Postgraduate study

Embarking on a postgraduate journey is a significant decision that can shape your career and personal development. Whether you are driven by a passion for a particular field, a desire for specialised knowledge, or an eagerness to enhance your career prospects, postgraduate study offers a range of opportunities.


Why Further Study?

Postgraduate studies provide a unique chance to delve deeper into your chosen field, gaining specialised knowledge and skills that can set you apart in the competitive job market. Further study allows for personal and intellectual growth, expanding your horizons and preparing you for leadership roles. Additionally, it can be a strategic move to pivot your career, offering opportunities for career advancement and increased earning potential.

Finding the right course

Selecting the right postgraduate course is crucial for a fulfilling academic and professional experience.

Begin by assessing your interests, strengths, and career goals. Research potential courses, considering factors such as faculty expertise, available resources, and program structure. Attend information sessions, explore university websites, and reach out to current students or alumni for insights.

Consider the location and facilities of the institution, as well as any potential industry connections or partnerships. It can also be useful to look into the employability rates for courses and the career paths they can lead to.

Applying to postgraduate courses differs to undergraduate courses as they do not use the UCAS platform. Applications are instead made through each university’s application platform. The only exception to this is the PGDE in Primary or Secondary Teaching as these courses are still applied for through UCAS – read more on studying to be a teacher.



Applications and Funding


The application process for postgraduate studies varies across institutions and programmes. This will generally include an application form with personal statement in the first instance. Some courses, particularly if there is high competition for places, will then invite successful applicants to a second stage Interview and/or presentation. After successful completion of this stage, applicants will then be given a conditional or unconditional offer.

  • Start by reviewing the admission requirements and deadlines for each course you are interested in.
  • Prepare a compelling personal statement that highlights your academic achievements, relevant experiences, and future aspirations.
  • Ask lecturers to be referees within plenty of time.
  • Be meticulous in completing application forms and submit all required documents promptly.

Read more in the Find A Masters application guide.

Personal statement

Craft your personal statement with a coherent flow, ensuring each paragraph smoothly transitions into the next. Keep your paragraphs brief, direct, and focused. Be mindful of university-imposed word limits, typically ranging from 500 to 700 words for a postgraduate personal statement.

  • Begin with an engaging introduction that captures the reader's interest, conveying your passion for pursuing a specific Master's programme.
  • In the subsequent paragraphs, present a concise overview of your academic and professional background, highlighting your competencies and expertise relevant to the course. Support your claims with evidence to demonstrate your suitability for the programme.
  • Conclude your statement with a succinct summary emphasising why you are the ideal candidate, aiming for a total of five or six paragraphs.

Read more in the Prospects Guide to Personal Statements.


Postgraduate studies often come with associated costs, including tuition fees, living expenses, and study materials.

  • Investigate various funding options, such as scholarships, grants, and research assistantships.
  • Check the Scholarships section on your university's website, explore external funding opportunities, and consider part-time work or internships.
  • Plan your budget carefully and explore ways to balance financial responsibilities while pursuing your academic goals.

If you are eligible for SAAS funding, make sure to check that your postgraduate course meets the requirements listed in their funding guide. You can apply from April onwards for your postgraduate funding for courses starting in September.



Considering a PhD

For those with a passion for research and a desire to contribute to academia, pursuing a PhD may be the next step. A PhD program involves extensive independent research, allowing you to make a significant contribution to your field.

Before committing to a PhD, carefully weigh the time, commitment, and dedication required. Seek advice from academic mentors, attend doctoral program information sessions, and consider the potential impact on your career goals.

Applications differ depending on the institution and guidance can be found on the FindaPhD Application Guide on how best to prepare for this.