Postgraduate study

More students are considering additional study after their degree, because they want to explore their subject further, improve their job prospects in a particular area, or move into a different field. Postgraduate study may be essential for particular careers such as teaching or social work.

Research carefully and think about the financial implications, and whether postgraduate study will enhance your chances of finding work. You may have the option of studying full or part time and so could develop relevant work experience and skills at the same time.

We can offer guidance on searching for postgraduate courses, applying for postgraduate courses and funding your postgraduate study.

Searching for courses

Postgraduate study includes:

  • A taught course leading to a masters degree, e.g. MA and MSc
  • A research course leading to an masters degree e.g. MRes and MPhil
  • A research course leading to a doctorate, e.g. PhD 
  • A work focused or professional course giving skills or knowledge in a particular area.

These sites can help you identify courses in your subject area: PROSPECTS   |   FindAMasters   |   FindAPhD   |   UCAS

Applying for courses

Most courses do not have set closing dates (although see teaching below), but on certain popular courses, there can be intense competition, so apply as early as you can. To find out how to apply, check with each individual institution, as application processes do vary. There is no central admissions process which covers all postgraduate courses, although a number of institutions use the central apply online service, UKPASS. Others will require an application form, either paper or online, sent directly to the institution.

Applications for primary, secondary, further education PGCE courses and Schools Direct are made through UCAS. Further information about different routes into teaching and making applications is available from Target Postgrad Teaching and the Department for Education.

Funding for postgraduate study

Masters students who start on or after 1st August 2019 can borrow up to £10,906 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. Doctoral students can borrow up to £25,700. If you plan to study for more than one year this is divided equally across the years. Further information on postgraduate loans

Bursaries may be also available to fund certain professional courses such as teaching, social work, and healthcare courses. 

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