Regardless of whether you’re an undergraduate student looking to study further or a working professional wanting to specialise in a particular field, choosing which master's degree to pursue is a tough decision to make. A UK master’s degree is evidence of higher understanding in an area of expertise. Picking the right master’s degree can kickstart your career and set you off on the path to success.
A master's degree in the UK is usually one year long unless it is a research-oriented program. Since pursuing a master’s degree in a big investment that you make in yourself, you must ensure that you make the right choice and get returns from it in the future.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Master's Program in the UK
This may seem like a trivial point but is, in fact, the most important thing to consider. Your undergraduate degree or work experience may give you an idea of which direction you can head in, but it is important to remember that you are pursuing the degree for your own self and not just because it is what you should do next. Don’t just go for mainstream programs without paying heed to what interests or motivates you.
You must conduct thorough research on the subjects, combined with the type of degree and universities which appeal to you. Browse through the web or meet with expert consultants to narrow down your choices to a plausible number.
The main things to look into at this stage are university information like location, size and type of university, the university rankings, the subject rankings, and the Teaching Excellence Framework rankings. The best league tables to consult are The Guardian, The Times and QS. It is important to check the entry requirements as well, as there is no point in applying to a university where you don’t meet the basic criteria.
Apart from meeting with consultants, you can attend university fairs and open days organized by both universities and consultants that take place all year round. Meeting university representatives directly gives you valuable insight into what the university and course will be like. You can get clarity about your chances of making it into a university, getting a scholarship, and career prospects.
Fees and Living Costs
Though a master's degree in the UK usually lasts for only one year, it is not inexpensive. You’ll have to figure out where all you can afford to study your desired course and rule out universities further on that basis. You will also need to consider the living costs in the different cities where your preferred universities are located. London or Edinburgh would generally be costlier than the other cities in England or Scotland, but also have the most to offer in terms of student experience and exposure.
University Facilities and Services
The finer details can play a major role in helping you ultimately decide on a program at a university. Facilities such as IT services, virtual teaching, specialist libraries, career cell, and international student support have a big influence on the overall teaching and learning experience that a university has to offer.