What courses are available in my subject area?
A quick way to see what's available in your subject area is to use a UK postgraduate course-finder website.
These 'portal' websites need universities and colleges to send them up-to-date information. So be aware that some details might be missing or out-of-date.
The range of information on each site varies, so don’t rely on just one portal.
The Prospects site collects information systematically from all institutions. UCAS Postgraduate focusses just on the institutions that use their joint application scheme.
Sites like Prospects also allow you to search for specific topics within modules, which can help find courses that may be hidden by a more general course title.
When you have a shortlist of courses that interest you, always speak directly to the course provider for more information.
Useful to know: On some portal sites, institutions pay to advertise their courses making them more visible when you search the website. Be aware that other courses may be less well promoted.
Established postgraduate portal websites for postgraduate courses:
What happens at a postgraduate study fair?
The UK has three major postgraduate study fairs each year and some smaller regional fairs.
They have exhibits from institutions and displays from other organisations about funding, careers and other relevant issues. They usually include talks about different aspects of postgraduate study, and sometimes sessions on careers advice.
Postgraduate fairs are a good place to find general information about a university or college and meet their staff in person. If you have questions about specific courses, they will be able to put you in touch with the staff who run them.
Institutions may list which fairs they are attending on their websites.
Postgraduate study fairs
- Manchester (November)
- London (January and October)
- Other fairs across the UK are organised by:
Ideas to try: Before you visit a postgraduate fair, make a list of the questions to ask each organisation and course provider you would like to meet. Research what they offer before making your list of questions.
Talking to academic staff about a course
If you want to talk to academic staff about a course, consider the following:
- Look for the relevant contact information on the course page of the university or college’s website.
- Some institutions have a central enquiry centre, which may help you to identify the right contacts.
- If a contact cannot answer your specific question, ask for the direct email details of someone who can.
- Look out for online chat sessions or webinars that might be featured on university or college websites, and advertised through social media.
- It can take a few days to get a response to an enquiry. If it has been more than a week, it’s worth following up with another email or phone call.
Talking to current postgraduate students
It can be helpful to speak with current postgraduates. To do this, consider the following:
- Many institutions have open days where you can speak to current students as well as staff.
- Look out for online forums and social media groups run by the institution in your subject area.
- Some institutions offer email contacts to put prospective and current students in touch.
- There may be alumni groups you can contact on social media networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Contact the department running the course and ask if they can help you contact students or recent graduates.
Who could answer other questions from international students?
Most course providers will have support services, including an international office. Staff will be happy to help and advise you as an international student on anything related to studying in the UK. Don’t be afraid to ask!
International offices may also be able to put you in touch with current international students, including some from your own country, to ask about their experiences.