Rise to the challenge: Stand out from the crowded jobs market with a Masters in business management

With one in 10 of this summer's graduates expected to be unemployed six months after leaving university – a sharp rise on previous years – applications for postgraduate courses have jumped. It seems that recent graduates, frustrated by the toughest jobs market in more than a decade, are taking to heart recent findings from the Higher Education Statistics Agency showing that holders of postgraduate degrees are likely to get higher paid and better jobs than those with only one degree.

A clearer future: Why sustainability graduates are in hot demand

It's not a word you would have seen in course titles 10 years ago, but Masters courses in sustainability have been popping up in many universities and business schools over the past few years. One of the first was at the Centre for Research Into Sustainability at Royal Holloway, University of London, which offers an MSc in sustainability and management. The course, taught between the management and geography departments, was first offered in 2004.

John Bingham: 'This reform will improve the support that governors need'

Chair of the board, Association of Colleges

Degrees of comfort: Where to find smaller classes and caring lecturers

Some students prefer to take university-level courses at further education colleges, where they get smaller classes, a more hands-on approach and help with employment when they graduate.

The joy of studying without moving

Distance learning provides an opportunity to 'future proof' your career.

Instead of going on holiday stay in a Gothic mansion and study

Holidays are usually defined narrowly as an escape from work, but, an increasing number of people are seeking something constructive to do in their free time and signing up for a residential course instead of a lazy beach break, according to the Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA).

Master the job market: Give your career an edge with further qualifications

Whether training for a specific career, indulging in academic research, or simply sitting tight to avoid the fierce graduate recruitment market, more and more university leavers are choosing to extend their studies. The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (Hecsu) expects that of the near 300,000 students who graduate this summer, 30 per cent will enrol on a postgraduate course – an extra 30,000 students on the recent average.

Forget agricultural training - today's trendy subjects are horticulture and pets

Its name may not roll off the tongue easily but medicinal horticulture is the course to be on since the BBC began its series Grow Your Own Drugs this year.

Formula for fun: Salford City College takes a lighter approach to attract young scientists

It's a question that has business, industry, educationalists and politicians scratching their heads: why isn't the UK producing more maths, science and engineering graduates? Not enough students are studying these key disciplines at university, A-level and GCSE, with young people consistently being turned off by poor teaching, dull classrooms and the common misconception that these are difficult subjects leading to "geeky" professions.

The world's your oyster: College students are being given the opportunity to live and work abroad

By his own admission, Dan Buckland, 21, was a trying student when he arrived at London Leisure College. He'd had a bad experience of school and although he was looking forward to training to be a rugby coach at the college – which works in partnership with other London colleges including Greenwich Community College – his confidence was low. Little did he realise that a three-week trip to Zambia with the college, in which the students coached Zambian schoolchildren, would turn his life around.

John Bingham: It's time to recognise the value of sixth-form colleges - and create more of them

Sixth-Form Colleges are a better choice than school sixth- forms for many of our young people – yet there appears to be no proactive Government policy to propel the creation of sixth-form colleges where the need is greatest. There are pockets of the country where these institutions abound, but equally in some regions they are very thinly spread.

Enterprising minds: Surge of interest in courses for budding entrepreneurs

With the repercussions of the global credit crunch no longer confined to the Square Mile and ordinary households tightening the purse strings amid fears for their jobs and pensions, it may seem perverse to call this a time of opportunity. Yet a period of upheaval can also be a time of renewal, with new business ideas arising from the ashes of the old.

A-Z of courses: Farriery

Radio Ga Ga: Students air their views on the airwaves

When Sheffield City College decided to trial its own radio station earlier this year, it quickly became a magnet for students. "To think that I was worried about how I'd come up with a regular supply of current shows," laughs Matt Hine, digital media lecturer. "From the start, students at all levels and of all ages were requesting to come in and record shows at lunchtimes and after classes. Many of these students would previously be off just as soon as class was over."

Art colleges lose research cash as ministers opt to protect science

Some of London's top art colleges are seething about cuts that mean that the University of the Arts London is losing £3m and the Royal College of Art £500,000 of research money next year. The cuts have come as a shock because the colleges actually did better in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), but this improvement was not reflected in cash.

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