Postgraduate queries: Do universities have open days for prospective postgrad students?

 

Q: Do universities have open days for prospective postgrad students?

A: Yes, all universities will open their doors to postgraduates at least once or twice a year. Most seem to do this in the autumn term, but a few have their open days (right) at this time of year. For example, Brunel University and the University of Sussex have events coming up towards the end of this month, and London South Bank University has one in February.

Some universities target their audience even more finely by staging open days or evenings dedicated to a particular subject area or faculty. But even if there isn't one to suit your timetable, you can always ask to visit on your own one day, to chat informally to students and staff. Whatever you do, though, don't sign up for a postgraduate course, and the associated expense, without having had a physical look around. Because surroundings and space can count for a great deal.

Q: I want to get a job in sports management, but am attracted to managing facilities rather than people. What sort of a Masters should I go for?

A: Sports management is a very wide field, requiring managers who pick teams and plan tactics as well as those who run stadia and sports centres. However, to make it to the top of either of those career paths, it helps to have a broad knowledge of how sport works, from the boardroom to the dressing room. That is why most sports management Masters at UK universities offer an introduction to all the areas necessary for a sports business of any kind to run effectively.

This will include marketing, finance, human resources, and facilities management, with some also offering a glimpse into more niche areas, such as sports law, media management, and the international dimension. But what most courses also offer is the opportunity to pick a project or dissertation area that reflects the direction within sport that matches your chosen career path. So my advice would be to seek out a course that offers a solid and broad grounding, along with the flexibility to do some more in-depth work in your own area of interest.

Q: I'm considering embarking on a postgraduate course this autumn, but I'm a bit worried that I won't be able to afford the course fees. Could you help me to make a decision either way?

A: The problem with fees for postgraduate courses is that there isn't the predictability you get with undergraduate courses. There is no single, uniform fee for all first degrees at any given university. A Masters course can set you back as little as a couple of thousand pounds, or stretch your finances to way over £10,000. However, there are some general principles that apply most of the time. The first is that if your course is largely lecture-based, with little or no need to call on expensive facilities or equipment, then the fees are likely to be less than for a course where you spend a lot of time in laboratories carrying out experiments requiring expensive materials.

But this is not universally the case, so it is worth shopping around if you're thinking of postgraduate science or engineering, for example. Other factors that can sharply push up fees are field trips and study visits. At the application stage, it's crucial to find out how much of these costs are already embedded into course fees, and how much are likely to appear as unwelcome bills during the year. The good news is that universities are pretty open about their fees, so you shouldn't find it difficult or too time-consuming researching your costs alongside the academic considerations.

Send your queries to Steve McCormack at  steve.mcc@virginmedia.com

Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Trainee Sales Executive

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Trainee Sales Executive is re...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer - Peterborough - £18,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Cambridgeshire - £23,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Front-End Develo...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003