How do I know which Masters is right for me?

Monday, September 14, 2020

Choosing a master’s degree programme is exciting but with thousands of highly specific options, it can be quite intimidating to have to narrow it all down to just one! Let us help you out with your search for the perfect masters programme.

Think about the following so that you can make a fully-informed decision regarding your master’s degree!

Career Opportunities

Ask yourself: is a Masters degree necessary for my career? Whether you are deciding to pursue postgraduate study or enhance your career prospects, you will want to ask this question and think about whether it is necessary to enter a particular profession or accelerate a progression that you are already on.

For example, most science related careers in the UK require some kind of Masters and postgraduate qualification. Those who want to be teachers will want to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Lawyers need to complete a Legal Practice Course (LPC).

Do you have a specific employer in mind? Reach out to them and confirm if a master’s degree can improve your application. Think about the employability rate of graduates in the course you’re considering.

Make sure that your chosen institution will help you develop the real-world skills and knowledge needed to master the profession. For example, if you are thinking about a career in academics you will want to make sure the degree could lead to a PhD.

Higher Education Institution Reputation

Do your research when it comes to choosing a higher education institution where you will earn your masters! There is no need to focus solely on the university’s overall reputation or popularity. What you should do is focus on the subject-specific strength. Find out if an institution offers a strong program in the course that you are looking for.

Taught or research Masters

You will need to choose between a taught or research programme. Both are similar and usually take one to two years to complete.

What are some differences?

  • Taught Masters usually follow a similar structure to undergraduate study. Research Masters usually have more independent learning.
  • Most Masters programmes are taught courses that consist of Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc) subjects. Research courses will include the MREs and MPhil degree programmes.
  • Taught Masters are usually made up of core and optional modules. Research Masters will involve at least one ore more independent research projects, with little to no set scheduled hours.

Course Content

Make sure that the course modules include content that advances your education. Make sure they aren’t too generic or replicate exactly what you have already learned at the undergraduate level.

Industry Links

Your chosen university should have strong industry links with companies and organizations in the industry that you are trying to break into or advance in. Your institution should provide access to mentoring schemes, opportunities to work with businesses and the chance to network with employers and alumni.


Do you prefer city life or rural life? Do you prefer to stay at home? Do you wish to move? Can you financially afford to move and start a Masters programme at the same time?

Success will depend on you being able to balance your academic, professional, and personal life while maintain your physical and mental health.

Make sure that you consider all of this when choosing the location of your university.


Is flexibility something important to you? Look for a Masters programme that is offered partially, if not fully, through online distance learning.

Not sure what university to start looking at?

Check out the quick list below:

These universities offer masters programmes that in-person as well as online through distance learning methods.

Durham University
Imperial College London
Lancaster University
University of Buckingham
University of Cambridge 
University of Greenwich
University of Oxford
The Open University

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