How to differentiate between postgrad programs


If you are contemplating doing a postgraduate degree, there is a lot extra to take into consideration than just the program topic. You will have to differentiate involving what variety of programs are on give and, a lot more significantly, you will want to assure your study course has believability in the labour market. And this can be a key obstacle.

But just before you choose what you want to analyze, you must check with by yourself about what kind of programme you would like to abide by: investigate or taught.

Taught programmes

Taught postgraduate classes can be a continuation of your undergraduate scientific tests or in an fully new area. The duration of a course commonly decides its qualification. A higher certificate is commonly a 30-credit programme in excess of six modules. A graduate diploma is normally 60 credits and the master’s diploma necessitates 90 credits. Taught master’s usually include things like a research ingredient, probably throughout the summer months and, in some circumstances, in an business placing.

Study programmes

Exploration master’s, which include MLitt’s, usually acquire 15 months to four several years, dependent on no matter if it’s total-time or element-time. If you choose a research-centered study course, explore the programs in your research place and the high-quality of the support and supervision made available. You can get hold of opportunity companies in your analysis location for views on the programme’s strengths. Discovering out the labour market’s opinion of the excellent of guidance and supervision at this stage will pay out dividends when partaking with potential companies around completion of your programme.

Some master’s programmes will aid an instant transfer on to a PhD.


A doctorate will take a minimum of three several years. The topic is decided by your place of desire and people of your supervisor. Some PhDs are created for the lone scholar less than the course of a solitary pro supervisor. There are also structured PhDs exactly where teams of college students appear together for transferable competencies. Communicate to the programme director to get assist determining which composition fits you and your workstyle very best.

Quality, reliability and information and facts resources

Ensuring excellent and recognition are essential criteria when picking out a postgraduate programme. Excellent and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), an company of the Section of Additional and Better Instruction, Study, Innovation and Science is liable for the 10 stage National Framework of Skills (NFQ) and for assuring excellent of programmes in Ireland.

QQI works intently with training and education providers these kinds of as universities, technological universities and institutes of technological know-how that offer you validated programmes and make their possess awards in line with established high-quality assurance guidelines. The validation of a programme assures its high-quality and price and ensures its recognition in the NFQ. Postgraduate programmes will guide to qualifications at amount 9 on the NFQ. QQI performs with non-public or independent increased instruction colleges whose programmes are validated by QQI with learners obtaining QQI awards.

All these awards are referenced on the NFQ for both equally undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and are outlined by the bigger education institutions on their web-sites.

QQI manages the Irish Register of Qualifications, a new information and facts supply which lists 8,000 skills, additional than 300 suppliers and 11,500 programmes they offer which lead to qualifications recognised across all degrees of the NFQ. This sign-up is a definitive supply of all quality-assured programs and is collected from all suppliers and QQI.

Also, the site has details on 3,314 postgrad prospects in Ireland, like these not validated by QQI these kinds of as programs in Northern Ireland that drop outside the house the remit of QQI.


Qualifax lists just about 2,000 postgraduate programmes at stage 9 master’s and amount 10 PhD in 47 establishments in Ireland. These range from accounting in UCD, to zoology in NUI Galway. The Qualifax web site is a critical info resource for all postgraduate classes in Eire. Up-to-date each year, you can look for for programmes underneath a variety of criteria, area, price tag and crucial research text appropriate to your spot of fascination. Qualifax also lists programmes at private faculties and classes foremost to skills awarded by exterior awarding bodies this kind of as the universities in the Uk.

Apart from programmes incorporated in the Irish Sign-up of Qualifications and Qualifax, respected postgraduate levels are presented on line by leading ranking universities around the world.

Sad to say, there are also some worthless postgrad choices online from faculties with little or no educational reliability. So, for individuals considering programmes not validated by QQI or comparable awarding physique, caveat emptor or purchaser beware.

If you choose a study-centered training course, explore the classes in your analysis space and the high quality of the help and supervision provided. Photograph: iStock

ENIC-NARIC centres

If you are thinking about finding out or operating exterior of Ireland, you can get advice about the recognition of your qualification in a different state. The European Network of Data Centres and Countrywide Academic Recognition Details Providers (Enic-Naric Centres) in the pertinent place is a must have if you are thinking about researching overseas.

Naric Eire provides totally free guidance on foreign qualifications and there are centres across Europe providing equivalent tips at enic-naric.internet.


At EU amount QQI’s program information and facts from the Irish Sign up of Qualifications is joined to the European Commission web-site Europass. Facts on courses in all EU member states can be accessed from the upgraded Europass system in all EU languages together with Irish. The Europass platform features an outstanding cost-free job scheduling device with a private e-portfolio and digital assets for securely storing your qualifications on the net. is worth a viewing.

British isles and EU solutions

For programs in NI and the Uk, has a extensive postgrad segment. There are also a rising amount of postgraduate programmes taught by way of English in European universities – see

On the internet, remarkably reputable postgrads are provided by bodies these as the Open up University and prestigious universities internationally.

What are students seeking for in 2022?

“We see college students choosing 1 of three forms of training course – based on their very own ambitions and determination,” says Eilis O’Brien, director of communication and marketing and advertising at UCD. They drop into a single of the pursuing categories: progression college students, who would like to come to be additional pro in their bachelor issue conversion learners, who have a degree in one area but want to incorporate competencies and awareness from yet another and expert learners, who want the qualification that goes with a distinct graduate class. This 3rd group commonly have a job route mapped out, so the selection may possibly be much more about where by and when. The 1st two teams commence to believe of postgraduate possibilities about now in the ultimate 12 months of research.

Task-all set classes

The significant-quality Stem graduates rising from universities and ITs have possibilities, but the opposition has also improved, so lots of go on to graduate level to enhance their skill established.

Mairead Mulvey, the internship supervisor for science at UCD, presents functional suggestions to last-year college students imagining about getting a master’s or PhD: “Many students want their graduate degrees to open career doors and owning an internship is extremely beneficial on your CV and can lead specifically to a position give from the placement corporation.”

Quite a few colleges give internships as section of taught master’s, specially in the Stem topics. “Ten of our science master’s degrees have an embedded 12-15 7 days internships in semester three, learners are matched with acceptable organisations and undertake a unique marketplace task, which is cautiously supervised and assessed.

“There has been strong fascination from our existing and new industry companions which displays the require to continue on to resource young expertise in the know-how sector. We have diversified our portfolio of placement options for science and biotechnology learners to supply meaningful work-centered studying prospects in quality systems, commercialisation or regulatory affairs.”

This style of expertise can be invaluable. Science graduates with a history in lifetime sciences or chemistry, and contemplating about setting up on their individual, may think about a hybrid conversion degree this sort of as an MSc in Biotechnology and Small business, together with finishing a enterprise program with a biotechnology business.

As a hub of biotechnology, Ireland is a very good position for science graduates and an expanding selection of worldwide learners are enrolling in this article.

Biotechnology master’s and doctorate programmes with acceptable internships are also supplied by DCU, UCC, NUI Galway and the TUD.

With 35-40 per cent of undergrads heading on to postgrad, professions workplaces in faculties are essential in advising undergraduates of their selections by jogging situations to advertise master’s and PhD selections to their last-12 months learners and getting ready applications for graduate scientific tests.