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?

Lavelle 'gutted' as tendon tear ends Tocca Ferro's campaign

The meeting at Cheltenham on Saturday, the final one staged there before the Festival in March, is nowadays billed as Trials Day. For trainers and punters alike, however, there already seems to be at least one Tribulations Day every week. The ink had barely dried on a setback to Ireland's principal Gold Cup hope, Pandorama, when yesterday brought an abrupt derailment to perhaps the biggest gamble of the season to date – as well as an alarming bulletin for those still clinging to the wreckage of Dunguib's attempt to justify an even bigger plunge at the Festival last year.

Lord Taylor of Warwick guilty of fiddling expenses

A former Tory peer was today found guilty of fiddling his expenses to claim more than £11,000 from the public purse.

Cultural Life: Sarah Millican, comedian

Comedy: I recently drove all the way to Derby to see Sean Lock perform. Professional and hilarious in his interaction with the crowd, it was exactly how it should have been: a great reception for a great comedian. Sometimes at comedy gigs I find myself analysing the material but this really felt like a night off. I also really enjoyed hearing new material from Juliet Meyers and Sally-Anne Hayward when I performed alongside them in Manchester. It's great to see comedians totally different to yourself. They are both exceptionally funny.

Hannah Starkey: Twenty-Nine Pictures

Twenty-nine striking pictures by celebrated photographic artist Hannah Starkey have been brought together for her biggest solo show in a decade.

MP reports six colleagues over expenses

A serving MP has reported six parliamentary colleagues - including two former Cabinet ministers - to police over alleged abuse of expenses, it was reported today.

Midwives warn of home births 'backlash'

The Royal College of Midwives has warned of a "calculated and concerted backlash" against home births, saying some doctors are too prone to refer women automatically for a hospital delivery.

Ex-MP David Chaytor faces jail over false expenses claims

A former Labour MP is facing jail after becoming the first politician to have a conviction for making false Parliamentary expenses claims.

Bringing philosophical discourse into the classroom is an inspirational move

Rugby School's ethos is the stuff of legend – sporting, imperial and literary. As recalled in stone in its School Close, this was the place in 1823 where local lad William Webb Ellis picked up an oval ball and ran, thereby inventing the game of rugby football. And to that tradition of sporting endeavour, a subsequent head teacher, Thomas Arnold (1828-42), added muscular Christianity, creating a recipe that shaped British public school education for a century and, by association, the British Empire, and which was immortalised in print in Tom Brown's Schooldays.

Outside the Box: Croydon Athletic's rise has been as rapid as a Pakistan no-ball

So, who are Croydon Athletic, propelled on to the news pages last week by the revelation that their owner is Mazhar Majeed, the friend and alleged fixer to the Pakistan cricket team? Theirs is a classic story of a small club rising through the ranks with great speed and attracting much controversy along the way. Barely two decades ago there was Wandsworth & Norwood FC, amalgamated from a club that played on Wandsworth Common and another from the Herne Hill cycle track. The name was changed to Croydon Athletic, "The Rams", in 1990 and they would have moved through the leagues even faster but for their ground needing improvements along the way. Majeed, born in Croydon, became co-owner in 2008, stating that his ambition was to reach the Conference, one tier below the Football League. Operating on what appeared to be a far greater budget than most, Athletic comfortably won the Ryman League First Division South last season to reach the Premier Division. Majeed boasted to the News of the World 's undercover reporters about using the club to launder money from his gambling winnings. The former chairman Dean Fisher has been sent to prison for three months for defrauding his employers of more than £525,000, some of which, he claimed in court, went to the club. Meanwhile the team have made a confident start at the higher level, with two away wins and a home draw. The club, and the Ryman League, have promised to co-operate fully with investigations being made by the police and the Football Association.

Baa Baas' fast start makes difference against Ireland

Ireland 23 Barbarians 29

John Stanley: The forgotten Handel

When he was two, John Stanley was blinded in a bizarre domestic accident – he fell onto a marble hearth while carrying a china basin – but this didn't stop him becoming one of the most celebrated organist-composers in 18th-century England. And, anyway, his real misfortune was to be eclipsed by Handel, as was every other British musician in those days.

Gervais's next project: a dwarf's life

The BBC has commissioned Ricky Gervais to write a new comedy about the day-to-day frustrations of a dwarf.

O'Gara's guile shows up English inferiority

Munster 33 Northampton 19

Howlett's tries make sure the Saints go marching out

Munster 33 Northampton 19: Mass choir in fine voice after All Black wing leads Munster past England's only quarter-finalists
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own