Thinking about studying a Masters?

IMG_0046This is a lowdown of everything Masters to help you decide if it is right for you and to know some of the potential benefits for your career development.

What is a Masters degree?

A Masters degree is a Level 7 qualification (Bachelors degree is Level 6) with full-time programmes typically being one year long (some can be two years in duration).

Where a degree is broad in nature, Masters tend to focus on refined aspects of a field in greater detail. Class sizes will be smaller and work will be intense, faster and more advanced than its undergraduate counterpart.

There are various titles of Masters awards to be familiar with. Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc) are the most common, although others include:

LLM      (Master of Law)                                        MFA   (Master of Fine Arts)

MArch (Master of Architecture)                         MLitt  (Master of Letters)

MEd     (Master of Education)                             MMus (Master of Music)

MEng   (Master of Engineering)                          MSt     (Master of Studies)

MBA    (Master of Business Administration)

Lastly, Master of Research (MRes) is predominantly studied from distance, with an independent research project taking up around 60% of a student’s overall time.


Integrated Masters

An integrated Masters is a programme that combines an additional qualification (usually with an undergraduate degree or sometimes a PhD). This means you will study a single programme instead of two separate programmes over a four-year period instead of three.


How is a Masters graded?

50% or above for a Pass;

60% or above for a Merit; and,

70% or above for Distinction.


How much does a Masters cost?

Fees for Masters vary from course-to-course and each institution. According to UCAS fees average £11,000 per year although Arts and Humanities subjects tend to be cheaper than the average, with STEM and Medical courses often costing more.

Student loans are available (£10,500 approx) as well as scholarships and bursaries, Research Council grants, employer sponsorship and crowdfunding.

It is also helpful to point out than an integrated Masters can be financed entirely from an undergraduate loan (four years) rather than a separate post-graduate loan. This means that you will pay less back later in your career (gross salary of £25,000 or above per year).


Will a Masters get me a job?

Masters degrees are regarded highly by employers, however, a Masters can’t guarantee you a job on graduation. 77% of all working-age postgraduates were in high-skilled employment compared to 65% of graduates (2017).

Masters are also an essential requirement for some professions, such as Psychologists, Lawyers, some Social Workers and Medical professionals, inter alia.

Additionally, having a Masters could give you the edge over other candidates in an interview, lead to accelerated career progression and/or allow you to specialise within a profession.


Can I do a Masters with a 2:2?

The short answer is, possibly. Most providers will insist on at least a 2:1, however, many providers will consider an application with a 2:2. The institution may ask for an explanation about your classification and why you should be considered. Others may also factor in work experience as well as your dissertation grade.


Which course is right for me?

It is tempting to go on gut feeling, be blinded by the name of an institution or as whimsical as whether a campus that looks snazzy and modern. A gut feeling about a place is important but not the only important factor to consider.

Use the advanced skills that got you to this stage in your academic career and create criteria to compare against courses and providers. Below are some ideas to get you started:

  1. University reputation
  2. Department reputation and staff expertise
  3. Career prospects
  4. Taught or research Masters
  5. Course content
  6. Links with industry
  7. Location
  8. Fees and funding
  9. Support and facilities


Sources of help

Prospects (Masters degrees):

Target Jobs (Why do postgraduate study):

(What can I do with my Masters?):

The Guardian (Don’t choose a masters before taking these four steps): guardianfoursteps


GOV.UK (Funding for postgraduate study):


We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability Service is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via email, telephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Placement & Internship Programme Blog: Lucy Slater – Marketing Assistant

We have started a series of Q&A blogs with students who are on or have completed a role as part of Hope’s Placement and Internship Programme (PIP). We wanted to highlight the incredible contributions Hope students have made to organisations, businesses and charities. PIP was created to provide Hope students with bespoke work placement opportunities related to the university’s degree courses and prospective career paths and industries appealing to students.

PIP opportunities are extracurricular and usually involve flexible and part-time hours, though some have been created with full-time hours for Easter and summer periods. Many are based locally in Merseyside and the North West both to ease access for students but also to help local businesses and charities grow. Roles may either compliment the skills and talent base at the company, address skills gaps within the organisation and also are flexible and cost-effective ways to launch new short-term projects and deal with capacity issues. Our students bring fresh ideas and approaches and a high-level of work ethic.

