Have you been busy with your graduation and realised that the postgraduate application deadlines are closer than you would like them to be? First of all, calm down. It happens to the best of us. There are many students who apply to their prospective schools quite late in the game and still get through. So there is no need to panic really. But now that you have realised your fault, put all your efforts into the application process, so that you are not left waiting another year for the same opportunity to come again. In this article, EDUopinons will explain how to get through this process with ease.
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1) Gather all your material:
There are generally a few things that every post-graduate school requires in its application form. You can apply directly to your prospective university through online applications or by printing off an application form and posting it with the relevant documents. And since you are late in the game, try to apply to a few more post-graduate universities than usual. Since masters programmes usually fill up as they find the perfect applicants and students. However, the application process is time-consuming so don’t over-stretch yourself as well. Here is the list of documents you will require:
– Application form
– Personal statement
– Academic / professional references
– Copies of your degree certificate and academic transcripts
– Research proposal (if you’re applying for a research Masters like an MPhil or MRes)
– Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
2) Application fee:
After carefully reviewing all the documents and emails on the application form, the next step is to check out the application fee for your postgraduate applications. Read each form carefully and write a cheque for the application fee. Most universities in the UK don’t charge an application fee, but if you are applying for a course in a prestigious school, then you may be asked for some fees. For those universities with application fees, the amount can range between £25 and £75 per programme.
3) Carve out time to write personal statements:
The personal statement is an integral part of your postgraduate applications. Almost every school asks for one and this is the chance to highlight your personal skills and personality. Make sure whoever reads this knows that you are perfect for this masters programme. Since you will be applying to a couple of colleges, writing outstanding personal statements for each is crucial. In some cases, some universities might also ask for a research proposal. If you have a very busy school or work schedule, then make sure that you dedicate at least one hour each to your personal statement every day. For the period up to the deadline, write every single day. Make your application dazzle the tutors.
4) Get hold of your reference letters:
Most universities ask for a reference letter which is contact details of at least two ‘referees’ who can provide a reference and vouch for your academic skills and motivation. If you are applying for a masters degree, then choose two university tutors who know you well. And if there was a gap in your under graduation and post graduation, then choose an employer who will speak for you highly. Contact them as soon as you can and ask for permission if they can be your referee. Make sure that you know them well so that there is no awkwardness. Remember, that professors have very tight schedules so give them plenty of notice beforehand. The more time you give them to carefully consider their relationship with you and what they would like to say in your defence, the better.
5) Academic qualifications:
An integral part of all college applications is proof of your academia. Make sure that you have all of the important certificates. In some cases, transcripts can take weeks to obtain, so do apply for your transcripts as soon as you can to avoid any delay on their part. Many universities also have an online transcript request forms to facilitate this process.
6) GRE scores and language tests:
Firstly, make sure you send your GRE scores to as many schools as possible when you take the test. Most schools will ask you to manually input your GRE scores but will need official test scores from ETS at some point. And if you’re applying to a masters programme and English isn’t your first language, then you will need to take additional language tests as well. Tests like the IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge English certificates etc. Make sure to take these tests as soon as you can so that you can send them out in your postgraduate applications.
Lastly, do not panic! Take whatever time you have left and make the most of it. Fill every application form with a lot of patience. If you are still not confident about your forms, then you can even hire a proofreader who can correct your forms. Best of luck!