Whether you want to further your career, gain an extra qualification, or continue studying a subject you love, there are lots of different reasons for thinking about a postgraduate course. But before you take the plunge, you’ll want to consider the different types of postgraduate study and the best ways to fund your course.
Topics: Postgraduate study
The UK's leading Postgraduate Study Fair has a new look and feel to both its website and branding. The refresh accommodates the changing needs of prospective postgraduate students and universities exhibiting at the fair.
The Institute of Physics has recently published a report with the Royal Astronomical Society, Gazing at the Future. Kate Murray, Careers Consultant to the Graduate School, King’s College London attended the launch and is sharing what she learnt with us on Reach:
The report looks at the experiences of male and female physics and astronomy researchers during their PhDs and their expectations of whether or not they will enter academia after the PhD.
The stats in the report make pretty depressing reading: female doctoral students rate the overall experience of their doctorate lower than their male peers; and the proportion of female doctoral students happy with their doctorate is on average 7% lower than for male doctoral students. Only just over 55% of female doctoral students across all years of study agree that they would make good research scientists (70% of male students overall would agree).
Particularly stark was the finding that 48% of female students, in their final year, envisage that they might have a university role in 3-5 years' time, compared with 65% of male students.
The report suggests reasons behind these stats, including the issue of a lack of role models (thus reinforcing unconscious bias amongst recruiters and setting an unconscious bar on ambition on the part of candidates).
It doesn't seem to me, though, that physics and astronomy are particularly alone in these findings. While efforts such as Athena SWAN and the Equality Charter Mark, as well as initiatives by individual universities such as the fantastic photos of female professors in the Strand building, all help to promote academia as a welcoming place for women, the conversations I have with female researchers across all subjects point to structural issues around the competition for grants and working culture that are off-putting. In fairness, they are often off-putting to men looking for work/life balance too.
What to do? Find resilience, set examples, seek good advice, take opportunities. Find a mentor, find a 'supporter' (someone who actively looks for opportunities for you), and don't be pigeon-holed. Think about protecting your self-esteem and promoting your self-confidence. And retain a love for research.
A message from Yulia Kiseleva, PhD student at the Department of War Studies at King's
Do you know your Premier Plus, GTTR, SCITT and QTS? Those who do, teach. With so many changes to graduate routes into teaching, it can be difficult to know which route is best for you, what other options exist and what support you may get. The DfE Get into Teaching website has useful resources and regularly puts on free events where you can find out more about the different types of teachers, the qualification routes and how to apply.
Before Christmas WWIP held a fascinating panel discussing a question many students grapple with - should they do a PhD or not?
Each year an increasing number of international students consider studying medicine in the US. For those considering such a move after their time in the UK, here’s a few resources to get you started.