How to choose the perfect postgrad course

With the job market in such a dire state, it is imperative to have as much study and experience on your CV as possible to improve your employability. One of the best ways to do this is by gaining postgraduate qualifications. In addition to the obvious benefits such as increased knowledge and expertise, delaying graduate job hunting for a year could also be useful as job opportunities are set to increase as the economy improves.

So if you are in this position, how do you decide on the course that is right for you? Follow our guide below to find out.

Decide what you want and why you want it

Before getting too far down the process of applying for a Masters, diploma or PhD course, you need to decide what kind of course you want to do and what you hope to gain from it. Do you choose something that is very career specific, or more general in nature? Once you have decided on your needs, you can research the courses that have the best chance of satisfying them. Then you can trawl the many institution websites to find the perfect postgrad course for you, with the Middlesex University site being particularly helpfully laid out.

How did previous students fare?

There is no better indicator of the usefulness of a course than researching how alumni have fared since completing their studies. Avoid the marketing bumf provided by most institutions in their pamphlets, and instead seek out the Higher Education Statistics Agency to find out exactly what graduates do post study. This should help to rule in or out particular courses and universities, making your choice easier.

Paying the fees

Another factor to be considered when choosing a course for postgrad study is fees. Although courses across the universities can look similar on paper, the fees they charge and the structures for paying them can differ greatly. If funds are tight, this could be pivotal in your decision making process and should be researched carefully.


Sure, it would be great to leave your small hometown again and live in a hustling, bustling cosmopolitan city with great nightlife. However, such locations come complete with higher living costs, and is there any point paying lots of money on postgrad education only to miss half of your lectures because you are hung over from the night before? With this in mind, think carefully about why you are studying and the end goal when considering your location of study.

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