Thinking about post graduate study

A couple of things to bear in mind as you consider whether postgraduate study is for you.

Motivation: What is your motivation for wanting to study at postgraduate level? Is it because you are interested in the subject and what to delve deeper or is it a particular requirement for the career you want to pursue? Could it be that you want more time to decide what to do, or you got a 2:2 and think a masters will help you get a better job. Please note, there are still plenty of employers who welcome applications from 2.2 graduates. See list of employers who offer graduate development schemes. There are also plenty more opportunities available with SMEs. Use Yell and UK Small Business Directory to find SMEs in your local area.

One approach, is to think carefully about what is important to you – what interest you, what would you really like to be doing in terms of your career? You can use the SOAS Careers Service, Careers Tagged and Prospects to do some research about the options available to you. If you do decide that postgraduate study is for you, then look at different universities; talk with tutors about the subject, teaching styles and research methods that will suit you.

Funding: The government have announced loans of up to £10,000 specifically for postgraduate students which will come into effect in 2016-17. This is good news, historically there has been little funding available for postgraduate studies. There are some opportunities for sponsorship, but most students either save up or get a loan. So bearing in mind how much postgraduate studies actually cost, approximately £8,000-£30,000, not including all the other additional expenses such accommodation, books, travel etc; it is advisable to do budget and think realistically about the total cost. It is also advisable to contact the institution you are considering to find out whether sponsorship or other funding is available. You can use the Prospects website for more information about different sources for funding.

Will it get you the job?: A good starting point is researching all the possible routes into your chosen career before choosing the best option for you. So for example careers such as teaching, law, social work and librarianship do requires some professional postgraduate qualification, however in recent years career routes have changed so that student can enter these careers via a range of alternative qualifications and experiences. The other thing to note is that some graduate employers do look more favourably on experience than additional qualifications. So again consider carefully and research into the best possible option for you and your career.

For further information please visit the SOAS Careers webpage or call us on 020 7898 4115.

Diana Omololu