The benefits of further study

JodieFinal Year, Further Study, Graduates

A group of students sitting outside on some grass, looking at books and laughing

Are you considering further study? Here we’ve rounded up some of the benefits of a postgraduate degree to help you decide whether it’s the right move for you.


Become a specialist in your chosen subject area

If you have a genuine love of your chosen field and would like to enhance it further, postgraduate study can help you do just that! You’ll be able to narrow your focus onto a particular topic or subject area and go into much more detail than you probably did during your undergraduate degree.

You’ll be expected to do a lot more independent reading and preparation as part of your postgraduate degree though – this means you’ll need to be self-motivated and passionate about what you’re studying, so it’s important you choose a subject that you’re completely enthusiastic about.

Gain transferable skills

You’ll be able to develop a variety of skills that employers value by doing further study, such as:

  • Project management
  • Critical thinking
  • Advanced research skills
  • Independent working
  • Data-handling.

We also recommend finding a part-time job and/or volunteering role which you can carry out alongside your postgraduate degree if possible – that way you’ll enter the graduate job market with a range of experience and real-life examples of your skills in action.

Expand your horizons

Whilst you can undertake a further study course at the institution where you studied for your undergraduate degree, there can be some compelling reasons to look further afield. A different environment with new peers will give you a diverse range of experiences to call upon when you’re applying for jobs. You will also get new insights from different academics, plus opting to study at a new university will demonstrate to employers that you’re flexible and willing to move out of your comfort zone.

It’s a good idea to look at websites like www.findamasters.com to compare and contrast courses from several institutions, to see which might be best for you.

Stand out from the crowd

With so many applicants competing for attention in the job market, it can be tricky to get noticed. By studying a relevant postgraduate course, you’ll have more specialist knowledge compared to an undergraduate – this will work in your favour if you’re applying for the same role.

Additionally, while having a postgraduate course under your belt might not mean a larger salary initially, it may increase the level of responsibility you’re given in a particular role and potentially shorten your track to promotion.

Switch up your career

Have you decided that you want to change career and do something different to your undergraduate degree? Some postgraduate courses are specifically designed as conversion courses and provide an intensive academic gateway into a new specialism.

Below are examples of conversion courses:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • Nursing conversion courses
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • Social work conversation courses
  • Property conversion courses.

Find out more about conversion courses: www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/conversion-courses

Some jobs require a postgraduate qualification

Some jobs or career paths specify that having a Masters or PhD is essential – this might be for you to gain a fully certified status or to enable you to practise at a higher level. Some examples include:

  • Psychology – if you’d like to obtain a fully qualified status, you’d need to complete an accredited postgraduate course in the relevant field.
  • Law – you’d need to take a specialist postgraduate course depending on the field of law you wish to work in.
  • Academia – to teach in colleges or universities, you’d need a Masters (and maybe a doctorate) in the subject you were hoping to teach.

We hope that information helps you with figuring out what you future holds. If you’re thinking about continuing your studies here at Aston, did you know that Aston graduates are eligible for an automatic 20% scholarship for all of our postgraduate courses? You’ll also be pleased to hear that you can fill out the fast-track application form which should hopefully make the application process much more smoother for you!

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

Jodie, a member of Careers+Placements staff

Written by Jodie Carpenter, Careers and Placements