We strive to find opportunities that not only improve a students’ employability, learning and assessments scores, but also provide a wage for the great work they do. Only Hope students and graduates can apply for PIP opportunities as our Placement Officers work with organisations to provide for many that first rung on the graduate job market ladder.

First up in our series is Lucy Slater, a final year Business Management and Marketing student.

CAREERS: How did you find out about the placement/internship?

Lucy: I followed the Hope Uni Careers Twitter and Instagram pages (HopeUniCareers). They posted about the opportunity and I found the details on the My Careers Centre job search in My Hope that they posted the link to.

C: What is the role and company, what do they do?

L: I work for MMA Defence, a self-defence martial class company, as a marketing assistant. The company hosts self-defence classes/seminars and charity events. My role is to market the company and raise awareness of the classes and events through social media and leafleting in order to raise awareness of the company and grow the start-up brand online.

C: Were you looking for this kind of role or was it something you hadn’t considered?

L: I  wanted a paid placement that would give me marketing experience as this was related to my degree and the career I wanted to enter after university. This paid placement is exactly what I was looking for. I work remotely which allows me to work from home in my own time creating social media posts and marketing material

C: What was the application process? Do you have any tips for application forms/interviews?

L: The application process consisted of completing the initial application form and sending my CV. I was then invite to interview. I received a lot of help with my application and updating my CV from Oliver at the careers centre. Oliver assisted in ensuring my application contained information the company was looking for, that it identified my skills and experience in relation to the job description and person specification the employer had outlined and he helped me to update my CV to professional standard.

C: What does a typical day on placement look like? What do you enjoy most? How does it differ to study?

L: After a day at university I have the responsibility of editing a continuous marketing report that establishes ideas for the company and creates schedules for the upcoming social media posts. It has aims and objectives as well as future goals for the company and how I plan to achieve them. I enjoy this placement as it gives me flexible working hours alongside my studies and experience in an industry that I find interesting.

This placement also offers me opportunities to work in different roles and to earn more distributing leaflets before and after university, This is good for students as it is an opportunity to make money around your studies. During this work I have met other students working on the placement and we have worked together on certain projects. It has been fun to work with other students in the same position as me and working on a project that we are excited about due to having autonomy to be creative.

C: What skills have you developed?

L: This role provides me with real-life experiences of how companies are run and real-life experience of marketing a company.

C:Biggest achievement/challenge?

L: The biggest challenge has been creating awareness as the company is a start-up. It was difficult to have so much autonomy in the beginning for a company that didn’t already have procedures and processes in place. However, this became a benefit of the job as it allowed me to use my knowledge from my degree and put it in to practise. The company’s growth has been a success as the number of returning members has grown enormously and students from my marketing degree now attend the classes.

C: What are you doing now?
I’m still in my third year of uni and I have worked for this placement for 3 months. However, I do intend to remain with the company as it has been insightful to watch it grow and succeed. I have worked alongside the owner to overcome challenges and I enjoy seeing the success of MMA Defence grow. Once I graduate from university I intend to continue this placement as a part-time job hopefully alongside my graduate job unless opportunities arise as the company continues to grow.

C: What have you learnt/How has it helped?

L: This role has increased my confidence in my own ability to put my knowledge of marketing in to practise and produce effective processes. My knowledge of the marketing industry has also increased through my research and working alongside the owner as they set up a new business. My degree is marketing and business management and it has been enlightening to watch and help a new company be created.

An additional note it’d like to make is it is that the careers centre has helped me a lot by finding this placement and offering it to students, secondly by helping to ensure my CV and application were up to a great standard before sending it. Additionally, during the placement the team has continuously encouraged and supported my work. I believe this placement will definitely help me to stand out in the job market once I have graduated due to the experience and knowledge it has provided me with.

C: Thanks Lucy! For anyone reading wanting to know more about MMA Defence and the services and classes they offer please see their website for more information 

Thank you for reading this inaugural blog post of the series. PIP opportunities can be found via If you follow the LHU Placement and Internship Programme profile in My Careers Centre  you will receive automatic updates when new opportunities are posted.

