether you pick up shifts in a local bar or restaurant, or work within your department as an assistant, making some extra money can be a real boost to support your day-to-day living costs.
What’s the benefits of postgraduate study
Postgraduate study gives you the opportunity to take your skills to the next level. The courses are more challenging than undergraduate, and require more independent study than you might be used to.
Postgraduate studies are well suited to students in fields like the arts, humanities, sciences, and technology, as they allow you to specialise and become an expert in a topic. If you’ve got dreams of a doctorate in future, you’ll definitely want to sign up for postgraduate study as well.
For students in more practical or hands-on degrees, such as business, engineering, agriculture, and some medical degrees (nursing or physiotherapy, for example), you might find it better to just jump straight into a job or internship. Remember - you can always return to postgraduate study later if you feel like you want to gain some extra skills and education.
You can also change university for further study! This can be a great opportunity to meet new people, experience a new culture or city, and discover a new way of learning and studying that could be better suited to you.
A postgraduate degree, certificate, or diploma can also help you stand out in the job market – but equally, so will a couple of years of experience working in the field. It all really depends on what career path you’re keen to pursue and what’s most valuable to your future job prospects.
Whatever kind of postgraduate study you end up undertaking, Yugo is here to support you with great student accommodation. Explore our range of locations here.
For more information about Yugo, please visit here.
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