Further study | University of Oxford
A student studying independently
A student studying independently

Further study

Typically, just over a third of our graduates choose to go on to further study when they finish their undergraduate degrees. This may be in Oxford or at another university - in the UK or even abroad. Further study will not automatically get you a better job, but it can improve your chances if the employer requires the specialism you have developed. The transferable skills gained from doing postgraduate study, carefully targeted and effectively marketed, can greatly enhance job applications.

Although definitely not something you need to think about for quite a while, you might like to know a little more.

What motivates students to do postgraduate study?

There a many reasons why someone would choose to undertake further study. They are likely to be a mix of some of the following:

  • To satisfy intellectual curiosity, fuel a love of your subject
  • To gain expertise in a specific area, or to build evidence of experience of a sector
  • To improve your career prospects
  • To gain entry to a career for which a higher degree is pretty much expected
  • To change direction into another discipline
  • To enhance your skills generally.

What types of postgraduate study are available?

Masters - generally taught in modules - a masters course will usually last a year (sometimes two) and can allow you to extend your knowledge of a specific area of interest, or to explore new topics unrelated to your first degree.

Professional qualifications - some postgraduate courses lead directly to a professional qualification required for entry into a particular career - for example, the PGCE for teaching.

Research degrees - these would include a PhD (known as a DPhil in Oxford) which usually requires three or more years’ full-time research and may follow a research masters such as an MRes or MPhil.

Read more about graduate study at Oxford.