If you are an employer interested in creating an opportunity please contact a member of our placement team:

Oliver Back –

Jen Ratcliffe –

CAREER ENHANCEMENT AT HOME SERIES: Brush up on your online interviewing skills

I hope everyone is safe, staying in and following government guidance around the COVID-19.

With more and more uncertainty surrounding the current restrictions in place, there is obviously a big impact on graduate recruitment.

Many graduate recruiters have withdrawn from their normal, face to face, recruitment practices. They are following government guidelines on social distancing and working from home etc. We are hearing from many of the graduate recruiters that they still intend to recruit, their practices are changing. They are moving as many of their selection stages online as possible. There are more online Interviews and assessments taking place, we anticipate this to grow even further over the coming months.

I thought it would be useful to direct you to some resources we have at Hope which can help you to prepare for online selection processes.

stack of newspapers
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

We have articles on:

The DOs and DON’Ts during a video interview

4 tips to prepare for a video interview

What hiring managers want from your on-demand video interview

The what, why and how of digital interviews

How to handle a preliminary phone interview

Tips for a successful telephone interview

engineers in flight simulator
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on

Interview simulator and tutorials

We have a range of interview related learning opportunities which give you the opportunity to learn about the 101 most common interviews, understand the do’s and don’ts for answering and the motives behind each question.

You can practice interviews, watch your answers and learn about the different techniques trusted by employers to maximise your chances of success.  Click here to access the resource.


photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees
Photo by James Wheeler on

Also check out our tutorials on:

Researching before your interview

Questions to ask at interview

Using the STAR framework

If you would like to chat to a Careers Adviser online visit My Careers Centre to book an appointment. 

Photo by Pixabay on

CAREER ENHANCEMENT AT HOME SERIES: Online / Microvolunteering – (counts for SALA)

Continuing with our career enhancement at home series, today I am promoting online and Microvolunteering.

Microvolunteering is based on the idea that many people doing small actions can make a big difference!

You can volunteer from the safety and comfort of your own home.

You can opt to undertake small tasks for a wide range of causes. Tasks could be anything from photo-tagging, proof reading, signing and sharing petitions, letter writing, surveys for any reasons such as health, wildlife and environmental conservation.

Any Microvolunteering work you do will count towards your Service and Leadership Award, click here to find out more about it.

There will be loads of opportunities which you could find on the internet, here is some to help you get started:


Child rescue alert

Child Rescue Alert is a system designed to alert the public, as quickly as possible, to an abduction or other high risk child disappearance. Statistics show that the initial hours after a child is abducted are crucial, and a sighting by a member of the public can lead to the safe recovery of the child. Child Rescue Alert can be applied anywhere in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland at local, regional or national levels.

An Alert can be sent directly to individuals – for example by text message and email – and reach many more people  through broadcast media such as television, social media and digital billboards.


be my eyes

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.


It’s costs the person playing the album absolutely nothing, but the more the album is played, the more money is raised for SurfAid via Spotify’s royalty payments. So we’ve made donating to a great cause so easy, you can even do it in your sleep.

Charity Miles – stay safe follow government guidelines for exercise times.


LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them available for free on the Internet. Practically, this means we record books published before 1923. All our recordings (including yours, if you volunteer for us) are also donated into the public domain.


UN Volunteers

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device. Online volunteering is fast, easy – and most of all, effective. When skilled, passionate individuals join forces online with great organizations working toward sustainable development goals, everyone wins.



Participate in research of all kinds, from classifying galaxies to counting penguins to transcribing manuscripts. Whatever your interest, there’s a Zooniverse project for you.


Garden Birdwatch

Help with research into garden wildlife by joining the Garden BirdWatch network: -server was down due to demand on their bandwidth


There are other ways to help with the community effort during the COVID period:

NHS volunteer responders


Liverpool Council



We at Hope are also co-ordinating volunteering opportunities during  COVID-19,

E-mail with any other volunteering opporunities and we will update this blog.



