Further study

Further study

A world of opportunity

Postgraduate study can offer you a route into a new career, speed up your progress in your current job with professional qualifications – or be an essential component in qualifying to practise. Postgraduate qualifications tend to be divided into taught courses, research degrees and studentships. Degree apprenticeships are another option to consider for further study, if combining full time work and study is attractive to you. 

Further study

Taught courses - PGT

Master's Degrees: 

  • Master's are level 7 qualifications that advance your expertise in specific subjects 
  • Full-time: 1-2 years | Part-time: 2-4 years 
  • Popular choices: MA (Master of Arts), M.Sc. (Master of Science) 

Explore other options such as: 

  • LLM (Master of Law),  
  • M.Eng. (Master of Engineering) 
  • MEd (Master of Education) 
  • M.Arch. (Master of Architecture) 
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration) 
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy) 
  • MRes (Master of Research) This is unique to the 'taught' courses since it does place more emphasis on research rather than developing knowledge within a subject area. There are taught modules within the MRes therefore it can still be classed a taught course.

Postgraduate Certificates (Pg Certs) and Postgraduate Diplomas (Pg Dips): 

  • Equivalent to Master's degrees (Level 7) 
  • Less time to complete, no dissertation required 
  • Study a wide range of subjects 
  • Many institutions offer a pathway to upgrade to a full Masters, provided you write a dissertation. 

Conversion Courses: 

  • Prepares you for a professional career 
  • Focuses on practical training rather than dissertations 
  • Ideal if your undergraduate degree doesn't align with your desired career 
  • Popular conversion courses: Medicine, Psychology, Nursing, Engineering, Law, Marketing, Journalism. 

Initial Teacher Training: 

Become a UK teacher with postgraduate qualifications: 

  • QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) is required to become a teacher in a school in England 

  • Popular option: PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) led by schools and/or universities, but there are other routes 

  • Do your research to ensure you’re taking the right path - explore Routes into teaching on the Prospects website.

  • Check out Teach First Graduate Scheme for a salaried teaching path. 

Professional Qualifications:

  • Vocational courses for job entry or professional development 
  • Awarded by professional associations 
  • Prove your competence in the field 
  • Popular qualifications: ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).
Further study

Research degrees - PGR

Postgraduate research qualifications that contain original academic research to advance you in a specific field are classed as postgraduate research (PGR) courses: 

  • Conduct original academic research in your field, usually related to your first-degree subject 
  • Present your findings in a thesis (70,000 - 100,000 words) 
  • Popular research qualification: PhD (3/4 years) 
  • Explore funding opportunities, including Research Assistantships Doctoral Loan: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 
  • You can also apply for Research Assistantships - these are salaried posts that often offer the opportunity to study for a higher degree. Industry collaborations like the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships also offer research opportunities.
Further study

Degree apprenticeships

Traditionally, apprenticeships were aimed at school leavers to combine study and full-time work as a training route into a profession after secondary school education. Nowadays, there are various levels of apprenticeship that people from all levels of education can consider: 

  • Apprenticeship Options: Intermediate (GCSE level), Advanced (A Level), Higher (Foundation Degree Level), and Degree (Degree or Master's degree level) 

With apprenticeships, you can gain a qualification, work experience and a salary at the same time without the usual costs. Do your research into what salary you will receive as rates will differ dependent on the provider of the apprenticeship. Lower salaries are expected on apprenticeships due to the other costs associated with apprenticeships already being covered by the employer. 

Degree apprenticeships are an option even if you already have a degree, but it must be in an unrelated subject. They are offered within vocational subjects like engineering, nursing, social work, and management.  

Master's degree apprenticeships are gaining popularity for postgraduate study and work. These types of apprenticeships are still in development, so there is a low volume available compared to other apprenticeships. Find more information on degree apprenticeships on Prospects website and UCAS.com.

Here at the University of Salford, we offer level 6 and 7 apprenticeships. To find out more, visit our Degree apprenticeships section.

Further study

Choosing a postgraduate course

Understanding what subject area you want to study, the length of time you wish to study, and if you want to study a taught or research based course will be a good starting point to choosing the right course for you. Other questions to ask yourself would be surrounding your career aims and what you wish to achieve by studying at this level.

You can then use the following websites to start your search:

Further study

Make a postgraduate application

  • Apply directly to institutions or through UCAS as required 

  • Check individual institution pages for application guidelines 

  • Prepare a compelling personal statement, and research proposal (for research courses) 

  • Gather copies of certificates/transcripts for previous qualifications. 

Always follow instructions you are given and tailor your application carefully. Typically, you will be asked to cover: 

  • Reasons for wanting to do course and attend a specific university 

  • Relevance of your previous studies 

  • Career aspirations 

  • Relevant skills and experience gained outside your studies 

My Postgrad Apps is an online system which can help you especially if applying for more than one course.

There are many resources available to help you with making postgraduate applications:

Further study

Funding postgraduate study

Secure funding for postgrad studies: 

  • Explore loans, studentships, bursaries, and grants 

  • Employers may assist with funding if beneficial for their business 

  • Understand postgrad loan processes and course fees 

  • Consider full or part-time study and check Council Tax liability. (Full-time students are exempt, and part-time can claim reductions)  

  • Check our Money pages for the latest info.

Sources of information on funding 

  • Prospects website - Provides a useful summary of all the main sources of potential funding for further study and allows you to search for sources of funding. They produce a vidcast with key advice for students on funding postgraduate study. 

  • The Grants Register, published by Palgrave. A copy is usually available for reference in most public libraries and there is a copy in the Library

  • Postgraduate Funding | Scholarships and Student Bursaries (postgraduatesearch.com) - Lets you search for university departments that are currently offering scholarships, bursaries and awards. 

  • Fighting UK Poverty - Turn2us - A free online searchable facility of funding sources. 

  • Postgraduate Studentships - Provides students with listings of the latest general and charity funding available for Masters and PhD Study 

Institutional Scholarships and Awards 

Professional Loan Schemes

Research councils are an important source of funding for UK postgraduate students. The Research Councils do not generally make studentship awards directly to students, but usually allocate them to departments in universities. 

Further study

Further support

You can listen to our Postgraduate Options and Funding Explained Linked In Learning Pathway for more information.

For specific research queries and support, contact your school's Postgraduate Research Office:

Speak to a Careers Adviser

Get guidance from our friendly team of Advisers. Book an appointment or call 0161 295 0023 (option 5, option 3). 

Open to current students and Salford Alumni only.