Student

As the possibility of unemployment looms for many, more than 500,000 each year choose to pursue further study in the form of a postgraduate taught programme such as a master's. The motivation behind this decision is often related to belief that a higher-level qualification will result in a better job. But does the CV addition of an MA, MBA or MSc actually improve employment prospects?

Clearing places run dry as colleges put up 'no vacancies' sign

Universities started putting up the "full" signs last night as the scramble for places continued.

Blunder gives A-level students results too early

Dozens of A-level candidates received an early glimpse of their results at the weekend as a result of an exam board blunder. About 50 pupils logged on to an online service run by the Edexcel exam board after it had been mistakenly opened up five days before the results were due to be published.

Warning of 'most frantic' university clearing

The clearing process for students who fail to make their grades this summer will be "the most frantic and stressful in living memory", it has been claimed.

Flexible learning: freedom to steer your life in any direction

Distance learning offers plenty of benefits, including great flexibility, says Matt Symonds

Women 'worst-hit by spending cuts'

Public spending cuts will have a disproportionate impact on women, widening Britain's gender pay gap and increasing other inequalities between the sexes, according to a report.

In Praise of Savagery, By Warwick Cairns

A droll trip with two soul mates

Man arrested in Jia Ashton murder probe

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering an economics graduate whose body was found in woodland near her workplace.

Massive fall in child abuse deaths linked to new protection policies

Child deaths from abuse have fallen dramatically over the past 30 years, new figures show. With social workers frequently vilified after the death of a child at the hands of adult guardians, the findings – published in Archives of Disease in Childhood – act as tribute to the success of child protection policies and those who implement them.

O'Shea sounds note of caution as Quins breach Munster citadel

Amlin Challenge Cup: Munster 12 Harlequins 20

Quins survive Easter red to win in Limerick

Munster 12 Harlequins 20

Children of older women 'fare better'

Older mothers make better parents, according to an international study of children born to women over 40.

Cathy Warwick: Hospitals are falling over the edge

More women are having babies and we haven't got the staff to deal with those who are older, obese, or who have conditions which, in the past, would have precluded child bearing. Many trusts do not have enough space and some units are overwhelmed, especially in London.

Johnson hopes National test will get to the bottom of Tidal Bay

An intriguing contender with a superb Aintree record was confirmed in the mix yesterday for next month's Grand National, though his tilt at the John Smith's-sponsored prize could hardly be termed no-nonsense. Five days ago Tidal Bay finished sixth in the Gold Cup, albeit 23 lengths behind the winner Long Run. As is his style, he was almost tailed off early but once he had condescended to put his racing head on, nothing stayed on up the finishing hill more strongly.

Sherrin set to deny Synchronised his second chance

Anyone who has sustained heavy damage at Cheltenham this week will approach the big race at Uttoxeter today with unusual empathy. For the Totesport Midlands Grand National gives horses a good approximation of how most punters feel, after negotiating their own gruelling marathon over the past four days.

Lack of sleep is a 'ticking time bomb'

Party lovers and workaholics who stay up late and rise early are putting their health at risk, researchers have found. People who regularly sleep less than six hours a night, or whose sleep is disturbed, have a 48 per cent greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15 per cent higher chance of a stroke.

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...