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Why study with us as a postgraduate?

From world-leading research and excellent teaching to fantastic career prospects, here’s why you should choose Cardiff University for your postgraduate degree.

World-leading research

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We are in the top tier of Britain's research universities and a member of the prestigious Russell Group. Our researchers are working to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and our environment.

  • Top 5 university for research quality (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • 2nd in the UK for our research impact (REF 2014).

We've been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes (which recognise world-class excellence in UK Higher Education) and employ a huge cohort of distinguished staff, including two Nobel Prize winners and 13 Royal Society Fellows.

With breakthroughs in areas such as Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, nuclear waste disposal, school food reform and the tales of The Mabinogion, our research is making a positive and lasting impact around the world. Read more about the impact of our research.

Excellence in teaching

We value the contributions that our postgraduate students make to the University and its aims, and seek to offer a challenging and supportive environment in which you can achieve your personal goals.

  • Top 40 universities in Europe for teaching excellence.

We maintain a high standard of teaching to ensure students gain knowledge, skills and experience which are of lifelong value. Our teaching is informed and led by staff that are directly involved in research. Postgraduate programmes are recognised and well-regarded by employers and professional bodies and we maintain strong partnerships with more than 60 professional bodies. Many of our programmes are also developed in close collaboration with employers.

Morgan Creed

My tutors were interested in how they could help me achieve my career goals. The head of the course highlighted all the ways that my course could be tailored to suit my needs and to help me get where I wanted to be after graduating. This was such a refreshing change compared to other institutions.

Morgan, MSc Conservation Practice

Our Languages for All programme gives you the chance to improve your language skills alongside your studies for free, while the Erasmus+ exchange programme allows you to receive a grant to study or work in a European country for 2-12 months as part of your postgraduate degree, subject to agreement from your academic school.

We also offer a range of part-time Continuing Professional Education courses, which are ideal in helping you enhance your CV, improve your business and project management skills and broaden your learning experience.

Funding opportunities

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Securing funding for postgraduate study is an important consideration for most students and at Cardiff there are a number of funding opportunities available. These include our Master’s Excellence Scholarship scheme which invests £500,000 to support UK/EU students for their studies with each scholarship worth £3,000. You may also be able to access UK Government postgraduate funding to support your master’s study at Cardiff.

The seven UK Research Councils fund UK/EU research students on a competitive basis through our doctoral training programmes and throughout the year we also advertise a range of funded PhD projects and places. You may also be able to access a UK Government Doctoral loan for your studies at Cardiff.

Study options

We have more than 300 postgraduate study options for you to choose from, including full-time, part-time, blended learning and distance learning courses. The programme suitable for you depends on a combination of your academic qualifications and/or your work experience, your career objectives, personal interests and circumstances.

We offer the two main branches of postgraduate study: research and taught degrees. Increasingly, research degrees that contain some structured teaching are being offered, such as our Master of Research (MRes) programmes, Professional Doctorates, and our PhD in Economics.

Many of our programmes can be studied part-time, which is ideal if you need to balance study with professional, financial or family commitments. Part-time programmes offer greater flexibility and a less intensive workload whilst still providing all the benefits and support enjoyed by full-time students. You can also choose to study a range of individual modules on a stand-alone basis.

Additionally, we offer a number of conversion courses in subjects including computing, law and psychology to help support you with a change of direction.

Find out more about our postgraduate research degrees and postgraduate taught degrees.

Expert career guidance

  • 95% of our UK postgraduate research students were in employment and/or further study six months after graduation (DLHE Survey, 2016/17)
  • 93% of our UK postgraduate taught students were in employment and/or further study six months after graduation (DLHE Survey, 2016/17)
  • 15th in the UK in the Times Higher Education Global University Employability Ranking 2018.

Wherever you are in your career journey, our team of professional careers advisers can help. We can provide you with personal, subject-specific guidance on everything from skills development and job searches to interview preparation and practical help. We will work with you to help you plan your career and prepare you for the recruitment process in your desired industry.

Our online platform provides 24/7 support to help you with self-development, career planning and research, and as a postgraduate student, you will have access to a careers account where you can book appointments and events, and search for graduate employment opportunities with organisations recruiting directly from Cardiff University.

David Benson

My course at Cardiff focuses on practical application and includes a work placement at a company. This was made clear in the course prospectus and was one of the main reasons for choosing the course.

David, MSc Data Science and Analytics

Doctoral Academy

Our Doctoral Academy is the hub of interdisciplinary postgraduate researcher activities at Cardiff University. It is a central source for researchers to access personal, professional and research skills development workshops, as well as a range of interdisciplinary community events and funding opportunities, all within a dedicated space.

The Doctoral Academy hosts 380 workshops and provides a central source for doctoral students to access a comprehensive range of workshops and support, to progress your project and develop your career. As a postgraduate research student at Cardiff you can also benefit from regular cross-School activities that enable a network of researchers and a stimulating research environment.

You will also have the opportunity to take part in annual student-led conferences and other research showcase events.

Student life

There are lots of reasons to love Cardiff – especially for students. It’s the most affordable city in the UK (Natwest Student Living Index 2019), but that’s not all: as well as a huge variety of clubs and societies to get involved in alongside your academic studies, there are also exceptional facilities and a range of student support to benefit from while you’re here.

  • 3rd best Students' Union in the UK (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019).

Home to over 200 student societies and 60 sports clubs, the Students' Union represents our students and provides a diverse and inclusive range of activities, services and facilities that enrich student life. From wine tasting and quiz nights to research events and themed day trips, the Students’ Union hosts regular dedicated events for postgrad students. An elected full-time postgraduate officer provides dedicated representation for postgraduate students and researchers to support your needs.

As a postgraduate student, you can also benefit from a wide range of first-class facilities: our modern IT facilities enable easy access to a range of guidance, tools and resources to support your study and research, while our comfortable libraries offer a broad range of information resources in print and online. Extended opening hours – including evenings, weekends and 24/7 access in our two main sites – enable you to work at times that suit you best.

You will also be able to access any additional help and support you may need throughout your postgraduate studies. From expert money advice and confidential counselling to disability services and award-winning childcare, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Pastoral and academic support at Cardiff is fantastic. Support ranges from well-being or counselling to academic essay writing workshops to make improvements to your work. The services provided by both the student’s union and my academic school has meant that any problems have been picked up on and dealt with before they became an issue.

Esme, MA Language and Linguistics