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Further study


What is further study?

Further study/postgraduate study is commenced after your undergraduate degree. Courses include;

  • a taught course leading to a master's degree
  • a research course leading to a master's degree
  • a research degree leading to an MPhil or PhD
  • a vocational course covering a particular area of work (eg PGCE for teaching or GDL for Law)

Reasons to do further study

  • "I love studying and I love my subject": This is a good reason but you must be sure that you can sell it as a positive experience in subsequent job applications.
  • "I don't want to get a job yet": Further study can 'buy' you time but you must make sure you use the time to make yourself a better candidate later on.

Funding further study

Financing your postgraduate study can be very difficult, particularly with masters courses. Many courses attract no funding at all. This means you will have to pay fees (for UK and other EU nationals) as well as your living costs. Loans are available to most people who wish to take Masters course.

The academic department offering the course will be able to advise you of the appropriate funding body and the application procedure.

Main funding bodies

Alternative funding methods

  • Family support
  • Living at home during further study
  • Charities and educational trusts (may provide small grants)
  • Research and teaching assistant-ships (mainly in sciences)
  • Sponsorship from employers (not common)
  • Part-time work
  • Taking a year out to earn money
  • Check the Directory of Grant Making Trusts and/or the Grants register (available at the library)


Apply for Royal Holloway courses here. For other universities contact the academic department offering the course.

Many courses are competitive, so it's important to write a strong application. You can find a help sheet about writing applications on Moodle under Consider and apply for further study.

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