Once you have decided that further study is definitely for you, you need to narrow down your choice of course and university to a manageable number.
Factors to consider in your decision are:
Prospects Web - the official guide to postgraduate study containing all courses in the UK. A condensed version of the database is available in the Careers Service, for those who prefer to use paper (Prospects Postgraduate Directory), and linked below as an ejournal.
FindAMasters.com - is a website for students looking for a postgraduate Masters qualification in the UK and Ireland. The database lists many Masters courses in a variety of disciplines, including funded opportunities.
FindAPhD.com - a guide to current research and PhD studentships, including funded opportunities. The database contains details of research topics from many major universities and institutions throughout Europe.
Target Courses - use this website to search and compare over 15,000 postgraduate courses rated by students and employers. It also lists universities that offer bursaries, scholarships and other funding opportunities.
TARGETcourses also host the annual Postgraduate Study and Funding Fair, the only national postgraduate study event in Scotland.
Reference materials available in our information centres include some specific course search guides.
To investigate the reputation of individual courses, departments and institutions ask academic staff in your own department who may have inside knowledge of departments in other institutions. Professionals working in your area of interest may be able to recommend appropriate courses.
The UniStats website - formerly the Teaching Quality Information (TQI) website, this is a good source of information. UniStats has been developed to give potential students easy access to official information about the quality of higher education in UK universities and colleges.
Research Assessment Exercise - consult the RAE to find out how university departments have been rated. The latest one is from 2008.
League tables - these are occasionally printed in newspapers such as the Times and can be helpful providing you are clear about what is actually being recorded.
The University of Edinburgh is holding a Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 18 November. The event is open to all University of Edinburgh students and to visitors. For further details and to book your place online, visit the Open Day webpage:
This article was published on Jan 15, 2013