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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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