What is: Postgraduate study

There are lots of postgraduate qualifications available, but they all have one thing in common, you’ll need to have graduated from an undergraduate degree before you can study them. Postgraduate qualifications involve studying at a higher level than with undergraduate degrees, and are often far more focussed than the qualifications you’ll have studied before.

When do I take them?

Postgraduate study is undertaken when you have finished an undergraduate degree at university. You don’t have to immediately go on to study for a postgraduate qualification after finishing an undergraduate degree, and usually as long as you have met the entry requirements there is no limit on when you can take up postgraduate study.

How long do they take?Postgraduate study

It really depends what sort of postgraduate qualification you are taking, postgraduate certificates often take less than a year, a masters takes a year, whereas a PhD might take over three years.

Who are they for?

Postgraduate study is for students who want to become experts in their chosen subject area. They are high level qualifications which require excellent academic skills, and you will only be allowed to continue studying if you have demonstrated that you have successfully worked through an undergraduate degree.

Where will they take me?

People who study postgraduate courses often go on to work in the same types of businesses as those who have undergraduate degrees, however they will often start working at a higher level. Postgraduate students are highly regarded for management, research and entrepreneurial roles.

Where do I study them?

Most postgraduate qualifications are taught in universities, however some, especially research based qualifications can be taught using facilities (like laboratories) supplied by businesses. Higher level postgraduate qualifications might involve lots of research and no taught time at all.

How much do they cost?

Costs vary depending what sort of postgraduate qualification you are interested in, but a good guide is that they generally cost a similar amount per year to an undergraduate degree. In just the same way that you can get a loan to help cover the costs of undergraduate study there are postgraduate loans available for many courses.

Postgraduate study on the qualifications grid

The qualifications grid shows some of the most common qualifications in the UK, and their levels. There are 8 levels of study in the UK, remember these don't relate to how long qualifications take, but they are used to show how qualifications compare with each other. Use the grid to find out what level postgraduate study qualifications are in comparison with other qualifications.

Postgraduate Study

Where can I find out more?

You apply directly to universities for most postgraduate courses, we list all of ours on our website. You can find out more in our postgraduate guide and Brightside has some excellent information also.