Changing directions with postgraduate study

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARecent research by the Creative Graduates Creative Futures 2009 Surveyhttp://www.employment-studies.co.uk/pubs/report.php?id=471  identified that over 72% of creative graduates undertake some form of further study during the life time of their  career.Currently in the UK, there are over     55, 000 postgraduate courses  to choose from. Courses range from taught to research with a variety qualifications and study options on offer.

If you are a final year GSA student and planning to pursue a postgraduate course, you are not alone. At GSA, approximately 20% *of our new graduates will enter a full time further study course six months after their graduation.  Of our graduates who undertake further study, many will be doing so in order to develop a deeper understanding of their creative practice, subject knowledge and professional network. But, not all of our graduates who enter postgraduate study will be studying a creatively focused course. Some will be pursuing new interests, new career directions and learning.

Postgraduate courses can be a great way to successfully transition to a new career area, as they can can offer opportunities to expand and diversify your learning experiences and achieve specific professional qualifications.

If you are considering changing your career direction by undertaking a postgraduate course, make sure that you take the time to research your options thoroughly and strengthen your application by gaining relevant experience.  And dont forget to be ready to answer any questions on why you are making a career change.   Find out more about changing your career direction here: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/job_hunting_changing_careers.htm

If you are already writing your postgraduate applications, here are my top tips to ensure that your application will be a successful one:

  • Compile and evidence your GSA experience; your graduate attributes and skills, live /professional projects undertaken, critical and theoretical practice and achievements.
  • Identify any skills/knowledge gaps you may have for your long term ambition and make sure that your selected course helps develop new learning and practice to plug those gaps.
  • Strengthen your application, with focused work experience, voluntary practice and extra- curricular activities.
  • Identify how you prefer to learn and the type of learning environment that you thrive in, as this will help you to select the best course for you.
  • Make sure you are fully aware of what course administrators are looking for by attending open days, ask questioning and seeking guidance on what administrators would expect prospective candidates to evidence within their applications.
  • Check your selected course’s graduate destinations; do the graduates from the course find employment in the area that you are interested in? Are there specific links to the sector you wish to enter within the course? Will you be able to develop your professional experience through this learning?
  • Finally, ensure that you make your application to your post graduate course in plenty of time and you are aware of all the relevant deadlines (including funding.)

Find out more about postgraduate courses here:

Prospects: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate_study.htm

UCAS/Postgraduate courses:http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/choosingcourses/choosingcourse/postgraduate

* Average % of GSA Graduates in full time further study six months after Graduation Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE). See HESA for more information:

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