A master’s degree is something that not a lot of students consider after their Bachelor’s degree, but it is a great option to consider! There are so many benefits that come with doing a master’s degree. It also means you get to live the student life a little longer!
You can do a master’s degree at any age as long as you meet the course requirements. A lot of courses require a previous undergrad degree (not necessarily in the same subject).
What is a master’s degree?
You can either do a taught or research master’s degree.
Post-pandemic, lots of universities are offering online masters courses along with the usually part-time and full-time courses. So, this means it may be more accessible to you now if you had restrictions in the past. You can do a full-year course in one or two years depending on if you are offered a placement. Then you can do a part-time course in two or three years. You can either do a Master of the Arts, a Master of Science, a Master of Business Administration, or a Master of Engineering.
The course will be similar to undergrad as it could possibly include seminars, lectures, workshops, etc. Of course, this will depend on how the university wants to teach the content if it is taught.
You can also do a master’s degree at any age! So, if you feel like a career change at any point then you are able to take a masters course in your desired subject.
A Master of Research degree is also an option. This is where you do your own research which is supervised by an academic expert. This degree helps you prepare for a PhD.
Courses usually start in September or July and last 1 full year unlike undergrad where you have 2-3 months off.
Unlike undergrad, universities offer courses for different tuition fees. For example, one university might offer a course for £7000 whilst a different university may offer the same course for £15,000. So, this is something you will need to take into consideration. This is based off the reputation of the university alongside multiple other factors.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits of doing a master’s degree.
Become more specialised
You can niche down and become more educated in a specific topic by doing a master’s degree. Some courses help you gain industry accreditation. Certain industries require a postgraduate degree for certain jobs.
Some degrees also offer exemptions from professional exams e.g., accounting exams (CIMA).
Make more connections
By doing a master’s degree you are able to access all the universities opportunities. You will be able to access their employability team as well as the events the university puts on. Lots of universities run events specifically for postgraduates. This is a great way to make more connections and network with people.
Switch your career path
If you have done an undergrad degree but have come to the conclusion that the subject is not something, you want to take further. Then a master’s degree is your chance to become educated in a topic that is of more interest to you.
You can also take a master’s degree at any time so you can switch careers if learn something new through a master’s course.
Get a better paid job
As mentioned before, some industries require a masters, which may seem like more effort in the long run, but it can mean a higher salary.
You will get the additional benefit of university life. The social events that university offer as well as the independence and the opportunity to live in postgraduate halls.
Usually with a master’s course there are a lot less people who apply and therefore the number of students on your course is a lot less. This gives you a good chance to get to know everyone and meet lots of new people. It also means your more likely to have a closer relationship with your tutors as there are less people they need to tend to.
How is it funded?
There is the opportunity to get a masters loan from Student Finance given you fit the requirements. You can normally apply for your master’s loan around the end of July/ August for the September start. You can also apply when you have started the course.
A master’s loan is different form a undergrad as you can choose the amount you want up to around £11,500 (based on 2021/22) and it is not based on your family’s income. You then get the loan in 3 installments of 33%, 33% then 34% at the start of September, January, and August.
An option is to apply for a scholarship. The majority of universities offer a scholarship, this could be based off your academic results so far, your non-academic achievements or other factors the university wants to look at.
Things to consider
You’ll have to pay your tuition fees yourself. The government do not offer tuition loans only one set loan that you chose how to spend.
The price of the course is something you will need to consider. As mentioned earlier, the same courses have different tuition fees at each university.
You may also want to consider the difficulty of the course. If you are someone who struggles academically then look at how the course is examined and taught. Some modules might be over a few months whereas some you may have to learn in a couple weeks. Similarly, some courses might be exam focused and some might offer coursework.
With a master’s degree you are inevitably going to find it slightly harder than at undergrad, especially if it is a course, you have not studied before.
If you are coming to the end of your undergrad degree and are unsure in what direction you are going to go in then i recommend having a look to see if any asters degree take your fancy! You may see a course that looks really interesting to you.
There are not many drawbacks at all of doing a master’s degree so take a look at what courses are on offer!