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Postgraduate study: Is it right for me?

When you start coming to the end of your three (or more) years it is natural to start to think about what to do next. I have already written a blog about graduate schemes as a next step, but another route is to continue at university. Although another year (or more) of study might be the last thing on your mind, here are a few reasons you might consider it.

You want to re-focus your career aims

It can be difficult to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life when you’re applying to university at 17. So, there is always a chance you have decided your subject isn’t right for you by the time you have spent 3 years on it. One way to remedy this is to study a postgraduate degree in a new or related subject.

Even if you still love your degree subject, you might want to specialise in an area that has captured your imagination. Which is what happened to me! As part of my undergraduate degree, I studied public relations, and this uncovered an interest in marketing and other related subjects. When I was coming to the end of my undergraduate degree I looked into master’s degrees and loved the sound of the Marketing MSc at Lincoln.

You want to study a PhD

This is another important one, for most PhD programmes, you need to have achieved a master’s degree or equivalent. Even where it is not explicitly stated, competition for PhD places and funding is fierce and a master’s degree will help you measure up. So, if you’re determined to have Dr. before your name, it might be worth looking into a masters degree.

It is required for your dream job

There are some industries and roles that you are unlikely to get without a master’s degree or higher. Some careers in health, counselling and education (among others) require further study and this can be one of the main reasons students may choose to stay at university. If you haven’t already, be sure to look at job boards for your industry and find out if a postgraduate qualification is usually required.

But think about funding

It is worth knowing that funding is different from undergraduate degrees and you usually have to pay your own tuition fees from the postgraduate loan (£10,609 for the year for those starting in 2018/19). Tuition fees can also vary hugely depending on university and course, starting at around £4,000 all the way up to some in excess of £60,000(!!!). Many universities (Lincoln included) will offer a discount if you are continuing or have studied your undergraduate degree there.

Think carefully about your next steps after university, and if you need more advice you can always head to Careers and Employability for more guidance.

This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln.

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