Advice on Further Study

Postgraduate study (also known as further study) is studying towards a master’s or doctoral degree, or a postgraduate diploma or certificate, after having obtained a bachelor's degree.

This may be taught or through research. Taught programmes follow a similar structure to undergraduate degrees, usually over one year of full-time study or two years part-time. Master’s degrees by research involve the sustained, rigorous, critical and systematic investigation of a defined subject over a period of at least one year. Many students begin a research master’s degree with the aim of upgrading it to a PhD after the first year of study.

Why undertake further study?

  • 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 / put off making a career decision

The 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, it is only an extra year and you cannot be a student forever, so be sure you are staying for other reasons as well.

If you would like to discuss your reasons for further study, and your options both at CCCU and another institution, please book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants, via with a contact telephone number, or simply call 01227 922444.


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Last edited: 27/03/2020 13:01:00