Further Study Options
Some students can't wait to finish uni and get into the working world, but others feel that they've only just started to figure out what it is they're interested in. If this is you, don't worry - your academic life doesn't have to stop after you get your first degree. Further study is become an increasingly attractive choice for students, and might be the right step for you too.
Students who pursue further degrees or qualifications sometimes find that the three or more years they spent at uni weren't enough to get them where they want to go. Uni gave them the chance to mature and find out more about their talents and interests, and they want to explore those further. Or, looking at the current job climate might make you re-think your plans to get into acting or professional athletics, and you want to get a different set of skills to help with finding a permanent job.
Not only does further study help to increase your knowledge of a certain subject and skills in a job sector, but you'll also improve your chances of being employed over the course of your professional life. You shouldn't rely exclusively on degrees - practical experience is important too - but they provide an ideal basis for getting your foot in the door of the industry you want to work in. Employers will see that you've got the patience and discipline to handle further education, so there's a good chance you'll apply that same love for learning to your job.
If you're thinking about what, how and where to study after you graduate, here are some options available to you:
You can study a completely different subject and get another bachelor's degree, or enter a four-year master's degree programme. Whether you want to study at the same uni, or apply somewhere else, check that you've still got the right GCSEs and A Levels to get into another programme. Some institutions offer conversion courses for postgraduates that get you a diploma in a certain subject you may not have studied previously, enabling you to pursue a career or further study without having to start as a fresher again.
Professions such as law, medicine and teaching have specific training requirements to enter that career that you'll get into after you finish your degree. Or, in areas such as engineering or accounting, you can join a professional organisation that will offer you the chance to become chartered - this involves further study and tests that the organisation will head up. You can usually enter programmes like this while working in a graduate-level position.
There are a variety of one-year master's degree programmes available to people who've got a bachelor's degree. Some of these require you to have got a certain kind of degree before you're eligible to apply for the master's programme - for instance, you can't necessarily study Engineering if you have a degree in Communications. So, it's best to choose a subject that branches off from what you studied before.
Once you have a master's degree, you can go on to get a PhD. If you know right now that you'd like to go down that route, look for master's research programmes (MRes) - while some of it is taught by lecturers in classrooms, most of it involves you carrying out your own research project, so this will prepare you well for the research required for a PhD.