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Tips for Choosing a Postgraduate Course

master's courses in Ireland
3 min

It’s important to know exactly what you want from a postgraduate course and do plenty of research to ensure you choose the right course for you.

Undertaking postgraduate study requires a significant time, financial and personal commitment so you want to ensure the master’s programme you choose is completely right for you.

Do it for the right reasons

The key questions to ask yourself are:

  • Why am I choosing to continue with study?
  • What are my motivations?
  • What added value will postgraduate study provide?
  • Where will postgraduate study lead career-wise?

If you’re unsure what career path to pursue after your Bachelor’s graduation it’s important to recognise that opting for postgraduate study purely to delay making a decision on your career path isn’t a wise move and could ultimately be an expensive mistake to make.

Do your research

To gain a thorough understanding of what the master’s course involves, it’s important to find out as much as possible about the faculty, it’s staff, their specialist interests and research, and also ask questions about the teaching methods and styles used.

The postgraduate study experience can be very different to the undergraduate one as students are expected to be much more independent, motivated and willing to drive their own learning and discovery through individual study and research.

If you’re going to get the most out of the postgraduate experience it’s essential that you feel genuine enthusiasm and curiosity for the course programme and content.

Find out what past students are doing now

A good indicator of the institution’s and faculty’s reputation are the experiences of previous students. Look for testimonials on the institution’s website, ask the faculty where their graduates are now or if they can put you in contact with a few former students so you can find out whether the master’s course has helped them with their careers. Hopefully they can give you some candid and insightful advice on what level of support you can expect from lecturers when preparing for graduation and finding work afterwards.

It’s also worth remembering that LinkedIn is a real gem for exploring how other graduates who have been in your situation have found their feet and established successful careers after postgraduate study.

Attend an open day

Open days are always great opportunities to get a real feel for the faculty, it’s facilities and the lecturers who will be teaching and guiding your postgraduate learning experience.

Is postgraduate study right for you?

Complete TARGETpostgrad’s quiz to reveal what advice they have for students who can’t decide whether or not to continue with their studies, or learn more about postgraduate programmes.


Written by Lydia Casey

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