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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Marketing & Social Media Executive

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a Marketing Graduate or...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer (Trainee) - City, London

£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Services Graduate Training Scheme

£20000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a successful and establ...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

£20 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer is nee...

SPONSORED FEATURES

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future