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FAQs

What are the entry requirements for Masters degree programmes?

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Applicants to postgraduate programmes are normally expected to have a good quality first degree in the relevant subject. Most good universities’ entry requirements for taught programmes are:

-a first degree, normally at UK Honours Higher Second (2:2) level or equivalent

OR

-evidence of prior learning, relevant professional work experience, or academic achievement that enables the University to assess the candidate’s potential to succeed in the programme applied for.

International students also need to demonstrate their English language abilities. Most universities would require IELTS 6.5 or equivalent for postgraduate studies.

How are postgraduate courses in the UK structured?

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Masters degrees are usually awarded for one year’s study and are assessed by exam and a short thesis. They can consist of both taught and research elements. Students will complete a number of modules (attending lectures and seminars, writing essays and taking examinations) and produce a dissertation from original research.

The most common Masters degree programmes are: MA (Master of Arts), MSc (Master of Science), MBA (Master of Business Administration), LLM (Master of Laws),MEd (Master of Education), MMus (Master of Music, MPhil (Master of Philosophy)M Phil is a research programme over two or more years. It ends with a dissertation or thesis of 50,000 – 70,000 words.

Many institutions allow successful MPhil students to convert directly to the second year of PhD course after their first year.

What are UK universities’ expectations of a postgraduate student?

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UK universities usually expect postgraduate students to have a solid academic background with the necessary study skills and knowledge in the chosen academic subject. Analytical skills and critical thinking skills are also essential.

Students should also have the ability to construct evidence-based argument and present this in a coherent and cohesive manner in writing with due acknowledgement of sources.

International students need also to have the ability to communicate in academic English to a level that enables to effectively participate in a postgraduate degree.

What are the main entry procedures into UK universities at Masters level?

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The majority of UK universities have one intake in September for entry to a Masters Degree; although some of them offer a January intake.

Students need to apply online with all supporting documents for most postgraduate courses. It usually takes 6– 10 weeks for universities to make a decision. If students are still waiting for their final undergraduate certificate or IELTS scores, the university can issue a Conditional Offer with a deadline for the candidate to meet the entry requirements.

For international students, once an unconditional offer has been accepted, they will need to pay a tuition fee deposit to the University to receive a CAS statement (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) for their visa application purpose.

Can you help me choose a Masters degree best suited to my future career?

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There are both generic and specialist Masters Programmes available in most UK universities. If a student has a clear career goal in mind, we usually encourage them to take a specialist programme, so that they will spend most of their postgraduate study time exposed to the chosen area. In addition, they will be studying with other students who have similar career goals, providing the opportunity to expand their network in the industry. We will help you identify the best postgraduate degree for your needs.

Can I visit universities before making my decision?

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Absolutely! We arrange regular visits to and from our university partners. We encourage students to visit as many universities as possible, so that you can have a feel of the campus, location, facilities and staff. It is also possible to talk to current students and meet some lecturers on your intended course.

Will I need to attend an interview at the university?

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Most taught Masters courses do not require interviews. Some top universities and specialist courses such as Art & Design and Drama/Acting courses do need interviews. We can give you specific counselling and interview practice if you are required to attend an interview.

Apart from studies, what does a postgraduate experience at a British university offer?

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A Masters degree or MBA from a UK university will prove to employers that the candidate is capable of independent thought and self-discipline. They will know the candidate can conduct and analyse his or her own research and make a real contribution to their company or organisation.

Throughout your time at university you will have access to all sorts of leisure and social activities. There will be the opportunity to join sports teams, volunteer organisations and groups with specialist interests, such as drama, music, arts or the environment. Trips to local theatres, museums, tourist and sporting attractions as well as other places of interest are often also arranged.