Postgraduate queries


I've missed the boat to get on a master's course this autumn, but don't want to waste the rest of this year putting my education on hold. Do any master's courses start in January or February?

In the past few years, this area has taken off; barely a university in the country has no January/February starts among their programmes. They are particularly common at the new universities (former polytechnics and colleges) and, if you act quickly, it is not too late to get on a course in early 2012. In fact, recruitment for most courses continues right through January.

While there are exceptions, most postgrad courses starting in January/February are those linked to a vocational area, or to a management discipline of some sort. Many also offer part-time study over a longer period, rather than full-time for a year. It is also worth asking how the university will try to merge your course with one that started in autumn.


I am doing a general engineering first degree but thinking of specialising in the nuclear energy field after I have graduated. What sort of postgraduate courses should I be considering?

You're asking this question at a good time, as it seems reasonably certain the UK will build some new nuclear power stations sometime in the next decade or so and, across the world, nuclear power stations are gaining supporters.

All these factors are aired, albeit from a partial standpoint, on the website of the Nuclear Industry Association (, which also has a list of universities offering postgraduate courses in the field. Given your first degree, it's likely you'll lean towards the mechanical engineering area, including disciplines surrounding building and maintaining plants.

There are also courses slanted towards environmental protection issues and general business and management factors linked to running an energy business.


I'm pretty sure my business degree won't be enough to get me a job, so think I'll need a business master's of some sort to make any headway in the job market. What are the options, and what is the range of likely costs?

You have two main options. The first is to do a general management master's course, which should equip you to start working life in various types and sizes of firm, while keeping the option open to specialise later.

Second, if you have a firm idea of where you'd like to work within a business, you can seek out a master's course tailored to this field. Examples include finance, marketing, accounting or HR. However, these courses don't come cheap, partly because places are highly sought-after, and partly because universities know they have a good record in helping students move quickly into paid employment. You should expect to pay anything between £8,000 and £15,000 or more for a year's full-time taught course.


Send your queries to Steve McCormack at

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power