Career tools

Masters, post grad diploma, post grad certificate

What is it?

For Master's courses, the normal entry requirement is a degree. However, universities also value skills, experience and knowledge gained through work and life and other qualifications - these can sometimes gain you entry to a Masters level course even if you do not have a degree.

Masters level courses are known as 'postgraduate' qualifications. Generally, they lead to four main types of qualification:

  • postgraduate certificates
  • postgraduate diplomas
  • masters degrees
  • doctorates

Most types of postgraduate qualification will include taught and research elements and many offer opportunities for part time study. There are a huge range of subjects to choose from which are are often linked to a specific profession. You can study a subject that's new to you, or choose a subject that builds on the knowledge and skills you gained during employment or education.

Where could I study?

You can study for a postgraduate qualification at universities and via distance learning through the Open University and, sometimes, as an external student of a university. 

How long will it take me?

Postgraduate qualifications normally take between 9 and 12 months to complete full-time or longer part-time.

Options after the course?

Postgraduate qualifications may help you enter a new field of work, help you progress in  your career, or might help you enter a job at a higher grade - evidence suggests further qualifications earn enhanced salaries: postgraduates are valued by employers for their maturity, developed research skills and commitment. You may also be able to continue academically into a PhD.