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Graduate Fair Spring

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Further Resources

Unsure of your next step after graduation?

Find a range of helpful advice to help you decide what to do after you graduate whether it's to secure your first job or looking for postgraduate study options.

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Further Advice

We get asked a lot of questions about the benefits of a doing a Masters programs. 
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Will a Masters make a difference to how employers view me?

This depends on your course and the sector. In some areas a Masters, while not necessarily a requirement, tends to be the baseline qualification that most employees have. The museums and policy sectors are good examples of this. In this case postgraduate study will of course be an asset. Your Masters may have given you essential technical training, or turned a broad-ranging undergraduate degree into something more specialist.

How do I present professional experience from a different area?

You might have embarked on a Masters to change career direction. When presenting work experience from a different sector be sure to include your skills and achievements and give specific evidence for these, avoiding too much industry jargon (see our information sheet on CVs for masters students). It is a good idea to offer a short rationale for your change of direction in a cover letter or personal statement.

Can I still apply for graduate schemes after I finish my Masters?

Yes! Many of the graduate recruitment schemes welcome masters graduates and undergraduates, and you may have developed skills and knowledge to give you a competitive edge.

  • So, you’ve decided that study at PhD level is right for you.  

What next?

Approach prospective supervisors

Identifying the best supervisor for you is key to your PhD search. If you are planning a PhD in the sciences, then it is more likely you will be applying to carry out your research with an advertised project, and will need to research those leading that project. In arts, humanities and social sciences, you’ll need to identify an area of research you’re interested in and draft a project proposal before researching the experts in the field who could act as supervisors. Look at the publications of potential supervisors to see what they have published in your area of interest. It’s also worth finding out about any PhD projects they are currently supervising, or have done in the past.

You will then need to get in touch with these supervisors. If they are in your institution, you may be able to see them face-to-face. If they are elsewhere, send them an email telling them a bit about your research interests, how your ideas match with their expertise, and why you would like them to supervise your project.

When to apply

Most PhD studentships start in September/October. Deadlines for applications to studentships vary, but many open around January and close around April in the year the studentship will start. However, other funded and self-funded PhDs can start at any time of year.  You should begin the process of applying as soon as you have identified potential supervisors and have a clear idea of your research proposal.

Funding

Around 15% of PhD students have a full scholarship, usually from one of the UK Research Councils or research charities. 

Further information

You can attend the next Postgraduate Study Fair and speak to admissions staff from leading UK and international universities to explore their PhD studentships.

Working in the UK is a valuable experience and can be used to show how you can adapt to different environments and take on new challenges.

If you’re hoping to work in the UK after graduation, make it a priority to research your visa options on the government website, sooner rather than later.

Understanding your options early is important and will save you time and stress in the long run. Take a look at our six top tips below.

TIP ONE

Use social and business networking websites to maintain contacts in your home country and to get information about developments in industries you're interested in. Find out where jobs are advertised and which skills are required. 

TIP TWO

Use vacations to get work experience at home. It is valuable on your CV and could expand your network of contacts. This is important, as students returning home to work often get a job via a referral or hear about a vacancy from a contact.

TIP THREE

Contact college alumni to give you job-hunting tips and advice on how to market yourself back home as a UK-educated student. Find out about your college's alumni network and how to use it. The British Council also run alumni events and newsletters in a range of countries.

TIP FOUR

Use social and business networking websites to maintain contacts in your home country and to get information about developments in industries you're interested in. Find out where jobs are advertised and which skills are required. 

TIP FIVE

Think about the skills you have to offer, such as language skills or knowledge of your home business market. Use this information to inform your job hunting by identifying which employers will have use for your skills.

TIP SIX

Keep up to date with the latest changes with visa regulations so you know exactly what you are eligible to do. You may find it helpful to include this in your applications to employers.