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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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us