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Postgraduate Study

Postgraduate Study

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Postgraduate Study

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  1. Bruce Woodcock You can download a copy of this presentation at Postgraduate Study

  2. WHY DO POSTGRADUATE STUDY? • Because you are interested in your subject. • Because you enjoy life at university. • Because you want an academic/research career. • To improve your job prospects.

  3. Percentages of Kent graduates entering further study within 6 months of leaving.

  4. TAUGHT MASTER’S DEGREE • Higher degrees by taught course & dissertation - MSc • Length: one calendar year (September - September) • Seminars, coursework and exams over the academic year • Followed by a dissertation prepared over the summer • Need 2:1 • Little funding available!

  5. RESEARCH DEGREES • M.Phil or PhD • Length: from one year for Masters to at least three for PhD • Work independently to prepare a thesis • Your supervisor will advise and guide - who you choose is very important • Original research expected • Research Council funding normally available • Need MSc or First Class degree for bioscience

  6. WHERE TO STUDY? Continue at Kent? • “The Devil you know!” • Friends may still be here. Study elsewhere in the UK? • More choice • Seen as good to make a change Study abroad? • Much more work involved • Apply early!

  7. CHOOSING WHERE TO STUDY • Directories/websites such as Prospects • Ask your tutors! • Use league tables and research assessments - but with caution! • Visit universities and talk to current postgraduates

  8. What can I do with my degree subject? • Gives details of Kent graduates in your subject who have gone on to do postgraduate study.

  9. How do self-funded students pay for their course? “Broke and Broken” – NUS report

  10. RESEARCH COUNCIL FUNDING • BBSRC Biology and Biotechnology • MRC Medical • EPSRC Engineering & Physical Sciences • NERC Natural & Environmental • STFC Science and Technology Facilities Council (previously Particle Physics and Astronomy Council)

  11. RESEARCH COUNCILS AWARDS • BBSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, EPSRC, • Apply to postgraduate department where you want to study, not to the research council. Department allocates awards. • Closing date 31st July, but apply autumn or early spring terms. • Open to English and Welch applicants. • Scottish and Northern Ireland applicants need to confirm eligibility for particular courses. • European Community applicants usually get fees only.

  12. AWARD VALUE • Fees paid • Maintenance grant about £15,000 outside London • May be extra allowances for dependants • Most PhD students get a few hundred pounds p.a. for invigilating, supervising practicals/seminars etc. • Normally need a 2:1 or 1st to get award • Students resident in other EU countries may receive a fees-only award

  13. OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING Earnings • Undergraduate teaching - sometimes a requirement of university studentships • Research Assistant - posts are relatively rare and do not occur regularly • Other jobs, unrelated to your studies, full or part-time (Over half of postgraduates are part-time students)

  14. OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING • Professional and Career Development Loans - Government loans for vocational courses. • Company sponsorship/PhD whilst employed • University research assistant/technician - paid but have to do PhD in spare time • Charitable trusts • ASK COURSE DIRECTOR WHAT FUNDING IS AVAILABLE!

  15. Cancer Research UK • http://science.cancerresearchuk.orgoffers about 25 funded PhD places per year (about £18,000 p.a.) They accept UK, EU and non-EU students. Closing date is usually late November • You need to be expecting a good 2:1 or first and must have some research experience. • They give as much funding for PhDs as the Biology & Biotech. Research Council!

  16. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? • Fees – about £5,000 a year for UK/EU students on most full-time academic courses. About £1,000 off at Kent. • But can be up to £20,000 for, e.g. MBA courses • International student fees start at around £8000 • Maintenance – rent, food etc. • Study expenses - travel to libraries, cost of producing thesis, etc

  17. UNIVERSITY STUDENTSHIPS • Aimed at encouraging research – few available for taught courses • Sums vary but often similar level to Research Council studentships • May include a requirement to teach part-time • Eligibility varies • A brief list of these funds in Prospects Postgraduate Funding Guide - or check with the universities you are applying to

  18. HOW TO APPLY • No UCAS equivalent for postgraduate academic study • Each university will have its own application form • Academic reference is important • No overall closing date, but you may need to apply early - in the first term of your final year • Early application especially important to be eligible for funding

  19. WHEN TO APPLY EARLY IN FINAL YEAR. • Discuss postgraduate study with your tutor. • Research and shortlist courses and universities • Apply for Cancer Research UK PhDs/ postgraduate study abroad/primary teaching etc. DECEMBER/JANUARY • Most applications made now.

  20. Writing your personal statement • Usually have to write a personal statement of about 500 words on why you wish to do the Master’s degree. • Why you want to do this course? • Why this university? • Relevance of your first degree • Academic skills • Career aims • See for help with writing personal statements

  21. VOCATIONAL POSTGRADUATE STUDY • PGCE (teaching) • CPE (law conversion course) • MBA - Master’s in Business Administration • Librarianship Diploma • Computing Conversion • Journalism and Publishing Courses • Length: up to one calendar year • Seminars, coursework and exams • You may have the option to "upgrade" to a Masters by producing a dissertation

  22. STUDY ABROAD • Many courses taught in English - especially Netherlands, Scandinavia, and some business courses. • Often require a Masters degree to enter postgraduate study in Germany • Academic year starts February in Australia/NZ USA • Apply well in advance - 12 months or more. • Have to pay to take GRE tests in London • Don't just apply to New York and California See

  23. FINANCIAL REASONS! • ENGLAND from £4500 • USA $30,000 – 50,000 • CANADA up to $17,000 • AUSTRALIAA$17,000 to 36,000 • BELGIUM €600 - 1500 • DENMARK FREE • FINLAND FREE • FRANCE €425 (at public unis) • GERMANY c€650 per semester • GREECE FREE • NETHERLANDS €1900 • SPAIN up to €3600 • SWEDEN FREE For other EU countries, see

  24. CAREERS SERVICE FACILITIES • CAREERS SERVICE POSTGRADUATE STUDY PAGES includes how to apply for postgraduate study. • PROSPECTS DATABASE OF POSTGRAD. STUDY • Practice interview for PG study

  25. Further Help • A careers adviser is on duty for short (15 minute) consultations in the Careers and Employability Service any weekday morning 10.30-12.30 or afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm. You don't need an appointment to see the duty adviser at these times. Just ask at Careers Reception to see them. • They can review your PRINTED personal statement for postgraduate study study • Email:

  26. Careers Employability Award on Moodle

  27. Bruce Woodcock You can download a copy of this presentation at Postgraduate Study


  29. OTHER RESOURCES • Our CVs AND APPLICATIONS BOOKLET has help on constructing an academic CV (page 12) • Our INTERVIEWS BOOKLET has advice on interviews for postgraduate study (pages 23 & 24) • Ask for a copy at Careers Reception

  30. Destinations of Kent Actuarial Science Graduates • MSc: MSc Applied Actuarial Science - Kent (12), MSc Statistics - Kent (5), MSc Mathematics - LSE, MSc Risk and Statistics - LSE, MSc Investment Banking - Reading, MSc Finance - Oxford, MA Finance - Exeter, MSc Actuarial Management - CASS Business School, MA Islamic Studies - Middlesex University • Postgraduate Diploma: Actuarial Science - Kent • Teacher Training: PGCE Mathematics - Christ Church, South Essex SCITT Training • CISI - Chartered Institute of Securities • CLAIT Computing Course - Sandwell College