The crucial differences between undergraduate and postgraduate studies

Understanding the differences between undergraduate and postgraduate study can be difficult, there are a lot of factors to consider. From how you study to fees and funding, it can be overwhelming especially after just finishing at least three years of undergraduate study.

When I first started my application for a postgraduate degree, I found it easier if I took things step by step, making note of the things that would be done differently to undergraduate study, so in this article I’ll give you the run-down on the most important changes.

How you learn

This can be one of the most important differences, depending on what kind of postgraduate degree you choose to study, and you can either choose a taught or research degree.

A taught postgraduate degree is very similar to an undergraduate degree, you’ll still attend lectures and seminars however it’s likely that there will be less of them. You’re expected to do more independent work in your postgraduate degree than an undergraduate, so expect less on your timetable.

A research postgraduate degree is quite different from anything you’ll have done before, you have to complete your own original academic research during this course, and your facetime with lecturers will be a lot less. The specifics of how your degree would run will depend on the specific degree you’re choosing, but more information is always available on university website.

Fees and funding

Your postgraduate degree will mostly likely be a year long if you’re studying full time, meaning your funding won’t be the same as it has been for your undergrad. For a postgraduate degree you get up to £11,836, and while that may seem like a lot more than you’re getting now, it must cover your tuition fees too.

The good news is, if you’ve studied your undergraduate degree at Lincoln you may be eligible to get 20% off your tuition fees for your postgraduate! To find out more about the T&C’s, visit the universities fees and funding information page here.

What will it be like?

Postgraduate study is a lot more independent, and your study groups will be a lot smaller, rather than lecture halls packed full of students you may find that your only learning with ten or twenty other people. Your seminar classes will also be a lot smaller, but this can allow you to work better and be able to converse with your tutors and fellow students easier.

Although postgraduate study may seem daunting, don’t forget that you made the huge leap from college or sixth form to university, which was arguably a lot harder and more stressful. Take everything one step at a time and try your best to enjoy the experience.