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Is Postgraduate Study Worth It?

If you're wondering whether a postgraduate course is worth your time and money, this guide explains all the different types of postgraduate course you can apply for in the UK.

Hopefully this overview will help you decide if a postgraduate course is the right choice for you, and if it is, which one would be best for you.

If you are looking for more detailed information on postgraduate courses, check out our Taught Masters, Research Masters and PhD sections.

Is postgraduate study right for me?

People apply for postgraduate courses for a number of reasons – some people are just very interested and enthusiastic about studying a particular subject in more depth, or see it as the next step in their academic career.

Other people take a course to become qualified for a particular career, or to help boost their CV and appeal more to potential employers.

Before you start looking at postgraduate courses, you should have a good idea of why you want to do it and what you expect to get out of it. This could save you time further down the line if you end up dropping out.

You shouldn't apply for a postgraduate course just because you can't be bothered to look for and apply for graduate jobs. Look carefully at the job sector you are looking to enter, and find out if candidates holding a postgraduate qualification are likely to have the edge over the competition.

If you are certain a postgraduate course is the right step for you, there are over 5,800 postgraduate courses available in the UK, so you are bound to find at least a few that match your needs.

It's important to research each course that you are interested in carefully, as they vary in the time they take to complete, what’s involved in the syllabus and the amount you have to pay in course fees.

What postgraduate courses can I study?

There are 3 categories of postgraduate study available to study in the UK: Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate, Masters (MSc, MA, MPhil, etc.) and Doctorate(PhD, DPhil, etc).

Read more about the different postgraduate courses using the following links:

Where can I study?

A majority of universities in the UK that offer undergraduate degrees will have postgraduate courses available, too.

If a university offers postgraduate degrees, they should have a dedicated postgraduate section on their website that outlines all the programmes they offer.

PhD studentships are sometimes advertised in newspapers and on websites such as, New Scientist and

The U.S has a reputable postgraduate system that some UK students choose to apply for each year. Take a look at our U.S Grad School guide for more detailed information.

What next?

If you are sure a postgraduate course is the right step for you, and you've narrowed down which programmes and universities you wish to apply to, contact the institution(s) directly and ask them for their application pack.

Once you have all the necessary forms and information, check out our postgraduate personal statements section to help you write a successful application.

If you are uncertain how you will finance your course, take a look at our postgraduate funding section to see what avenues of funding you can pursue to cover the costs of your programme.