Why Study Further

There are many reasons to study further. You might find it helpful to think about what you want to gain and research carefully how further study might help you achieve your goals.

For example, which of the following motivations are important to you?

  • Satisfying intellectual curiosity, exploring a subject in greater depth.
  • Gaining expertise in a specific area, or building evidence of experience of a sector.
  • Training for a profession, for example the Graduate Diploma in Law for legal careers or PGCE for teaching.
  • Improving your career prospects generally or adding to your academic record.
  • Having a new experience – perhaps the chance to live in a different country.
  • Delaying entering the job market, perhaps while the labour market refreshes or to give you more time to clarify your direction. Take some time to think about how realistic this option is, you may need to make career decisions in the early part of your course.
  • Other factors that are important to you?

It’s worth taking some time to think beyond your basic motivation. We highlight some of the other issues you might consider below.

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To explore the potential impact of a course of further study on your career prospects:

  • Read sector insights from Careers Advisers on entry points for different careers.
  • Attend careers fairs, presentations and speaker events to ask recruiters and those working in the sector for their view on the value of a higher degree.
  • Use the University of Oxford alumni page on LinkedIn to review career paths and find contacts to ask for sector-specific insights.
  • Review destination statistics for courses. Individual institutions should be able to provide these, HESU provide a national overview of course destination data, and you can use the LinkedIn pages for specific universities to explore the career paths of alumni who graduated from courses you are considering.

Ask tutors, supervisors and others for their view on your suitability for further study, and for recommendations of courses and institutions.

Graduate study is a global marketplace. You may consider options for further study in the UK, graduate school in the USA, or further study elsewhere in Europe or beyond. Courses vary in their length and nature and there is a great variation in cost in different countries. Even within the UK there are significant variations in the cost of living in different regions (see UCAS UK regional guides).

If you decide that further study is the right option for you the next step is to research in detail which courses can satisfy your aims. Read our advice on choosing where to study in the UK, choosing where to study in the USA or postgraduate study in other countries for help with this.

Clarify your ideas about further study by:

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