Study Options - Masters
Why take a Masters degree?
You may also choose to do a Masters degree for any the following reasons:
- To make a good investment in your career.
- To take personal responsibility for career development.
- To obtain a global focus.
- To prepare yourself for "during career" specialist changes which are becoming more and more frequent.
Things to consider
The successful completion of a of study is dependent on a positive commitment from both the teaching and supervisory staff and the students themselves. To maintain the highest standards in graduate teaching and research, Universities operate a Code of Practice, which deals with all aspects of teaching, supervision and study. All programmes of study are regularly reviewed to ensure that the teaching arrangements are satisfactory and that students are making appropriate progress. To ensure this, the views of students, academic staff and examiners are considered so that, where necessary, change takes place.
Information on all programmes are provided in programme handbooks, which describe in detail the syllabus, teaching arrangements, methods of assessment and other information essential to students. Advice is also given on how students may discuss any problems or difficulties.
Where to do a Masters degree
Try and find out if the institutions have other that you could exchange thoughts and ideas with. This can also be a good indication of whether the is highly regarded in its postgraduate programs. You should also aim to speak to peers who may have completed Masters degrees themselves, to ascertain their thoughts and impressions. Some Universities and institutions are particularly well known for their post-graduate courses, so it is worth seeking out them out.
When to study
If you do choose to undertake your Masters on a part-time basis, as this is a more popular option you will need to ensure that your institution has a place for you. You will need to check your will support you, and it may be worthwhile finding out if others in the organization have done this in the past.
When applying for your place you must also provide two references with the application, these can be in the form of a letter or the institution can provide forms. All information provided will be treated as confidential.
When to apply
By arming yourself with the right information at the outset, you increase your chances of success.
Where do you find out more? Your University careers service should be your first port of call but you should also try to talk to current students and find out how they fund themselves.
Ask the course provider how the students in their departments are supported and whether there is any institutional support available. Consult the at the students' union and find out from the University itself about and hardship schemes.
Remember that you are not alone. Thousands of your contemporaries will be going on to study and most of them will not be receiving funding. Knowledge is power and the more you know about how funding works, the more chance you will have of finding some. Higher education institutions really do want postgraduate students to enroll on their courses.
Getting accepted on a course is no guarantee of receiving funding but it does mean that you are inside the system and better fixed to find out about institutional schemes or prizes and competitions. Many institutions have become more flexible about how they accept payment for , too. On some courses, it is possible to pay in installments rather than all at once at the beginning of the year. Although there is often a small percentage increase on the overall cost of the course, paying in this way does mean that you can plan your budget more easily and do not have to worry about making a large initial outlay. Some also offer preferential tuition fees to their alumni.
As a postgraduate student, you will have to cope with two types of expense: fees and the cost of living. If you have just finished an degree, you will probably be used to having to struggle to make ends meet. In this respect, your life as a postgraduate could be very similar! If you have been in employment or returning to education after a long period, things may be very different to what you have been used to. Undergraduates have only recently had to pay tuition fees. Postgraduates, on the other hand, have always had to take them into account. Although tuition costs for UK students are subsidised through paid to institutions through the Higher Education Funding Councils, most postgraduate students have to pay a contribution towards them. The average fee for a one-year Masters course is £2,740, although the figure varies depending on the institution and the course you take.
, for example, may cost as much as £13,000. Students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) often pay as much as double the EAA-student rate.
All the Research Councils and the maintain web sites with further information. You should consult these before applying:
- Arts and Humanities Board
- Astronomy, Astro-physics and related subjects
- Biological Sciences
- Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
- (Chemistry, Maths, IT, Manufacturing Technology)
- Geological and Earth Sciences
- Medicine, Biomedical Sciences
- Social Sciences, Education
- Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- National Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)