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Changing Direction with Your Subject Choice

Change Direction with a Postgraduate Degree: Everything You Need to Know

When you chose your undergraduate degree it’s likely that you were still in school. You might have based your degree choice on your favourite subjects at school, or which university you liked the look of. Chances are things will have changed since then. Your interests, your priorities, what you want your future to look like. At postgraduate level, you have the opportunity for a change of scenery!

Changing subjects for postgraduate study is something that lots of graduates consider, you might want to choose to study something adjacent to your topic or a new subject altogether. Postgraduate study is the perfect time to choose something not related to your degree.

There are lots of reasons that someone might consider changing their degree subject at postgraduate level. Your reasons might be career-related, perhaps your time at university has opened you up to new career options. You might be uncertain about your future, or perhaps you’re just sure that you want to continue learning after you graduate. Or, you might simply have grown bored of your undergraduate topic. It happens.

No matter what your reasons for changing subjects for postgraduate study, there are plenty of options. Here are some things to consider when thinking about changing direction with postgraduate study.


This goes for whether you’re changing subject or not, take time to think about what it is you want to get out of a postgraduate degree. Before you even think about applying, do some research.

Consider your institution

Choosing a university for a postgraduate degree is a slightly different process than your journey to your undergraduate degree. Do you want to stay at the same university? Do you have your eye on a very specific university?

Review the course information and subject specialists

If you’re changing direction with a postgraduate degree then it’s a good idea to get to know exactly what’s on offer as part of the course you’re interested in. Look at the modules on offer and the course information. Talk to subject specialists and ask them if they think the degree would be suitable for someone without bachelor's degree-level knowledge.   

Check entry requirements

This is key if you’re looking for a postgraduate degree in a different subject than your bachelor’s degree. Some courses are more suited to people changing discipline than others, and entry requirements can reflect this. You might need to show your passion for a subject in other ways through an interview or introductory course.

Review your options

There are lots of different options for postgraduate study, especially if you’re considering changing direction. Look at the different qualifications on offer and consider the reasons why you want to complete a Masters degree.  You might find that a conversion course such as a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) suits you better than a Masters in International Law, for example. Or, if wondering how to change your career into something like teaching you might consider a PGCE over a Masters in Education. It all depends on your end goals.

When choosing a university for a postgraduate degree you might want to consider research-related information more than you did for your undergraduate. Universities with a specific research specialism or top-performing departments might give you better access to things like placements, networks, development opportunities as well as world-class teaching. This could be especially helpful if you’re in a position where you’re hoping to change or advance your career.

Look at the different programmes on offer at multiple institutions and judge the kind of content they cover. The process of choosing the ‘right’ course which aligns with your interests and career prospects can be frustrating, but will be profitable in the future.

Impact on your career

A Masters degree can certainly have an impact on your career. Don’t feel like you have to study a postgraduate degree to match your academic credentials, to your hobbies or experience and boost your employability.

What do employers think about different subjects at Masters level?

Unless you’re looking for a career where you need to have a certain group of qualifications including postgraduate and undergraduate, like Law or Architecture for example, then you can expect most employers to pay little attention to the journey that’s gone along with your university experience. Most employers will value passion and knowledge of the field more. 

A Masters degree could help you with career advancement and may increase your earning potential, especially if you’ve chosen to change direction. Often in the world of work employers are looking for different skills and expertise, and what your unique skills can bring to your job. One way to demonstrate this uniqueness is with your postgraduate study. Consider, for example, the different value that two computer science graduates might bring if one studied Sociology at the undergraduate level and the other studied Engineering. Employers value the application of different skills, unique approaches to work and employees that are committed to development. A postgraduate degree can be a great way to affirm this.

What are conversion courses?

Postgraduate conversion courses are academic programs aimed at individuals who hold an undergraduate degree in a different field and wish to change career paths by obtaining a Masters degree in a new discipline. These courses provide an opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills required to transition into a new field.

The course content focuses on the core concepts, theories, and practical applications specific to the new field. The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject and prepare students for their new careers. Upon successful completion of a postgraduate conversion course, individuals are equipped with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in their new field. They may be eligible for higher-level positions and can expect an increase in their earning potential.

What sort of conversion courses are available?

●Law conversion course for individuals with a non-law background

●Teaching conversion course for individuals with a non-education background

●Accounting conversion course for individuals with a non-finance background

●Healthcare management conversion course for individuals with a non-medical background

●Engineering conversion course for individuals with a non-technical background

●Marketing conversion course for individuals with a non-business background

These are just a few examples, postgraduate conversion courses are available in a wide range of subjects and fields to cater to the diverse needs of individuals looking to change careers.

Changing direction with a postgraduate degree can be a great option for individuals who have changed their interests or career goals since completing their undergraduate degree. Research and careful consideration are key when choosing a university and a course. Conversion courses can be an excellent option for those wanting to switch to a new discipline. The impact of a postgraduate degree on a career can be significant and can help with career advancement and earning potential. Employers value passion and knowledge in a field more than the academic journey, and a postgraduate degree can demonstrate unique skills and commitment to development.




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