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Why Undertake Postgraduate Study? Elizabeth Wilkinson University of Manchester Careers Service.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Undertake Postgraduate Study? Elizabeth Wilkinson University of Manchester Careers Service."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Undertake Postgraduate Study? Elizabeth Wilkinson University of Manchester Careers Service

2 Agenda Why do it ? Options –type of qualification, what subject, where How to apply Funding What Next?

3 Why PG Study ? Interest in your subject –if ideal opportunities not available, how much are you prepared to compromise or sacrifice ? Advance your career –Check out if it will help before you start – occupational database, includes “entry requirements” for 500+ grad level careers –talk to employers eg. at presentations & fairs –PG starting salaries are often same as UGs

4 Why PG Study ? To offset poor A-levels / first degree –Can’t assume employers will accept this To buy time before deciding on a career –but … the year you are buying is THIS YEAR – Recruitment starts 2 weeks after you start a one year Masters degree! –need to use this year / next summer for work experience, enhancing your CV and deciding on a career

5 The good news…. Needed for some careers Can demonstrate career motivation Lower unemployment rates (2007/8): –Undergraduates : 8% –Postgraduates : 4% Average earnings are higher (eventually)

6 What Employers Think : What it also shows is that the individual is able to set and achieve goals, manage their own time, think both analytically and creatively, and overcome problems; a set of highly desirable skills and attitudes in any professional person. John Hopkins, English Nature We like PhDs in our business sector - they never take anything at face value. That is a real bonus in a business compliance function. Their philosophical training and critical judgment have direct application in business services, whatever the topic of their research. Head of Grad Recruitment, 'Big 4' Accountancy firm

7 Type of Qualification PhD / DPhil / Eng D Masters – MA / MSc / MPhil MBA PG Diploma Professional – PGCE, LPC, Chartered Institute … of Marketing, of Personnel & Development etc

8 What to Study ? Specialise –needs to be related to your undergraduate study Convert –examples - IT, Business / Finance, Economics Prepared to compromise to find funded place?

9 Could You Do It ? Are you motivated enough ? Could you handle it ? Do you have what it takes to get accepted – and get funding ?

10 How to Apply ? No UCAS system Academic courses - apply direct to department Vocational courses – some have centralised application processes (eg. teaching, law) Likely to need an application form, maybe a CV Will check –Academic record –Academic references –Reasons for study

11 Funding Talk to the Schools –Check websites, ask where others got funding Manchester funding database – Grants / trusts –Grants Register, Funder Finder (Manchester Careers) – – “Predoctoral Fellowships” and “Student Awards” (if Manchester student, must be on campus to access it) – – from HotCourses (can filter by charity/professional/

12 What Next? To find out about life as a Postgraduate: Postgraduate Study and Research (AGCAS information booklet) How to get a PhD : A handbook for students and supervisors Prospects website : –Your PhD what next? –Your Masters what next? Visit departments and talk to other postgrads! Internet discussion groups and blogs eg Manchester postgrad blog, alumni associations etc

13 Postgraduate Study – 8 point action plan! 1.Think through your options 2.Start early – do research, make contacts & find out about funding 3.Get any funding applications in 4.Sort out any fall back position 5.Explore possibility of outside funding 6.Formulate a plan complete with deadlines 7.Get the right advice 8.Start doing something now!

14 Any Questions? Want to know more? Visit :

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