Article - Postgraduate Degree Info:

A postgraduate degree is one a student receives after finishing their undergraduate degree. The process typically works with the student first finishing a four-year degree, known as a Bachelor’s degree, and then going to graduate school. It takes anywhere from two years up to four years or longer for students to finish the program.

The first step in obtaining a postgraduate degree involves seeking admittance into graduate school. Graduate schools are highly selective about whom they admit because they want all their students to finish their advanced college diploma. They look for students with high test scores, high grades at an undergraduate level, and students that are well-rounded in terms of coursework. They also look for students who set themselves apart from the crowd, such as those who have done volunteer work or completed an internship or a final project in their course of study.

Graduate schools only have a small number of seats open to incoming students. Depending on the program and the size of the school, they may only admit a dozen students or less than twenty annually. They’re particularly interested in those students who have what it takes to finish the program and are dedicated to their field. Students who apply for the program are also required to submit letters of recommendation from their peers, professors, and others with knowledge of their work and experience.

Postgraduate degrees involve a high level of study and dedication on the part of the student. In their undergraduate studies, students had the option of taking electives such as creative writing or pottery. These same options aren’t available at a higher level. They take a small number of electives, but those involve more writing and research than at the undergraduate level.

This type of program places a limit on how long the student has to finish the work associated with their diploma, typically five or seven years. The student must complete their degree within this time period or they lose their spot in the program. They’ll have to reapply for admission back into the program after a year. Oftentimes the school also places a GPA restriction on students in the program. If the student stays below the GPA requirement for two terms or longer, they’ll once again lose their spot and have to reapply at a later date.

Prior to receiving a postgraduate degree, the student also completes a major project in their course of study. At the Master’s degree level, this is known as a thesis and is typically a long paper, around 20-50 pages. Some programs, such as psychology and historic preservation, allow the student to instead complete a final project such as a survey or experiment.

Postgraduate degrees also include a doctorate or Doctor of Philosophy PhD. In this program the student receives their degree only after completing a dissertation. This is a long paper of at least 50 pages and typically runs to the length of 100 pages or more. After finishing their dissertation, they present it in front of a committee made of those working in the field and answer any questions about their paper. Both PHD and Master’s degrees are examples of postgraduate degrees.

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