Postgraduate Study & Research

Postgraduate page

There are a number of reasons why you may decide to continue in your studies. It may be required for your chosen profession or it may simply be that you have a love for your subject.

One of the best ways to find out about the wide range of postgraduate taught courses and research programmes that we offer is to come along to one of our Part Time & Postgraduate Open Evenings.

The sessions are informal and give you the chance to have a one-to-one chat with lecturers as well as careers and money advisers.

Consider the following:

  • Is a postgraduate qualification essential or desirable for your chosen career?
  • Is the qualification that you are considering accredited by a professional body?
  • Does the employer see relevant experience as being more valuable and are they only interested in qualifications from certain institutions?
  • Will a postgraduate qualification allow you to progress ‘through the ranks’ more rapidly?

If you need help answering these questions then book an appointment with the Careers Service

Talk to employers and read the employer and occupational profiles via Prospects to research further.

There are 3 main types of postgraduate qualification to consider:

  • Postgraduate Diploma/Certificates – Usually one year full time vocational or professional qualifications in areas such as Law (PGDL) and Teaching (PGCE). For more information on postgraduate teaching courses, visit our Getting into Teaching section.
  • Taught Masters – e.g. MBA, MSc, MA – Usually one year if full time. Most comprise of nine months of teaching (e.g. lectures, seminars) followed by an independent research project.

  • Research based Masters/Doctorates – Higher degrees which involve independent 'in-depth’ supervised research, the results of which culminate in the presentation of a written thesis, e.g: MPhil/PhD (DPhil). These higher degrees can be studied on a full or part time basis.

Here are some web sites to begin searching for a postgraduate course:
  • Postgrad – Search for postgraduate programmes and A-Z list of institutions.
  • Research Gate – ResearchGate is the professional research network for scientists.

  • – Search PhD jobs is a range of academic disciplines and fields of expertise.

It is important that you begin investigating opportunities for postgraduate study early (preferably in the year preceding entry) and check all information to ensure that you meet entry requirements and closing dates. It is important to note:
  • To apply for higher degrees it is usual to apply direct to individual institutions, though some institutions may ask you to apply through UCAS Postgraduate
  • Applying for places for postgraduate study or research is different from applying at undergraduate level with no system equivalent to UCAS.
  • If applying for a research degree you would normally need to put together a research proposal. You can speak to your Academic Tutor or Careers Adviser about this.
  • Applying for postgraduate research tends to be more flexible at MPhil and PhD levels (although again there can be deadlines attached to funding arrangements).

NB For many of the vocational postgraduate courses such as teaching, social work and law there are clearing houses with specific formal closing dates.

Visit Prospects – Postgrad Funding and TARGETCourses Funding to search for postgraduate funding across the UK.

The seven government research councils are also an important source of funding for academic postgraduate study in the UK.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC))
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Postgraduate Funding at the University of South Wales provides information on postgraduate funding opportunities at the University of South Wales. They can provide information on areas such as bursaries and scholarships, bank loans, and sponsorship. There are also a large number of trusts and charities to which you can apply for funding.

We have a student money service which will provide information about funding opportunities available at their institution.

FindAMasters Funding guide – This comprehensive guide to funding for Masters degrees covers all of the most important sources of financial support for postgraduate study.

Find a grant – Postgraduate Funding for university students through charity grants – Fund your own studies.

Whether you are applying for positions within or outside of academia, you will have developed a range of skills and abilities through your research, which many employers will find attractive. The following resources will help you to use your PhD in the job market. They cover career planning, professional development and job hunting.

Vitae Researchers Portal – Specialist site dedicated to researchers professional and career development. – Researchers Careers – Includes destinations and career paths of PhD graduates, advice for those pursing an academic career, careers outside of academia and applying for academic jobs. – Career planning for PHDs e-book

Prospects – Your PhD What Next? – An essential career planning and job hunting guide for those embarking on, or holding a PhD qualification. This link includes information on professional development opportunities, research councils and job search websites.

Beyond the PhD is a Career Resource for Arts and Humanities PhD Researchers which includes profiles, articles, videos and links.

FindAPHd – Find a PhD is the only dedicated PhD web site in Europe. With funded PhD studentships and opportunities for self-financed students to study at some of the world’s top research universities. offer an annual £5,000 PhD scholarship plus a number of smaller awards in any subject.

Discover Business Online Guide to MBA and Graduate Programs – This guide is to help prospective students make more informed decisions when selecting a graduate program. – Key source for academic and research jobs, professional management and technical and research support jobs in the UK.

FindAPostDoc – Postdoctoral & PhD job opportunities.

Guardian Jobs – Higher Education – Find the latest academic jobs in Guardian Jobs.

Times Higher Education – jobs – search for academic jobs advertised by Times Higher Education Jobs. – The leading site for academic and research jobs in Europe. – A space to share & follow research and people in your field.

Science Careers – Jobs in science & technology.

Academic – A collection of online resources that have been gathered for the academic job hunter.

The Euraxess Jobs Portal – Researchers can find a wealth of constantly updated information on job vacancies, funding opportunities and fellowships throughout Europe.

Interactive Map of UK universities and colleges – Search institutions home page to access job vacancy information.

Research is – A research recruitment & social networking site.

Studying outside of the UK – Overview of the higher education system, what courses you can study, how to apply for postgraduate courses, fees and scholarships, exchanges programmes, will the qualifications be recognised in the UK, and visa requirements.

The postgraduate guide to studying abroad – The AGCAS Postgraduate guide to studying abroad explains what you need to do to secure a place on the course you want. This guide steers you through the process, from finding the right course and institution and exploring your funding options to preparing your applications.

Research Councils UK – the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils.

The National Postgraduate Committee website is a charity to advance postgraduate education in the UK.

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