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Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Thinking about postgraduate study but wondering what the benefits are?

For many students, the reasons for choosing to undergo postgraduate study are wide ranging but tend to be driven by career needs and personal desires.

If you have an interest in a specific subject and believe postgraduate study will improve your employability by broadening your career options and providing you with a better salary, it is likely that you will view postgraduate study as a natural progression from your undergraduate degree.

However, it is important to realise that while there are many benefits to postgraduate study, there are some drawbacks too.

You must therefore weigh up the pros and cons carefully before enrolling on a postgraduate programme.

Pros

Improves Salary Prospects

While it is not guaranteed that a postgraduate programme will boost your income, certain qualifications, particularly those in economics and finance, can enhance your salary.

It is important to remember that having a postgraduate qualification will not automatically entitle you to a better salary but will increase your chance of securing a higher paid job.

Enhances Employability

If your undergraduate performance was weak at best, a master’s degree may help you to improve your chance of gaining a job in a competitive industry.

The majority of universities require you to have achieved at least a 2.2 at undergraduate level to study at postgraduate level.

With the majority of employers favouring graduates with a 2.1 or higher, you may be better able to enter into a postgraduate programme of study than secure a graduate level job if your degree classification is less than a 2.1.

Enables Specialisation

If you particularly enjoyed certain topics as an undergraduate student, you will be able to explore these topics in greater depth when you enrol on postgraduate study.

However, you must ensure that your chosen course is tailored towards your chosen specialisations.

Broadens Intellectual Interest

A postgraduate programme will be a logical progression from your undergraduate study if you are keen to broaden your intellectual interest.

If you enjoyed research modules as an undergraduate, you could consider embarking on a research master’s degree.

Cons

Scarce Funding

While scholarships are available for postgraduate study, if you are unable to secure one, you will have to meet the cost of your postgraduate study yourself.

Fees for postgraduate programmes vary considerably, with business and finance related courses proving more expensive than others.

It is not just tuition fees that you will need to budget for; you will need to pay for your living costs too.

Unfortunately, postgraduate students are not entitled to receive money from the Student Loans Company so you will have to find your own means of financing your studies.

Higher Workload

Assessment at postgraduate level may involve fewer essays and exams.

However, assessments are longer and require you to go into greater depth.

Unless you are truly passionate about your subject matter, you may find the assessment process long and tedious.

Isolated Social Life

Due to the independent nature of many postgraduate courses, the social side of being a postgraduate student can be disappointing in comparison to that of your undergraduate years.

Inaccessibility to Accommodation

As a postgraduate student, you will not necessarily be entitled to accommodation in your university’s halls of residence.

This means that you must find your own accommodation, preferably located away from noisy undergraduates.