Checklist for choosing a postgraduate course

22 Jun 2023, 13:18

person writing an application

Choosing the postgraduate programme that is right for you can be a daunting task. Fortunately, you can use our simple checklist to make things easier. Each point is explained in further detail down below.

  1. Research your options
  2. Discuss research options
  3. Research funding options
  4. Check deadlines
  5. Seek advice from peers
  6. Pay attention to grades
  7. Ask for references
  8. Write your application

Research your options: Identify the type of programme you wish to follow – would a research or a taught course suit your area of study and long term goals best? If your area of interest is in a field that is unrelated to your undergraduate degree, a conversion course might be the way to go.

Discuss research options: Academic staff will have a wealth of knowledge about the opportunities that are available in your field of interest. Consult your academic mentor about your postgraduate options, especially regarding your research interest.

Research funding options: There may be the option to receive funding from the government, college or from another organisation to help you cover course fees. Make sure to look into the funding options you can apply for.

Check deadlines: Be sure to check and note down application deadlines for courses and funding opportunities.

Seek advice from peers: Once you have narrowed down your preferences to one or a few options, talk to students who are currently in your course/courses of choice and recent graduates about their experience. They might provide you with invaluable insights that can help you determine if the course is right for you.

Pay attention to grades: Grades do matter – continue to pay attention to achieving the best result possible. This will better the chances of you getting accepted into your chosen course.

Ask for references: Academic references count, ask your academic mentors and tutors for references before applying, this could give your application a good boost, especially if you're aiming for a research course.

Write your application: Application technique is important – a statement of purpose is increasingly required as an indicator of motivation. Be sure to put your best foot forward when submitting your application, a little extra effort can go a long way to helping you stand out.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

People reading this also searched for roles in these areas:

Related careers advice

undefined background image

We've got you

Get the latest jobs, internships, careers advice, courses and graduate events based on what's important to you. Start connecting directly with top employers today.