Postgraduate Study in the UK
The term ‘undergraduate’ refers to first-degree students studying for a bachelor’s degree, but ‘postgraduate’ refers to graduate students studying a second-cycle qualification, typically a Masters, postgraduate certificate (PGCert), or postgraduate diploma (PGDip).
The students who are studying PhDs are referred to as ‘postgraduate.’ If you want to get a master’s degree in the UK, you have two options:
- Taught Master’s Programme
- Research Master’s Programme
Taught Master’s Programme
There are four types of taught programmes, Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Engineering (MEng). Each of these programmes will last 1-2 years if studied full-time.
If you like seminars, tutorials, and lectures every week, taught programmes are perfect for getting a master’s degree in the UK. The assessment can be via exam, thesis, or project.
Research Master’s Programme
If you are a responsible student who can handle the pressure, then the research programme is your best option. Ph.D. is the most popular research degree, and it would take 3-4 years to complete. You have to write a thesis between 60,000 – 100,000 words and present it in an oral examination. You will have an academic supervisor while you are working on your thesis.
There are other types of research degrees, such as the Master of Science (MSc), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), and Master of Research (MRes). These degrees are a lot like a Ph.D.; the difference is that your papers can contain fewer words.
Advantages of Studying for a Master’s Degree in the UK
You probably know that England is one of the top destinations for studying abroad.
If your personal growth is important to you, you should definitely think about getting a master’s degree in the UK. You will be gaining enough knowledge in your favourite field of study. But you should know that unlike undergraduate study, most of the heavy lifting falls on you.
1-Courses are taught in English.
Many international students choose to study in the UK because they can improve their English skills while getting their master’s degree. It may be exciting to study for a master’s degree in a non-English-speaking country, but keep in mind that postgraduate courses are not easy. You have to spend a lot of time studying. There’s also your research work.
2-You’ll receive a high-quality education.
Everyone knows that England is home to some of the most top universities in the world. Universities of Cambridge and Oxford immediately come to mind when you think of master’s programmes in England. Imperial College London, University College London, Queen Mary University in London, and King’s College London also offer excellent master’s programmes in the UK.
No matter where you study a master’s degree in the UK, you’ll receive a quality education.
3- One of the biggest reasons students don’t want to pursue a master’s degree is the extra time they have to put in.
You’ve spent enough time on your undergrad and you want to enter the ‘real world’ as soon as possible. The good news is that the master’s programmes in England typically last only one year.
Studying for a master’s degree in the UK doesn’t take a lot of time because the programme is fast-paced. It’s definitely an adjustment compared to your undergraduate years but the hard work is so worth it. The intensive programme takes just one year to finish. Therefore you will pay lower tuition fees and you will be able to start your career sooner.
Postgraduate Study Requirements in the UK
Universities in the UK require a good first degree as an entry qualification to a master’s degree, which means you must have a degree from a UK higher education institution or a qualification from another country that is at the same level and standard. So, the important thing is to know whether your degree is equivalent to a British first degree or not.
Most postgraduate degree programmes do not require you to have professional experience as well as academic qualifications. However, in some fields, such as medicine, education, social work or business, they will expect you to have between two to five years of experience in your profession before entering a master’s programme.
When you decide to apply for a master’s degree in the UK, you will need to fill in an application form for each university. On the application form of most universities, there’s a section in which you have to make a personal statement.
In this statement, you must say why you’re applying for the course and why you think you are a good applicant for the programme.
It is vital that you make this personal statement unique and regard it carefully as this will be read thoroughly by the admissions tutor for the programme, especially when the competition for places on the programme is fierce.
This statement must indicate that you have a good academic record, and you are a motivated, disciplined and diligent student.
The Most Popular Postgraduate Courses in the UK
- Business and Administrative Studies
- Economics, Politics, Sociology and other Social Studies
- Engineering and Technology
- Creative Arts and Design
- Education (including Teacher Training)
- Computer Science
- Nursing, Health and other Subjects Allied to Medicine
- Mass Communications and Media Studies
- Biological Sciences
This list is based on the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) published information.