Broadening my horizons by pursuing a postgraduate degree

01 September 2020

Our MSc ambassador, Terrie, shares her reason for continuing her studies after completing her undergraduate degree so she could build on her professional knowledge and business acumen.

I started my undergraduate degree in Business and Management in 2016 as it matched my interest in analysing different types of business operations. To help me explore my career options within this field, I completed internships and have taken up modules that have helped me to explore different business functions. During this time, I discovered my real interest in strategic analysis and problem-solving for an organisation. However, as my undergraduate degree slowly came to an end, I started facing the dilemma of choosing between continuing my further education or stepping into the work environment. Despite it being a difficult decision to make, I decided to remain as a student so that I could build my professional knowledge and business acumen, and hopefully broaden my career horizons. Therefore, I decided to study MSc Business with Consulting at Warwick Business School.

There are a few differences between studying at an undergraduate level and a postgraduate level. The main difference would be the fact that postgraduate study increasingly focuses on the specialisation of a particular field or subject, while undergraduate study focuses on assisting students in building the fundamental knowledge and abilities of that particular field. Additionally, undergraduate study contains a lot of lectures and tutorial, whereas postgraduate study has limited teaching hours and contains more independent learning and group projects. During tutorials, professors would expect postgraduate students to participate and engage more compared to undergraduate students. Even though professors will always be there to help you out when needed, the key success factors in a postgraduate degree are an individual’s ability, teamwork, and being passionate about the subject you are studying.

The study schedule is slightly different compared to that of an undergraduate degree. During my undergraduate degree, I had a lot of spare time and free days where I could participate in societies or catch up on my work as we often have one to two classes per day. Additionally, the duration of each lecture is often only two hours maximum. However, for a postgraduate degree, we don’t have a ‘standard’ day. Often, we would have lectures for a whole day with lunch breaks in between or we would have continuous group discussion for our projects. The duration of each lecture is always three hours. There may not be a lot of spare time compared to that of an undergraduate degree. Hence, your study schedule for a postgraduate course really depends on your workload, work commitment and the basic learning timetable.

The content and assessment criteria also get harder with a postgraduate degree. The projects and assessments definitely push you and enhance your professional business acumens and teamworking skills, which in the end is very useful in preparing you for a full-time job in the future. Another difference between undergraduate and postgraduate study is that we often have a lot of different lecturers and guest speakers for a single module as they present on different topics throughout the model. This is very beneficial as a postgraduate student that is looking to start working after completing your course, as you can learn from industry experts and network with them. Postgraduate study is an excellent platform to build and expand your network.

My advice for students considering whether to do a postgraduate degree is to talk to someone that has completed the degree in a similar discipline. Words on paper cannot fully describe the great experiences within the postgraduate degree. Through these conversations, you will get a deeper insight into the university and the course, which will help you in your decision-making process. Everybody is different and may choose different paths after their undergraduate degree, yet, the most important thing is to do research and gain an understanding of all the possibilities that these different paths can provide for you in the future.

Discover more about postgraduate study at Warwick Business School.