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How to choose the right post-graduate degree

Date Added: 08/11/2021

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Many lucrative jobs require post-graduate degrees. That has exacerbated the demand for postgraduate courses. At the same time, new streams are emerging in the PG studies. But making a choice from a lot of courses and choosing the right postgraduate degree to provide momentum to the career needs some guidance. To get the most bang from PG it is better investing time and money in some key postgraduate degrees that will offer bigger financial returns.


Full-time PG Course

The postgraduate full-time study is normally one year in the case of a taught master’s degree. There are also two-year full-time courses. The MBA at London Business School is an example. 

Research-based PG programs take a longer duration and will stretch to four years and PhD takes six years. Among the advantages of studying for full-time study are maximum focus and zero distractions on the chosen subject plus non-course offerings like student organisations, lectures, interactions and lunch with top academics. 

Many full-time postgraduate courses involve compulsory seminars and tutorials that hone leadership skills and augment private study. Full-time study is popular among students seeking a postgraduate qualification after their first degree and guys passionate about adding a PG qualification in the shortest period. 


Postgraduate course duration

Taught programmes use classrooms, seminars, tutorials and laboratory work for instruction. Three levels of the taught program are 

  • Postgraduate Certificate--PGCert 
  • Postgraduate Diploma --PGDip 
  • Masters Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas 

In some cases, diplomas are awarded to students doing a masters programme and not submitted the 20,000-word dissertation thesis. Research programs at the Masters level are Masters in Research (MRes) and Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) taking two years. The highest research degree is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) which takes at least three years to complete. 


Masters Degrees and Doctorates

  • MA One year full time
  • MSc One year full time
  • MBA One-year full time, or two
  • years full time
  • LLM One year full time
  • MRes Two years full time
  • MPhil Two to three years full time
  • MEng Four years full time 
  • PhD/DPhil Three to four years full
  • time

Technical fields ahead

According to Katie Bardaro, lead analyst at, the best paying master’s degrees are in technical fields. They include engineering and computer science with scope for additional in-depth on the undergraduate program. 

In terms of high salary and job prospects, Bardaro notes degrees that increase technical know-how will remain as the sought-after ones. The cost of obtaining a degree also needs consideration. 


Best-paying master’s degrees

  • Nurse anaesthesia
  • Telecommunications engineering
  • Finance and economics
  • Electrical engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Technology management
  • Computer science
  • Corporate finance


Career benefits 

The benefit of postgraduate qualification is that it deepens skill sets and moves the career to the next level. The objective of a PG could be promotion, expanding skills, or gaining an edge over others in a competitive industry.

However, not all postgraduate qualifications are created equal. So, choosing the one that aligns with career goals and lifestyle preferences will be most important.


Scholarships and placements

Many students want to study for Masters in the UK due to the high quality attributed to teaching, and the shortest span in completing the programme.

Research shows studying for a Masters with work placements in the industry boosts a career. As a result, students get a variety of options depending on the type of role and sectors of interest. Some are paid, while a majority are not.

Internships range from six weeks to six months. Sometimes they will be role-specific and others selected by different companies.

Placement years: Many universities run integrated years as an of the programme aligned to the subject of study.

Sandwich Courses: Here students study full-time for two years and take a break for a one-year placement then move to pursue the final year part of the course.


Masters courses with placements in the UK

Many universities providing Masters in the UK offer placements opportunities. Some of the PG courses include MBA, Data science, Marketing MSc, Digital Marketing MSc, Management MSc, Data Analytics MSc, Finance and Risk Management MSc, Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc.

The universities noted below arrange placement for students. 

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • University of Bath
  • Birmingham City University
  • University of Brighton


Flexible Post-graduation

Postgraduate degrees also beckon with flexibility helping candidates to balance career and family commitments while doing a postgraduate degree. If done online, the PG degree will fit into a world-class, high-quality education. Online classes at Deakin are examples of classes suiting their schedule any where any time. Many premium online learning platforms offer a collaborative experience filled with encouragement.

If upskilling is the goal of PG then go without a semester- commitment and opt for a shorter course. Joining a course pioneered by industry practitioners will have the edge and enhance career and foray into new fields will look easier.

Innovative postgraduate studies not only teach relevant skills or impart knowledge but also connect with business leaders and share industry expectations.

In choosing a postgraduate study the criterion must be enhancing professionally through real-world learning and bracing to augment skills and contributing more to the industry and society.

Popular domains that offer best graduate courses also include the following. These fields of study create best opportunities for UK graduates and the best PG courses in UK include.

  • Business Administration
  • Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Accounts
  • Finance
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Law
  • Art
  • Design
  • Political Science

Among the subjects above, placements are really high for Computer science and IT, as more industries are expanding foot print in digital business and online marketing Universities offer hands-on practices and match industry standards leaving out nothing out in the stream.

Gaming, Software development, Cloud computing, Web development, Artificial Intelligence, and Cyber Security are hot areas in computer science and IT.

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