Tips for making plans after university: work or further study?

It’s third year and exams are finally done. With university now officially over, you’ve got a summer to enjoy and a future to plan.

Making plans for postgraduate life can be stressful and very nerve-wracking.

Depending on what works for you, you might have already made postgraduate plans before or during third year, or you might have decided to just focus on your studies for the year and make plans in the summer after exams.

It doesn’t matter which approach and route you took because, in the end, everyone will find themselves having to choose between the three main postgraduate options: work, study, and travel.


For some students, the end of their undergraduate degree marks the end of their time in education. You might feel that you’ve spent enough time in education and now just want to start your career in your given industry. It could be due to the fact a master’s degree isn’t vital for your career path. Regardless of the reason, going straight to work after university is a valid option.

You should take time out to figure out what type of graduate job you want.

You can do this by :

  • Researching into its current industry roles related to your degree and speaking to those who are currently working in the sector (Lincoln Connect and LinkedIn can help with this)
  • Thinking about which modules of your degree you thoroughly enjoyed and did well in
  • Taking your current skill set and work experience into consideration

In terms of graduate schemes, you should consider that if accepted whether you are willing to commit a year or two to it or if you would rather have the flexibility to move around different firms and businesses within that time.  It is important to note that if you are looking for a graduate scheme this summer, most will already be closed and have their spaces filled for a start this September. Applications for next September will start to become available in the summer.

Having said that, you can still view graduate jobs and graduate schemes on

I would recommend signing up to Lincoln Connect and LinkedIn as a way of networking and raising your professional profile.

When looking for work after university, it is important to remember that you may not end up in your dream job right away. It’s okay to work your part-time summer job a little longer than you expected.

For support and information on CV writing and interview skills, I would recommend getting into contact with the Careers And Employability Team and booking an appointment with them via or just emailing them at


If you really enjoyed your undergraduate and wish to pursue education even further then applying for a postgraduate degree is the route for you. The majority of people who undergo postgraduate study will go for a course that is related to their undergraduate degree but others may go for a course that is completely unrelated. Both options are fine.

It is important to bear in mind that if you are applying after exam season, course spaces for September may be limited or gone and so you may have to apply for a January start instead.

In contrast to your undergrad where you received two separate loans: one for tuition and one for maintenance, the student loan for postgraduate study cover both tuition fees and maintenance costs. Because of this, plenty of students end up working alongside their studies.

It is important to note that should you decide to stay in Lincoln for your postgraduate degree, you will receive a 20% alumni discount upon enrolment. For more information on postgraduate study and funding, you should email


Getting a degree and completing a very hard and challenging third year is no small feat.  It can really take a toll on one’s mental health and so after so many years in education, you might find that you need a break. This is completely natural and understandable.

A lot of former students decide to go on a gap year and travel for a while.

Even if you cannot travel long-term, just getting a chance to spend some time away from both the academic and working world will still be beneficial and mean something.

Making travel plans will require you to decide how long you will travel for, where you want to go and how you will finance your trip. In terms of funding the trip, you should take a look at your savings account to determine how much you can set aside. Similarly, you can apply for jobs and work for a bit to earn money for travelling.

It would be wise to research and look into the countries or cities that you wish to visit in advance so that you know where you’ll be staying, what places you’d like to go to, and what kind of activities you can do there.

When travelling, it is common for travellers to volunteer or work during their time aboard.

To learn more about volunteering and working opportunities in popular gap year destinations, check out the following websites below.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck and a lovely summer!

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