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Further Study Options

Many students go on to do further study after their undergraduate degree. Sometimes it’s a requirement for entry to a particular profession e.g. Teaching or Social Work or it can help you to “convert” to a different discipline e.g. Law, Computer Science or Medicine. Perhaps you just want to specialise in a particular area.

If you are considering further study, there are some key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • what is your motivation? Will further study bring you closer to achieving your career goals or are you just enjoying college so much you don’t want to leave?!
  • are you genuinely interested in the subject you are planning to study?
  • what are the employment prospects for graduates of the programme?
  • how will you fund your studies?

Here are our top tips for getting a place on a course that’s right for you:

Be mindful of deadlines and application requirements

Application deadlines and processes for graduate study programmes differ so you need to make sure you check the relevant dates and requirements for any programme you are considering. Many programmes require completion of an online application form, provision of a transcript of your academic transcript, two academic references and a personal statement/statement of motivation so make sure to allow yourself enough time to pull all of this together.

Do your research

There are lots of useful course search websites, for example Gradireland (for ROI and NI), Prospects (UK) and Masters Study Portal. These sites also provide helpful tips on making effective applications.  Education USA provides information on further study in the USA and Top Universities provides a comprehensive global ranking of universities.

Identify any standardised test requirements

If you are planning to study in the USA you may be required to sit a standardised test in advance; for example the Graduate Management Admissions Tests (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE). If you are planning to do graduate entry medicine you will also need to complete a standardised test. In Ireland, the Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is used. Make sure you factor these types of requirements into your application timeline.

Look at funding options

Funding can be an issue for many postgraduate students. You can find information on student grants available in Ireland on the Citizens Information website. The Irish Research Council funds scholars at various career stages, including postgraduate study. It’s also worth checking with the university you are planning to attend whether there are any scholarships or bursaries you might be eligible for. You can find useful information on a variety of funding sources on the GradIreland website and the Education in Ireland website.