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Postgraduate Masters students

Careers and Placements offers you:

  • individual and department-based support for your career planning from professionally qualified, experienced careers and information practitioners
  • events to help you explore a range of career options, and connect with employers and alumni working in areas of interest
  • access to a range of work-related opportunities from our volunteering, enterprise and placement teams
  • Your Career Journey for taught postgraduates (see below)
  • a comprehensive website where you can access information and career planning tools and resources.

Watch this short Introduction to Careers and Placements for taught postgraduates to find out more.

Additional information and resources for

Career planning

Your Career Journey

Your Career Journey 2020-21

Your Career Journey has been developed to help you get the most out of your Masters at York, by planning your time here, reviewing what you have achieved and moving towards a career that you will succeed in. The journey is broken down into three stages, to help you explore your options, and suggesting activities to develop your skills, strengths and leadership qualities and prepare to apply for jobs or further study.

Taught Postgraduate students: Your Career Journey (PDF , 1,296kb)

York Strengths Programme

Find your Strengths

York Strengths is open to all students, including taught and research postgraduates.

The programme aims to help you identify your personal strengths and understand the part they can play in your career planning, as well as introduce you to a range of tools and opportunities to support your transferable skills development.

Find out more about York Strengths, including how to access York Strengths Online*, an interactive online course that enables you to discover your strengths - the things you're good at and love to do - at your own pace and in a place that suits you.

* Taught Postgraduate students will be automatically enrolled via YorkShare VLE. If you are having trouble accessing it, email york-strengths@york.ac.uk If you are a distance learner and would like to access the course, email york-strengths@york.ac.uk  

Careers information and support

Careers and Placements support is available to you during your time at York, and after you graduate, and includes:

Careers website

Information and resources on

Virtual careers sessions

Recorded careers sessions and presentations on a range of topics for you to access at a time that suits you, including

and more.

Online tools

Follow the links from the website (University of York log-in required)

  • York Profiles and Mentors - find out what other Masters students have done. Search by department and qualification level, and get in touch to ask questions or request a mentor.
  • Next Steps Planner - check your progress with your future plans and find relevant resources to help you.

Funding to support personal and professional development

York Futures Scholarship - full-time postgraduate taught students can apply for scholarships of £250, £1,000 or £3,000 to cover costs associated with work experience and other development opportunities related to employability. Applications are competitive and students from underrepresented backgrounds will receive particular consideration.

Life after a Masters

The earlier you start thinking about your future, the better. The time during your postgraduate degree will go very quickly!

To help you think about, and prepare for, Life after a Masters, you may be interested in the following careers sessions and presentations:

Postgraduate students are welcome at our events, see the complete listing in Handshake.

To get started with career planning, use the Get ideas web pages.

Next Steps Planner - check your progress with your future plans.

Skills

Identify the skills you may have developed to a higher level through Masters study, such as:

  • Organisational skills and project planning
  • Time management, self-motivation and working independently
  • ‎Communication skills (written and oral), presentation skills
  • Team working
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Subject specific skills (eg research skills, scientific or business knowledge, languages).

There is an expectation that at Masters level there will be

  • Level of complexity
  • Degree of abstraction
  • Depth of learning in a subject
  • Salience of research and enquiry
  • Degree of learner autonomy and responsibility
  • Complexity and unpredictability in an operational context
  • Professionalism

(From: What is mastersness? Report of the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2013)

Watch presentations on

Find out more about the skills needed for specific jobs on Prospects job profiles and our job sector pages.

Applying for jobs

Graduate recruiters welcome applications from postgraduates. While some jobs may ask for a Masters degree, it tends not to be a specific entry requirement in the UK, so you'll need to demonstrate the extra skills you've gained. The type and level of job you can apply for will depend on your level of experience and the type of Masters you are studying. Think about what makes you stand out.

Marketing your Masters presentation

Check graduate scheme application deadlines - some close in Autumn term for UK schemes so need early applications. Find out about start dates as you will still be studying during the summer when some schemes start. Some employers recruit on a rolling basis and may be flexible around your course dates. And don’t forget the opportunities offered by smaller businesses or SMEs, who account for the vast majority of graduate employment and recruit year round.

Find out more about graduate jobs.

Search Handshake for vacancies, as well as vacancy websites and professional bodies’ websites and check out the Look for work section for other job sites. Keep a check on specialist vacancy and professional bodies’ websites for those jobs requiring a specific Masters degree. See also Prospects website for advice on getting a job after your Masters.

Finding and applying for jobs: Graduate schemes, presentation for postgraduates

International

If you want to work in a different country after your studies see our International Work page, with links to Prospects, GradLink and GoinGlobal to help in your job search.

International students hoping to work in the UK, see Working in the UK after your studies in information for international students

Further study

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 virtual careers sessions, Autumn 2020 Further study section

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.

Additional resources

Resources for international students 

Reference books in the Careers Information Room

  • The Academic Career Handbook
  • From Postgraduate to Social Scientist
  • Managing Your Academic Career