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Postgraduate study

Once your undergraduate degree is over, this opens the door to postgraduate studies. What is on offer? Fran finds out in this article.
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© University of York

After your undergraduate degree, you may wish to consider further study. Learning can get quite addictive once you get going!

What is a postgraduate degree?

A postgraduate degree is any degree which is studied at a higher level than an undergraduate degree. It includes taught courses, also known as masters’ courses, and research degrees, usually called a PhD (Doctorate).

Normally people will study a masters’ course – which normally lasts for one year full time, or two years part time, before considering a PhD – which can last for three or four years full time.

Why study a postgraduate degree?

Postgraduate degrees allow you to study your subject in greater depth and develop a more specialised knowledge. They can also provide a springboard for research or your chosen career. They are an excellent way to further maximise your chances of future success as they allow you more opportunities to accumulate experience, knowledge and skills.

How do I apply for a postgraduate degree?

You will apply directly to the University. Check out their website and identify which course best fits your goals. You will also want to check entry requirements – some courses require degrees in certain subjects or certain grades – and any deadlines you’ll need to meet. Once you’ve done this, you’ll submit your application on the University website. You can submit applications to as many universities as you like – unlike UCAS – although some may charge a fee to apply.

What costs are involved in a postgraduate degree?

As with an undergraduate degree, you will need to cover your living expenses and course fees. These can be found on the university website and may differ slightly from course to course and can be higher for international students. You can find the cost of masters degrees at York here.

What funding is available for a postgraduate degree?

There are lots of funding options available for postgraduate study. Most universities offer scholarships for students. Check the University website for more details. Some of these scholarships may be targeted at specific groups of students or students on specific courses. Check out more details about [York’s scholarships] ( You do not normally need to pay this back.

You may also be eligible for a UK government masters loan to help cover the cost of study. You will pay this back as you work, like an undergraduate loan. Not everyone is eligible for this loan, so check the website early.

There are also lots of other scholarships or grants available, for example from independent bodies, charities or trusts. Often these are less well known than University specific scholarships and are targeted at certain groups, so it’s well worth searching for them. Again, usually you don’t need to pay this back and may be able to use one of these scholarships to supplement a loan, paid work or a University specific scholarship.

Over to you

How about it? Would you like to go beyond your undergraduate degree and study to gain a master’s degree or PhD? What would you study?

Tell us your thoughts below.

© University of York
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