What is a postgraduate and how can it help boost your career?

12 Feb 2024

Are you thinking about continuing with your studies after your degree? If you are, you should know what a postgraduate is, how it differs from a master’s and how master’s and postgraduate studies can help boost your career.

Whether you’ve just finished your degree studies or if you’ve been working for a while and want to take another step in your professional career, the different postgraduate study options can open many doors. We should highlight here that postgraduate study consists of any form of higher education after your university degree, and includes: master’s, postgraduates and PhDs.

The first two can be taken after your bachelor’s degree and offer a much higher level of specialisation than university degrees. A PhD is the highest of all academic levels and is based on research into a specific field of knowledge.

What is a postgraduate?

Postgraduate studies are a kind of higher education pathway focused on a very specific field of knowledge and, therefore, is aimed at specialisation. Normally, it has a duration of between 30 and 60 credits, although this figure may vary depending on the programme of each course.

A postgraduate has a more practical focus than other university studies, with a clear professional orientation. Postgraduate programmes often contain a specific number of hours dedicated to theory, which is combined with practical work based on real projects.

It should also be noted that, although one of the access requirements for most postgraduate studies is that students hold a degree or equivalent, to take a postgraduate diploma, some centres also allow access to students without a university degree. If that is the case, the only condition is that, on completion of the course, they cannot receive a postgraduate diploma, but instead will be awarded a certificate of achievement.

Difference between a master’s and postgraduate course

The main difference between a master’s and a postgraduate diploma is that, although in both cases the focus is on specialisation, the postgraduate often covers a much more specific field than a master’s and has a clearly professional orientation. That is what makes postgraduates ideal for professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge in a very specific area of their work.

A university master’s on the other hand is more focused on specialisation from an academic viewpoint, as, after its successful completion, students can continue their training by opting to do a PhD programme, which is not possible on completion of a postgraduate course. In addition, while a master’s could be official or university-specific, there are no official postgraduates. A postgraduate is always specific to the university or school where it is offered.

So, as we have seen in this post, a master’s and a postgraduate are two similar training options, but with a few important differences. So, when you’re making a decision, you should carefully analyse what your real needs and interests are as a student.

Find out about our postgraduate programmes

Whatever you decide in the end, we recommend you check out our master’s and postgraduate programmes. You’ll find there is a wide range of possibilities that can help you to develop as a professional at a design school with a strong international panorama. At Elisava, we offer you the tools to help ensure the success of your future career.

If, after reading this post, you have doubts about which study option is best for you, please feel free to contact us. We’ll guide you through the different options and resolve any queries you may have.