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Commencing Postgraduate Study in January

Commencing Postgraduate Study in January
Wed, 11 Dec 2019

Author - Dr. Fergal O'Brien - Assistant Dean, Graduate and Professional Studies

What are the benefits to starting your postgraduate program in January?

January start dates for postgraduate study is becoming more common. It means that you start your course at a different time to the majority of postgraduate students.  This has big advantages particularly when it comes to competition, for both funding (entry) and employment (exit).  Here are five reasons why a January start could be for you.

  • You will have a little bit more time and space to research your options and re-energise for the postgraduate challenge ahead!

The transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study can be quite daunting. You might feel the need to recharge and take some extra time to consider your options.  This can be particularly useful for those pursuing postgraduate research options, such as a PhD, where identifying and engaging a supervisor can be a time consuming process.

  • Money, money, money!

Delaying your postgraduate studies can allow you to put a funding strategy in place.  You will have extra time to save, particularly if you can secure employment for the extra months.  This can help with loan applications. In addition, scholarships and funding opportunities tend to be available for January starts and the competition may not be as fierce as it is in September!  

  • New year, new you?

We tend to make resolutions about “better versions of ourselves” in January.  A postgraduate programme requires a motivated student and what better time of year to start the journey towards a great qualification.  Research indicates that those with postgraduate qualifications are more likely to earn higher salaries and progress more quickly to managerial positions.

  • Timing is everything: entry and exit competition.

Traditionally, the majority of postgraduate programmes start in September and graduates hit the job market 9-12 months later.  By starting in January you face less competition to gain a place on a programme and you also graduate at a time where there is not a glut of graduates hitting the job market.

  • A bigger network

As a January starter, you will meet students who started in September and those joining in January.  That gives you access to a much bigger social and professional network. The networks that you develop at postgraduate level are likely to be key throughout your career so the bigger the better.

Discover our suite of professional/flexible programmes beginning in January 2020 here