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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn