What to do after your undergraduate degree is a question students often get asked, but do we really know the answer to it? Finding a job or going on (another) gap year are both viable and perfectly great options, but what about further study?

Undertaking a Masters is becoming an increasingly popular option for undergrads, so we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you decide whether further education is right for you.

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Why should I undertake a Masters?

Postgraduate study has lots of benefits, for you and your career. If you absolutely loved your undergraduate degree and you want to take your passions further and get more closely involved with your subject, studying a Masters is a great way to start. A Masters involves even more independent study, letting you become more hands on with research and delve deeper into the subject.

A Masters can also be a way of entering into a certain profession or career, with many professions such as a clinical psychologist, lawyer, social worker or teacher, requiring a Master’s degree.

Completing a Masters also has numerous benefits for today’s job market, helping you to stand out to employers. A Masters can give you specialised knowledge, lifelong skills, enhanced professional network and increased earning potential. Undertaking a masters isn’t always a necessary requirement, but they are highly beneficial and many employers will appreciate a candidate who has undertaken one.

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What funding is available?

The UK government recently introduced a Postgraduate Master’s Loan to assist students who wish to undertake further study. Currently, this loan is for your course fees and living costs, totalling up to £10,609 and is paid directly to you. If your course lasts for more than one academic year, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. There is no Maintenance Loan, unlike in undergraduate study.

It is worth nothing that some universities, courses and company’s offer scholarships, bursaries and other financial help towards your Masters. So before you are put off by the high fees and lack of maintenance loan, it’s best to research what you could be eligible for.

Another option is if you undertake a Masters at the same university as your undergraduate degree, you may find that they offer you a reduced fee on further study.

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What course do I choose?

This depends very much on what you enjoy studying and what your career aims are. You will find that there are lots of options when it comes to Masters, and you can try something completely different. If you’ve studied history at undergraduate level you could study a Masters in journalism, law, or business, for example. Or conversely, if you’ve loved studying history, why not take it even further and do and undertake a Masters in a particular area of history that you love.

When trying to figure out where you want to study, you may want to look around much like you did when first applying for university. You’ll need to think about what’s important to you – the course itself, how it’s examined, location, whether there are any scholarships available, course and university reputation etc.

The best way to research the specific courses is on the university websites themselves, as well as reputable sites such as The Times University Guide and the Complete University Guide, in order to compare the different courses on offer to you.

Just remember, what’s right for your best friend, may not necessarily be the right choice for you.

Hopefully this article has given a few more options for #gradlife. Keep your options open and looking into a Masters is definitely a worthwhile option!

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