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Options for further study

Every year, around one in five Warwick graduates goes into further study. Is it for you? It may seem a bit soon to be thinking about postgraduate study when you are just considering becoming an undergraduate but many students are already thinking about their options for the future, particularly if they know what career they wish to pursue.

What is postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study covers a wide range of options, including doctorates, masters degrees and diplomas.

  • Three or four years full time for a PhD, one or two years for a research masters (MRes).
  • You may need to complete a masters before starting a PhD
  • The emphasis is on independent research; you will need to be highly motivated and determined.

Masters degree

  • Twelve months full time, up to two years part time.
  • Will include formal teaching (lectures, seminars, tutorials) an independent research (leading to a dissertation).

Postgraduate diplomas/certificates

  • Nine months full time, up to two years part time.
  • Usually vocational and may lead to professional qualification.
Vocational courses

For certain careers, you have to undertake a postgraduate course to qualify or even gain entry. Relevant vocational courses provide entry to careers such as social work, teaching, law and librarianship. It can sometimes be possible to take the course part time or there may be a possibility of secondment or employer sponsorship. There are vocational courses which are not essential, but which may help you to enter a certain career, such as computing or journalism.

Is it worth it?

As well as increasing your knowledge, postgraduate study gives you the chance to develop your project management, investigative and intellectual skills and to demonstrate that you can motivate yourself to achieve high standards. Vocational courses can get you into an area of work or give you the edge on other candidates.

Further information

For information about postgraduate study here at Warwick check out our Online Postgraduate Prospectus.

"I first came to Warwick for a BA in history, became fascinated by international politics and decided to apply for a MA in international relations. While researching my MA dissertation I realised how much I enjoyed independent study and decided to undertake a PhD"

Victoria Tuke / History, 2007; MA International relations, 2008; PhD, 2008 onwards (all Warwick)

"During my undergraduate degree I developed an interest in social research and started to look into it. Time spent going through the numerous profiles in the Careers Hub and helpful information on the website helped me realise how niche a career route this was, in stark contrast to its well known and richer other half, market research. This prompted me to take up the MA and build on my research skills to prepare for this competitive area"

Tosin Ogunbadejo / BA Sociology with social policy, 2007; MA Social research, 2008 (both Warwick)

Useful Links

Find out more about Postgraduate Study at Warwick