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Postgraduate Study in the UK

More and more students from overseas are coming to the UK to study on postgraduate courses. There are many reasons to study at British institutions, even within the same city, means that you should be able to find something that meets your needs and experiences.

Many of these institutions now have a long tradition of international students, and so have well developed support structures and are well equipped to ensure that your experience is rewarding and enjoyable, both academically and socially. And, of course, qualifications from British institutions enjoy a high reputation throughout the world.

There is a huge variety of courses available at British institutions. The most important distinction is between taught and research programmes. Taught courses (typically Masters or Diploma awards) usually last one year full-time or two years part-time. The taught component might be of 9 months full-time including some formal teaching supplemented by individual tuition and seminar groups, and assessed by written examination or by work submitted during the period of study. A Masters award will then usually include a dissertation, portfolio of work or supervised research project, with an oral examination.

The most common research award is the PhD, which involves a research thesis produced over three years full-time study, or longer part-time. Research students will have one or more supervisors to help guide their studies.

The choice of course is often difficult to do from a distance. At the most basic level, facts about the structure of British higher education can be obtained from the British embassy, High Commission or British Council in each country. These may also be able to provide lists of universities, addresses and some facts about courses offered. However the best source of information is to write to the British university is question, requesting course details and, most importantly, some indication of prerequisites in order to ensure that the courses is at an appropriate level.

Some information about courses is available on the Internet, on sites provided by the British Council and “Prospectus Postgrad”, the official service of British universities.


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