If you’ve decided that postgraduate study is right for you, your research has probably already shown you there are a wide range of courses available!

One of the decisions you might be making is whether to do a taught or a research master’s. If you are looking at both then there are a few points to consider.

Taught master’s

A taught postgraduate degree may not be dissimilar to your undergraduate degree in the way it is delivered and will probably involve core and optional modules taught via lectures, seminars and practical work. Depending on how you are taught, this could also involve group projects too. Taught courses can allow exposure to a wide range of subjects and also help you to develop a broad skill set. If you enjoy contact time with tutors and with your peers then a taught course could meet your needs. Another reason you may want to consider a taught course is to change career direction – whether you’re looking for a good knowledge base or a practical/professional qualification.

Research master’s

A research qualification will generally involve far more self-directed and independent study and be narrower in focus. If you know exactly what you want to do and are interested in moving on to a PhD then this can be a good starting point and act as a bridge. Although you may have some classes and will have a supervisor it’s likely you’ll spend quite a bit of time working alone and you’d need to be comfortable with this. A research qualification can also be a strong foundation for a research career (although it doesn’t preclude a move in other career directions).

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – choosing the right postgraduate course is a big decision! If you’ve decided to take that step then make sure to research and find the course that’s right for you. You can find more information on the postgraduate study section of our website.