Consider Further Study

There are several factors which you must consider before taking on further study. The most important being why you wish to study further.

Other important considerations will come into play, such as financing yourself through further study and the various options that you have.

So why would you undertake a postgraduate course?

To benefit your career

A professional postgraduate qualification is essential for some careers (law, teaching, psychology) and may be helpful in others (journalism, human resource management, politics, economics). If you want an academic career, a PhD is often essential – not because it is required by law but because of the competition for academic posts. 

Personal interest in the subject

Whatever you choose to study, you will need to enjoy and be interested in the subject to keep yourself motivated, especially for research degrees. In some areas, particularly humanities, this is the most realistic reason for postgraduate study, especially if you don’t intend to go on into an academic career. But do consider whether your interest is so great as to be worth the time, effort and cost of a postgraduate degree. 

To improve your academic record

A postgraduate degree can sometimes help to add to your academic credibility, particularly if you did not achieve your desired grade in your undergraduate studies. However, many employers will still insist on their requirements for high UCAS points or a 2.1 even for postgraduates, so make sure you weigh up all the options when you decide.

To carry on being a student /delay making a career decision

An extra year can be an advantage in giving you time to decide on your next move for your career, improve on your skills and attributes further or undertake more work experience to help you stand out in the working world. However, you cannot be a student forever, so be sure you are studying for the right reasons.

Consider your postgraduate study as a careful investment. With the increase of student tuition fees, you may be graduating with significant debt. The fact that you have chosen to continue learning for instead of working suggests that you were willing to make a significant investment because you see the potential benefits. Recruiters are aware of this commitment and see this as an ability to manage and work towards long-term goals.

For more information on making this decision, visit the Prospects website.

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Last edited: 25/04/2017 16:41:00