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As a graduate you can choose to continue your studies with a postgraduate course. We have a range of courses, requiring varying levels of undergraduate qualifications to undertake, and as Staffordshire University alumni you may be eligible for an alumni discount. The answers to common questions about further study are below, if you need more information you can email the Careers Team.
Finding and applying for a Masters degree is different than applying for an undergraduate degree. You can search for them and apply via UCAS, but you can also apply directly to most Universities. You may need to write a personal statement as part of this application process and you may be invited to interview.
Entry requirements vary from institution to institution. It is common to need at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree, though there are some universities that will accept less than this, and some which will only accept people with a 1st class degree.
It is rare, but some institutions will accept people on to a Masters degree without any prior degree study. However, this is exceptionally rare, and only when you can demonstrate equivalent experience and knowledge from industrial experience. There are both taught and research Masters programmes available, so you will need to consider what you want from your Masters degree.
With the exception of a few areas (social work, nursing etc.) tuition fees for the course will need to be paid. These tuition fees for Masters differ wildly depending on the course and the institution you are applying for. Some courses may be only a few thousand pounds at one university, whereas in other Universities it is not uncommon to hear of tuition fees of over £15,000.
Don’t let the tuition fees put you off. There is a range of postgraduate funding available, so paying up front out of your own pocket might not be necessary. There are government loans as well as funding bodies who offer grants to research of particular merit.
Masters loans are single loans and the government can loan you up to £11,222 for courses starting in the 20/21 academic year. To look at this option and check your eligibility visit; https://www.gov.uk/masters-loan
The research demonstrates that postgraduate students can often be of a great use to society at large. There are many organisations that want to fund research that they think is of particular use to the world. This ranges from science and technology all the way through to the humanities.
Most of this funding is aimed at PhD research, but there are occasionally “1+3” studentships available in which a research council pays for your Masters degree and your PhD.
More information about research council funding.
Masters degrees can be a great opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of a specific area of study or industry, and can be useful in demonstrating your commitment to a specific employer in that field.
Many people that complete a Masters degree decide that they want to continue researching and continue on to study MPhils and PhDs.
If you are successful in an application to study an MA in Social Work, NHS funding is available to help cover the costs in the form of a NHS Postgraduate Bursaries, making this an attractive option if you are interested in becoming a qualified social worker.
The NHS provide a range of bursaries and funding options allowing you to study a second degree and/or a masters qualification, even if you already have a degree.
PhDs are an extended period of research which take approximately 3 years full time (though can be studied full time). Typically you need to have a Masters level qualification, though some institutions will allow you to enter with a strong application and academic record (typically a 1st class honours undergraduate degree). Predefined PhDs are also available in which the research question is already decided by the institution.
You can find details about PhDs on individual institutions sites as well as on https://www.findaphd.com/
The government now offer PhD loans of up to £25,700 to help cover the cost of tuition fees and other costs. You have to pay this back in a similar way to undergraduate tuition fee loans.
The seven research councils can offer postgraduate funding for a small amount of research every year. These are competitive but can often cover the tuition fees as well as living costs, meaning that those successful are able to commit to studying full time without the need of working to cover the costs.
Universities will often offer partial or full funding to researchers for certain PhD projects which are often in exchange for teaching hours. These are called studentships. The amount of funding offer varies wildly.
To teach in a maintained school you need to have Qualified Teacher Status. There are a few main routes to this.
The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is the most common route to Qualified Teacher Status. It typically is studied one year full time, where a portion of your time is spent studying at University, whilst also gaining practical experience working in schools as part of the course.
There are specific PGCEs for Early Years and Primary school teaching, as well as subject specific PGCEs for secondary, and Post Compulsory Education PGCEs for teaching in Further Education establishments such as colleges.
Extra bursaries for teacher training are available for graduates from certain high demand subjects, which can viewed here;
You may be eligible for student finance from the government to cover tuition fees and living costs.