10 tips to use ‘lock down’ to your advantage

macro shot of stainless steel padlock

We’re all facing uncertain times at the moment and with face to face classes cancelled it may feel like University is over. While it’d be easy to sit around and storm through your newest PS4 game or laugh your day away on TikTok, when things go back to normal you might wish you’d used your time differently.

We’ve put together some top tips to keep you on track and to get the most out of your spare time whether you’re still on campus or have returned home.

1. Still attend ALL your classes!

This is a dream come true, you don’t have to leave your bed to make that 9AM Monday morning lecture. Attend and engage with your online sessions from wherever and however you’re most comfortable. Couch, bed, cat on your knee? You do you.

2. Catch up on allllllll the things

Missed classes, helping your coursemates, extra reading…things come up and stuff gets pushed further and further down the to-do list, we get it. Now is the time to tick these extra bits off your list. It’ll clear your inbox and your conscience – no more ‘I’ve got so much to do’ anxiety

3.Get ahead

Even better than catching up is getting ahead; have a look at Moodle, could you do next week’s reading this week? How about making a timetable? Put all those colourful pens and washi tape to good use – think about when will you study/work/relax during this time. If you really want to go for it, start thinking about next year and how you’re going to spend your summer.

4.Do your research

Have you looked in to future careers? Are you on track? Do you need think about getting more experience? These are big questions, but important ones. Read around your degree, where does it take people? Try and come up with some transferrable skills you’ve got from university that you can apply to different job roles. You don’t always need to go into a certain industry because that’s what your degree was in. Read studies/stories/articles in fields you’re interested in, you never know when it might come in useful.

5.Get some rest

Take this time to have plenty of breaks, follow Government guidance but make sure you get some kind of fresh air or exercise each day. Go for a solo walk and focus on anything that’s not work/uni/virus related: local wildlife, how nice the daffodils look, what people have done with their gardens. Pop on your favourite music and go for a solo run, play a yoga video from YouTube or try your hand at baking something new. You can work at a slower pace now and really recharge those batteries.

6.You better WERK

So what about those bits between rests? Now that you don’t have as many social commitments and don’t have to travel to university for classes, you may find yourself with MORE time on your hands. Make sure you use that for good, there’s a ton of things you could do that would give you a great advantage on your CV. Learn a new skill, do an online course, listen to audiobooks, volunteer remotely…employers want employees with industry skills as well as soft skills.

7.Give yourself something extra

Thought you didn’t have time for SALA? Now, you do! The introduction and core talks are being delivered remotely and the skills developments can be done by completing online courses or watching online talks/lectures (not course lectures tho). All of the tasks are on My Careers Centre where you can also complete online personality tests to find out more about yourself and how you work.  


There are LOTS of people around us in need, especially now. Lots of charities will be glad of the extra help so approach a local organisation and see what you can do. It’s vital that you volunteer safely, even if you feel fine you may be putting vulnerable others at risk so follow any instructions you’re given. It doesn’t have to be official volunteering either, you could engage (safely) with your community; offer to call elderly neighbours to reduce feeling of loneliness, if someone is isolated with young children offer to pick up some shopping for them next time you go for essentials – you can leave it on the doorstep to avoid close contact.

9.Spend time with loved ones

Some of you may have now returned home, this means extra time with your family when you would have normally been at university. Cherish that and enjoy the comfort of being home, if your family members are at home too why not do things together to help pass the time? Get mum to teach you the family secret to a perfect Victoria sponge or dad to teach you how to change a tyre. If your family aren’t blessed in the vocational department you could try boardgames to give yourselves a break from a Netflix binge. Maybe give Monopoly a miss though…

10.Get thinking and reflect

What do you want to do after university? Reflect on this academic year, would you change anything you’ve been doing? If you’re Level C or I; could you do anything differently next year? How might you engage more on campus? What do you want to achieve?

In all of this, the most important thing is that you keep safe and well. Avoid going out with your mates – this isn’t Easter break, it’s a shutdown to prevent the spread of a lethal virus. How you use the time is ultimately up to you, but you have a wonderful opportunity here to do something different and make yourself stand out to employers.

What will you be doing in your spare time? Tell us your top tips for working in the shut down and we’ll feature a selection in our next blog! (Comment or email