Whether you’re an A Level or undergraduate student you’ll know it’s that time of year when dissertation deadlines are looming, exams are getting close and the library is fast becoming a second home. But in between all the studying, one little question keeps popping into your head: “What will I do when it is all over?”
Some of you may have a firm idea of your next move - you may even have a job already lined up. Others might be ready to take a break. But before you make any hasty decisions, consider doing a postgraduate degree.
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea – you can increase your earning potential, change your career direction, delve deeper into an area you love and help your CV stand out from the crowd.
Sheffield Hallam University offers a huge range of postgraduate courses in everything from games software development to forensic accounting. Below, we've asked some Sheffield Hallam students to help answer some questions you might have about postgraduate study.
Will further study really make a difference to my career prospects?
Taruka studied a masters in sports journalism, and as part of her course she undertook an internship at Manchester United Football Club.
She says: “The experiences I gained were valuable because they were practical. They have given me what I need for my future career.”
A postgrad course can further your skills and knowledge in your particular field which will help you stand out when it comes to potential employers. You could even find you are given greater responsibility earlier on because of experience and expertise you gained as part of your course.
Studying a postgraduate degree can also dramatically increase your earning potential. According to Universities UK, graduates with a masters degree can earn £200,000 more over the course of their career compared to graduates with a bachelors degree.
How do I fund postgraduate study?
Liz, an MSc Games Software Development student, says: “When I started, the university recommended I apply for a scholarship and I was successful. It has changed my life dramatically by presenting incredible opportunities for work experience.”
Having to spend more on a postgraduate degree can seem like a big commitment. There's lots of support available in the form of scholarships to make sure you can get on the course you want without breaking the bank.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,280 are available across most subjects and can help with living costs. If you have completed an undergraduate degree at Sheffield Hallam University, and choose to continue studying with them, you could be eligible for a scholarship that means most of the postgraduate courses cost less than £5,000.
Find out more about postgraduate scholarships available at Sheffield Hallam University.
I’m unable to study full-time. Can I fit a postgraduate course around my job and commitments?
Jodie, who fitted her masters around running her theatre company, A Mind Apart, says: “Sheffield Hallam was the perfect place for me to do my masters alongside running my business based in the city. It made studying easier as I had access to everything I needed on my doorstep.
“My lecturers allowed me to have necessary extensions when my business occasionally had to come first, and supported the growth of my business by sharing what I do with their networks in and out of the university.”
There are lots of postgraduate courses that can be taken part-time, allowing you to fit in other commitments. Sheffield Hallam also has a 24-hour library and an on-campus nursery open 50 weeks a year to help you juggle your responsibilities.
What is uni really like for postgraduates?
Postgraduate study can be a life-changing experience for students and the university you choose will offer plenty of support.
Nesreen, a masters student at Sheffield Hallam, says: “The tutors always make us feel more involved in the lessons by encouraging us to discuss and contribute our own ideas.
"What I like best about the University is the help and support you receive before and after every assignment."
Sheffield Hallam are committed to helping you study, achieve your potential and enjoy your time there. They provide a range of help and signposting with course and study related issues.
The best way to find what it is really like though is to visit an open day and speak to students who are currently studying a postgraduate degree.
Sheffield Hallam is holding a postgraduate open day on Wednesday 1 March, 4-7pm. To book your place, and to view available postgraduate courses, visit www.shu.ac.uk/pgopenday