Is Further Study for Me?

Continuing or returning to study can be an excellent career investment and for some careers undertaking further study is a requirement, for example clinical psychology or librarianship. It is a big decision which requires commitment in terms of time and money so you need to be highly motivated and clear about what you hope to gain from the additional qualification. Research the options and choose the route which best fits your career aims.

Before undertaking further study you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How will it help my career plans?
  • Is it a requirement for my chosen career?
  • What will I gain from it?
  • Can I afford it? Find out more about Funding options
  • Where is the best place for me to study? Stay at this University or go elsewhere?
  • Will I get in?

Options

Another Undergraduate Degree

The most common reason for considering a second undergraduate degree is to gain a vocational qualification such as medicine, dentistry or law (although these occupations also offer shortened courses for graduates).

Postgraduate Taught Course (PgDip, MSc, MLitt, MA, MBA etc)

These are normally one year with taught modules and a dissertation. This option can give you the opportunity to specialise in your subject or to change direction. Some courses are also professional qualifications, such as the PGDE for teaching or RICS approved MSc for chartered surveying.

Research Degree

You can either find/propose your own research project (more common in Arts and Social Sciences) or work on a defined project within a research team. Masters degrees by research usually last one or two years with PhDs normally taking three to four years to complete. It is now common to do a taught or research Masters degree first before continuing to a PhD, this is called 1 + 3.

What Next?

Check out our explore your options section for help in deciding what is right for you. To help you make informed decisions you can also discuss your options with a careers adviser, member of academic staff (for research especially), or perhaps a potential employer - in addition to family and friends. You can find out what previous graduates have done following taught courses at this University in our resources section. You could also ask for DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) information from Course Co-ordinators or the Careers Service at the university to which you are applying.