There are many reasons for choosing further study - love of a subject, needing a professional qualification for a particular career, or pursuing an academic career. If considering further study think beyond the course to make sure it will fit with your career plans.
You can also check out the virtual sessions and recorded presentations on further study.
Masters courses - things to consider
Devoting more time to a subject you love, or exploring a new one, can be an attractive option particularly if you are feeling unsure of your long term plans. However, postgraduate study is a big investment, so there are some things you should consider to make sure it is right for you.
- Commitment - a Masters course can be intense and demanding - are you keen to study at this level?
- Cost - further study can be expensive (fees vary depending on the course). You may be eligible for a postgraduate loan, and could also explore scholarships and bursaries. See funding your studies.
- Relevance - is the course appropriate for your intended career path? Will it help you focus and identify your next steps? Will it help your career progression?
Think about the points raised in Prospects: Should I do a Masters?
Masters courses - what are my study options?
There are various study options:
- academic courses (eg taught Masters and research degrees)
- vocational courses (offering professional qualifications and/or practical experience)
- semi-vocational courses (which may improve your employment prospects)
- part-time or by distance/e-learning (so you can combine study with employment)
Information for international students
If you are an international student considering postgraduate study in the UK, you may find the following helpful:
Masters study - useful resources
- See the Prospects: Postgraduate study for things to consider including timing and funding, types of course and study patterns, the research reputation of the institution and future employment prospects, and tips on applying for a Masters course.
- The Graduate Students' Association provides a social community and academic and welfare support for postgraduate students at the University of York
- Careers information and resources for taught postgraduates
- If you hope to continue your studies after a Masters course, check the Vitae website for extensive information and resources to support the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff.
- News, policy and general information relating to the higher education sector in the UK can be found at Wonkhe
Considering a PhD
If you are passionate about your subject, you may be considering applying for a PhD, which could lead to an academic career or a career in another sector. Either way, you need to start early in researching possible avenues, universities and funding opportunities.
Find out about PhDs, applying and funding, in our recorded sessions (Oct 2020). Log into the VLE before clicking on the links:
PhDs and academic careers
- Prospects: PhD study - what is involved in a PhD, writing a research proposal, studentships, funding and more
- Vitae - website for academic researchers, useful insights and career information.
- University of York - Postgraduate research
- Vitae guides
- Jobs.ac.uk guides
- Support for underrepresented students accessing PhDs and research careers
- In2Research - year-long programme running alongside your studies including workshops, mentoring and a research programme for students from a low socioeconomic background
- ReachSci - Six to ten week online ‘mini-PhD’ for underrepresented students interested in STEM research
- UNIQ+ - Six-week research internships at the University of Oxford to provide students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds with the opportunity to experience postgraduate study. Part of the Oxford graduate access programme
- UKRI Research Councils
- University of Sheffield video guide to applying for a PhD in Arts and Humanities
- University of Bath blog on writing a CV for a PhD
- News, policy and general information relating to the higher education sector in the UK from HE News, @HEontap
- Guardian Universities for articles, news and blogs
- News, policy and general information relating to the higher education sector in the UK can be found at Wonkhe, including How REF can help PhD applicants (May 2022)
If you are not receiving Research Council funding, or a social work bursary, Educational Psychology bursary, and are not eligible for an NHS bursary, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral loan from Student Finance England to help with course fees and living costs.
Find out more on GOV.UK about the Doctoral Loan, and Prospects: PhD loans.