Is a Masters degree for me?

Whether you are coming to the end of your undergraduate degree or thinking about re-entering the world of university, you may be considering doing a Masters degree. This can be a big decision, so here’s a few things to consider along the way:

The Benefits

Increased Employability – Masters degrees are often highly regarded by employers, meaning that gaining a Masters could potentially make you more employable. For instance, the Government’s Graduate Labour Market statistics 2017 showed that graduates and postgraduates had higher rates of employment than non-graduates. Of course, gaining a Masters degree will not necessarily guarantee you a job on graduation day, but the skills and experience that a Masters degree bring may considerably strengthen your CV.

Developing Professional Skills and Experience – Many Masters degrees enable you to develop the necessary skills to access higher level jobs, or to progress in your current career. In some cases, Masters degrees may allow you to complete a work placement within your course, giving you the opportunity to gain more experience in your chosen field. Other Masters may allow you to gain other professional qualifications, such as chartership. The process of completing a Masters can also give you the chance to gain contacts, which can aid you later in your career.

Changing Career – Many people study Masters degrees in order to aid career changes by gaining knowledge and experience in a new or related field of study.

Opportunities for Further Study – Typically, you are required to have obtained a Masters degree in a relevant subject, to study for a PhD. This is because a Masters degree will prepare you for a PhD by increasing your specialist knowledge and developing your research skills. So, if a PhD is your goal, in most cases, you will need to study for a Masters first.

Developing Your Research Skills – As mentioned above, Masters study will give you the chance to develop your research skills further, especially if your course requires you to complete a dissertation or research project. While many students complete a dissertation during their undergraduate degree, Masters research is often more in depth and independent. So, even if you don’t wish to go on to do a PhD, a Masters could provide you with excellent research skills – a great way to enhance your CV!

The Cost?

Obtaining a Master degree can be somewhat costly, so it is important to consider if the financial investment is worth it. There are several financial options available to you. Like for undergraduate degrees, Masters loans are also available from Student Finance. There are also a number of scholarships available, like the ones we offer at Hope.

Of course, completing a Masters is also a considerable investment of time, so it’s important to consider how much time you have to study. Some Masters courses offer the chance to study part-time as well as full-time, with full-time courses often lasting one year, and part-time courses usually lasting two years. Part-time study, in particular, can provide opportunities to work whilst studying.

Can I apply for a Masters with a second or third class degree?

Usually, universities require Masters students to have gained at least an upper second class (2:1) undergraduate degree. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from applying for a Masters course if your grades are lower, as universities may consider applications based on relevant experience, not just academic merit.

It is, however, important to note that if you are an international student you may be required to complete an English Language test, such as IELTS.

If you’re interested in postgraduate study, you can find out more information about our postgraduate taught and postgraduate research courses on our website.

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