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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

We are in the top tier of Britain's research universities and a member of the prestigious Russell Group. 90% of research at Cardiff University is officially world-leading or internationally excellent according to the latest independent assessment of research quality across UK higher education institutions (REF 2021). Our researchers are working to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and our environment.

We've been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes for work of outstanding excellence, 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
    best UK universities for teaching excellence
    (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022)

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 we maintain strong partnerships with more than 60 professional bodies. Many of our programmes are also developed in close collaboration with employers.

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, 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

Watch Master's Excellence Scholarships on YouTube

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 Scholarship scheme which invests £500,000 to support students with a home fee status, and our Alumni Discount Scheme which offers a 20% tuition fee discount to Cardiff University graduates starting an eligible master's programme in 2024/25.

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.

Watch Fast-track a career change with a postgraduate conversion course

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

Expert career guidance

  • 99%
    of our postgraduate research students were in highly skilled employment 15 months after their graduation
    (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2023)
  • 89%
    of our postgraduate taught students were in highly skilled employment 15 months after their graduation
    (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2023)
  • 16th
    in the UK for graduate prospects
    (Times Good University Guide 2022)

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.

Doctoral Academy

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

As a postgraduate research student at Cardiff University you can also benefit from regular cross-school activities that enable networking in a stimulating research environment, and you will also have the opportunity to take part in annual student-led conferences and other research showcase events.

Student life

Postgrad life at Cathays Park campus

There are so many reasons to love Cardiff – especially for students. It’s regularly listed as one of the most affordable university cities in the UK, and came second in the Natwest Student Living Index 2023. But that’s not all. Alongside a huge variety of clubs and societies to get involved in during your academic studies, there are also exceptional facilities and a range of student support to benefit from while you’re here.

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
  • 2nd best Students' Union in the UK (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2024).

Home to over 200 student societies and 65 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

Source: Graduate Outcomes 2020/21 survey. Contains HESA Data: Copyright Jisc 2023. Jisc cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data.