UK Universities Participate In Graduate Study Panel

UK Grad Study Panel

The British Invasion hit the Marist College campus Nov. 15, when Marist’s Center for Career Services hosted the first ever panel discussion exploring graduate study in the United Kingdom. 

Representatives from eight UK universities from England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland took part in the panel to discuss the nuances of their campuses as well as aspects of academic study in the United Kingdom. Some universities had been to Marist before for last year’s UK Graduate School Forum while others came to Poughkeepsie for the first time.

Graduate School and Fellowship Advisor Pat Taylor organized the event and said she was pleased with the diversity of class years among students who attended as well as the wide range of universities on the panel.

“There was a great distribution of well-known schools from institutions such as the University of Manchester and Queen’s University Belfast to somewhat lesser known, but still strong schools like Northumbria and Aberdeen,” Taylor said. “There was something for any student who attended and lots of them came away interested in studying in the United Kingdom.”

All of the admissions representatives provided brief overviews of their institutions and their offerings before all joined in on a general question-and-answer session. Additional schools on the panel were Keele University and Lancaster University based in England and the University of Strathclyde and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Differences between graduate study in the United States and the United Kingdom that came up in the panel discussion included the different lengths of master’s programs in the United Kingdom, with some taking twelve months to complete while others last the two years we are more accustomed to in America. Further, UK graduate study is designated as either research-based---the MRes---or that emphasizing more foundational studies acquired through the taught master’s degree. Students who are self-directed are also more likely to thrive at a UK university than those who are not.

“UK students are given a vast syllabus but typically most of their grade is dependent on their final paper,” Taylor said. “Faculty are eager to meet with students, but, at the same time, they’re not going to spoon-feed them.”

Taylor noted the UK may appeal to prospective graduate students because of the opportunity to explore its diversity of cultures and thought through collaborative research with faculty members. At the same time, American students who move to the United Kingdom for postgraduate courses face little to no language barrier. It is also extremely easy to travel to different areas of the UK, and there is a significant difference between U.S. and U.K. tuition fees.

Many UK universities on the panel have rolling admissions, but specific graduate programs at these schools may have official deadlines that fall in the spring. There also may be institutional financial aid in the form of scholarships, called bursaries, nationally competitive scholarships for U.K. postgraduate study such as the Marshall Scholarship, and other forms of help specifically for international students coming from across the pond.

“Study in the UK is not for everybody,” Taylor said. “Some students may not feel comfortable being away from home for an extended period of time, but it’s great for students who are hungry for a rich educational experience.”

Undergraduate students interested in completing graduate study in the United Kingdom can find more information on each university that participated in the panel discussion as well as scholarship opportunities on the following websites:

United Kingdom Universities

Keele University
Lancaster University 
Northumbria University
Queens University Belfast 
University of Aberdeen 
University of Edinburgh
University of Manchester
University of Strathclyde

Financial Aid

Marshall Scholarship
Rhodes Scholarship
Gates Cambridge Scholarship