How Early Should I Apply for A Postgraduate Course In UK?
When Should I Apply for a Postgraduate Course?
The first crucial thing to know before applying for a Master Degree course in the UK is that there is no central admission system like for undergraduate courses. So, it is entirely up to you to approach the department or university directly. Most of the universities allow you to download their application directly from their websites. Checking exactly when the course starts and the deadline for admission is essential. Missing the deadline can make you wait for a full year. Many postgraduate courses in the UK usually do not have a fixed application deadline. So, you get the flexibility to apply as soon as you decide on studying a postgraduate course. However, applying early is a better idea to ensure you have the best chance of being accepted.
When Does the Academic Year in the UK Start?
The academic year in the UK runs from the month of September to July. Most of the university courses in London usually start in September, however, there are a few courses that start in January and February. So, it is recommended to check out the starting dates of your desired course in advance to avoid missing out the admission deadlines.
Since the admission for postgraduate studies open or usually start at the end of September or in early October, most of the applications process is done at the end of the previous year or at the beginning of the year in which the course is intended to start.
There are some colleges and universities with specific deadlines, whereas many will accept applications throughout the whole year. Though, some course providers take candidates on a “first come, first served basis”, and may possibly shut their application window once they have obtained enough interest.
That’s why it is better to submit your application as early as possible. You can apply even if you are in the final year of your undergraduate study. Being in the last year, you won’t be having a degree transcript to provide yet, however in such case your current university should be able to give an anticipated degree score to submit with the application.
Most postgraduate degree courses don’t have formal closing dates and receive applications on a regular basis. Officially you apply at any time of the year, but to ensure your application is accepted and considered it is better to apply sooner rather than later.
Undoubtedly, people do join postgraduate courses at the last minute. It is recommended to enquire at the admission office whereas it is not too late for enrolment.
Your academic career and achievements till date will be included in the application form.
The deadlines of the postgraduate course are more flexible and can be applied at any time for most courses. But remember, places on some colleges and especially some courses fill up rapidly, so ensure to apply as early as you can.
Why Is It Best to Apply Early?
If you are expecting to get funding, student loan or university accommodation, it is better to apply early. You will be more liable to get your chosen accommodation the earlier you apply.
Funding deadlines for courses start in September usually fall between January and March.
In general, International students require an unconditional offer to start applying for scholarships, student visas or another immigration status.
How to Apply for a Postgraduate Course?
Unlike undergraduate degree applications, postgraduate degrees or master courses applications are submitted directly to the universities.
Majority of the universities have their own user-friendly online application system. Each university decides its own timeframes to process the applications.
Usually, it takes between two weeks to two months to know whether you have secured a place or not. Sometimes, due to an unexpectedly large number of applications, modifications in internal procedures or a lack of staff may lead to unanticipated delays in turning applications around.
What Documents Should I Provide?
Whatever subject areas you are applying to study, your documents should include:
- Your CV
- A Personal statement
- Two or more references
- Academic transcripts
- a research proposal, required if applying for research degrees
- a portfolio, if required
If you are an international student, you also need to provide the following:
- a copy of your passport
- evidence of language proficiency (if you are not a native speaker)
How to Proof Language Proficiency?
You can take one of the following tests: a TOEFL, (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or IELTS, (International English Language Testing System), or a GCSE in English.
Whom Can I Ask for Reference?
References help to create a better picture of each candidate, which lets admissions shortlist their applicants. You need to give at least two academic recommendations for Master Course applications.
Don’t go after contacting a top-ranking professor to impress. There’s no point in using someone as a reference who hardly knows you. Instead, choose tutors, supervisors or lecturers whom you know all through your undergraduate degree. They will be able to provide accurate information about your academic abilities and performance and aptness for the course you are applying for.
If you are unable to give any academic reference, for example, if you have taken a long break from studying, you will have to provide a professional reference from your most recent employer.
Send the references directly to the university— well-dated, signed and properly sealed in an envelope. You can also send from an official company or university email address. If there’s any doubt as to their authenticity, the university may try to verify your references.
Lastly, don’t delay your application if you are waiting for references. It is crucial to get your application on time. Don’t worry if they are late; you can often change your referees at a later date!
Enrol Yourself for a Postgraduate Course at Mont Rose College
Postgraduate study is a big step up from the undergraduate level. Your postgraduate application must show you have the commitment, passion and ability for further study in your chosen subject area.
Submitting your postgraduate course application will take preparation, patience and most importantly— positive attitude. So, make sure to apply now, or as early as possible for a postgraduate course in London.
Mont Rose College offers a wide range of courses. Get in touch with us to know how to apply for a postgraduate course, or any other information on courses offered.