How can you ensure your postgraduate application gets noticed?
First of all remember postgraduate study is a serious commitment, both intellectually and financially. So ask yourself what do you want to get out of your program of study? How are you going to fund it?
Once you know the answer to these questions its time to think about which program is right for you? If it is a degree at your home institution you may well have detailed knowledge. But it will still be worth contacting staff who teach on the program to start a discussion about your academic needs. If you are applying to a different institution to the one where you took your first degree, it is even more important to make contact with an individual at that institution, preferably face to face or over the phone. It is best to find the name of a contact on the website, then email them to request a short meeting at a mutually convenient time.
Finally, if all systems are go, you need to make sure that your application gets noticed. Here are some tips. Take this process seriously and devote time to it. Complete the form in as much detail as you can and check your application carefully before submitting it. If you have any questions, contact the postgraduate admissions department at the institution before submitting the application.
The core of any application is usually the personal statement. This part of the form gives you the opportunity to review your academic progress and to identify the skills you have. You need to talk about your subject area and your expertise in it. You then need to talk about the degree program you are applying for explain why it will help your academic development. And finally, you need to articulate what you want to do with your postgraduate degree in your future career. Those responsible for recruiting are looking for bright, competent students who have a passion for their subject, a track record of achievement and a plan for further study.
By Shalini Sharma,
Director of Postgraduate Taught Courses (M.A./M.Res: History)