As with undergraduate study, the best way to find out information about a postgraduate course you are interested in is to attend an open day. Here are our top tips to get the most out of your time at the event.
1 – Research the university, school and course in advance
This will help you work out what are the most important questions to ask when at the event. There may be things which are now much more important to you than at undergraduate level, the research interests of individual academics for example. Make sure you get the answers you need to make an informed decision about the course and if it’s right for you.
2 – Understand the application process for that university
Unlike undergraduate study, where the majority of applications are handled by UCAS, postgraduate applications are often made directly to the university, using their own application systems. Make sure you understand any particular deadlines pertinent to the course or university you’re interested in and be clear on when you can expect a response to your application.
3 – Funding
You may have specific questions about the funding and research funding available for postgraduates within the department or school you are applying to. The open day is the ideal opportunity to obtain information in what’s available and understand the level of funding received by the institution, which can help inform your decision.
4 – Job prospects
Many people undertake postgraduate study in order to specialise their skills and aid their job prospects. Speak to careers advisers who will be present at the open day and attend any talks they might give detailing the help and advice they offer their postgraduate students. In addition, speak to individual departments and schools about what fields alumni from that course have progressed into.
5 – Speak to current students
Speak to those students currently on the courses you’re interested in to understand their first-hand experiences. Have they enjoyed the course? Would they recommend it? Has it opened doors into careers? What has the academic and personal support been like? This first-hand experience is vital in building up an overall impression of if the course/university is the right fit for you.
6 – Accommodation
As a postgraduate student, you may well have very different demands from your university accommodation, than as an undergraduate. Be clear what options are available, both in terms of what’s provided by the university and what help is available to find accommodation privately.
Finally take a moment to take a step back and try to picture yourself studying here. If you feel it’s the right fit for you, then it could certainly be worth making an application.
The University of Kent is holding a postgraduate open event on Tuesday 7th March 2017, please visit our website for further information.
This is a guest post written by the digital communications officer at the University of Kent.