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Our guide to postgraduate management courses


Whether you’re a managerial professional looking for an innovative and exciting way to broaden your skills and experience, or you’re a recent graduate wanting to build on the knowledge you acquired in your first degree, there are a range of postgraduate management courses to help you get ahead in the competitive world of business.  With qualifications available in such diverse disciplines as advertising and public relations management, fashion management and design entrepreneurship, you’ll be able to train to work in the sector which interests you most, or learn the skills necessary to open your own business.  Whatever your career aims, a postgraduate management degree could help you reach your goal.


The benefits of studying management

Management covers a wide range of topics and there are a number of different degree courses you can study, from a General Management MA to an MSc in International Business and Entrepreneurship.  You may find you’ll benefit from taking a postgraduate management qualification if you have a more general or unrelated first degree and want to fast-track your career into management, or if you are an experienced manager interested in progressing to strategic management or enhance your knowledge and skills in order to excel in your current role.  You’ll also be able to specialise in a particular field of management, such as finance, project management or human relations, allowing you to apply your skills to a similar role in a different department or industry.


Vital skills

A postgraduate degree in management will give you an advanced understanding of how businesses and organisations are run, allowing you to build a successful management career.  As well as any sector-specific technical skills your course may teach you, you will also be able to add teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, public speaking and advanced research skills to your CV.


What to expect

The exact modules you will study will vary depending on the discipline of your course and the level of qualification; however most involve practical experience and training gained either through workplace visits or paid placements, and some require advanced research in the form of a dissertation.  Some courses also feature optional study or work experience abroad.  The length of your course will vary according to the level of qualification you will obtain at the end of your study; MAs and MScs can usually be completed in one year full time, with a PhD taking up to three years to complete.


Further study and possible career paths

For students interested in management research or in pursuing a career as an academic, an MA, MSc or equivalent could open the door to further study at PhD level.  For students wishing to progress straight into a job in management, a postgraduate qualification should enable you to enter junior or senior level management in a wide variety of industries and sectors.  Typical careers for graduates of management courses include management consultancy, risk management, marketing and sales.


How to study

Postgraduate study in management is very flexible, and you’ll find a range of study options to suit your needs.  Many courses can be studied either full or part time, lasting roughly one or two years respectively.  If you are willing to devote a little more time to your studies, there are some courses which run only in the evenings, which you can take up to seven years to complete.  There are also a number of distance learning courses you can study for online, to fit around your current job.  These courses offer the most flexibility of all, as you can usually start them at any point in the year, and complete them at your own pace.


Practical considerations

The entry requirements to study management at a postgraduate level vary across courses and institutions, so you’ll need to check carefully before you apply.  Almost all MBA courses require you to have lengthy professional experience, as do some MAs and MScs.  Some courses only ask for a good first degree in a relevant subject, and some welcome applications from holders of first degrees in any discipline.  Finally, while most courses state that you need a good first degree to apply for postgraduate level study, they will often consider applications from mature students who do not have a degree or equivalent, but can demonstrate strong professional work experience instead.

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Good, but can be frustrating
by J - June 2015

Good points: There is a lot of material to help your studies and after graduation. The books have a lot of good information and are mostly structured well, a lot of effort has been put into them. They come with the course along with an ipad. There are plenty of industry visits through the year and especially during the team projects. The facilities are good with decent computers, free printing and most types of software relevant to the industry. All material is available online which is handy. Lecturers have lots of experience in the industry and are friendly enough. The Institute has a good reputation in industry. People come from all over the world to study there. Don't make the mistake of thinking it will get a guaranteed job though like many here thought. Everything is included in the course including geology trip to Spain. Bad points: Too much is squeezed into one year, almost ridiculously so. The books can be over 900 pages, how are you supposed to memorise this when its ungraded? A bit unrealistic. Picking things to revise can be like picking lottery numbers in terms of exam questions. Has the most coursework compared to petroleum geoscience and engineering, the least study time for exams, and arguably the hardest modules in a course (in which no-one has a complete background/bachelors in unlike the other two). With all the contacts within the institute there are still no summer placements which would greatly help with employment after the course. Way too exam focused, some 3-hour exams (4 per semester) constitute to 100% of module which is crazy considering the little time to revise and the size of the individual module textbooks. Some lecturers seem to try and trick you in exams, one question worth over 10% was said not to be in the exam, yet it came up. Not what we needed. Mistakes in tutorials and past paper solutions. This really ain't constructive to learning and comes up far too often. The 8-day geology trip is at a bad time just before exams and runs pretty much 7am-10pm every day with no time for anything else like revision. This is bad for two reasons: its more geology than the geoscience course (too much focus for essentially a reservoir engineering course) and gives an unfair advantage to engineering students who sit two of the same exams and only have a 2 day jolly away to Inverness. Reassessment of exams means you could be waiting 8 months to graduate after the course. To summarise, its a tough, rewarding but sometimes frustrating course. It covers a good range of topics though could benefit from being slimmed down a bit. Doing this course should set you up well for a place in the industry or further studies.

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Please note reviews of Reservoir Evaluation and Management MSc are the subjective opinions of Hotcourses members and not of Hotcourses Ltd.

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