The Student Room - Postgraduate Survey 2011
1. Demographics
2. Postgraduate degrees
3. Which course?
4. Student loyalty
5. Cost/Benefit of a postgraduate degree
6. Making the decision
7. Distance learning
8. Why The Student Room?
Postgraduate Survey
DEMOGRAPHICS
672 students took part in the survey advertised on The Student Room
•
47.9% Male
•
52.1% Female
•
Aged 16 – 30
•
Living in the UK (62.4%) and abroad (37.6%)
•
State (79.9%) and private (20.1%) schooled
•
All stages of education from GCSE and upward
Postgraduate Survey
POSTGRADUATE DEGREES
Students find postgraduate degrees are too expensive and there is a
lack of funding, others just don’t have enough information
•
65.8% of those not doing a postgraduate degree is because they
are too expensive
•
50.7% say it is because of a lack of funding options available
•
21.9% have had enough of studying
•
16.4% don’t have the time
•
15.1% don’t have enough information about postgraduate
courses to make a decision
Scottish/UK/ International
Students
100
90
88
90
87
•Scottish students are the least concerned
about postgrads being too expensive and
are don’t do them because they have had
enough of studying
80
69
70
67
67
62
60
49
50
40
33
31
•International students are not put off by
the added years in education and are not
concerned by a lack of government funding
33
30
20
15
13
10
0
0
0
Considering or Postgrads are
studying a
too expensive
postgrad
Scottish
Lack of
government
funding
International
Don't want to I don't know
study anymore enough about
postgrad
courses
UK
•Scottish students are also the least aware
of postgrad options
Undergraduates vs Graduates
100
89
90
82
80
•Graduates are more concerned about the
lack of government funding
70
70
60
60
60
•Undergraduates see the cost being the
major reason for not doing one
50
50
40
33
•Undergraduates are less knowledgeable
about postgrad courses than those that
have graduated
30
20
23
20
10
4
0
Considering or Postgrads are
Lack of
Don't want to I don't know
studying a too expensive government study anymore enough about
postgrad
funding
postgrad
courses
Undergrad
Graduate
Employability and a new course are the main driving forces behind
postgraduate study
Main reason for doing a post grad degree
Undergraduates vs Graduates vs Postgraduates
60
55
54
50
56
53
49
48
43
42
39
40
37
35
35
•Graduates are most likely to do a postgrad
as a requirement of their career, to
postpone employment or to gain
knowledge of a new subject
•Undergraduates have a greater desire to
enhance their knowledge of their current
course
30
20
•Postgraduates main reason for continuing
their studies is to increase employability
14
9
10
4
0
Postpone
Gain more
Gain more
Increase
Employment knowledge of a knowledge of employability
new course current course
Undergrad
Graduate
Postgrad
Career
requirement
Scottish/UK/International Students
70
61
59
60
•International students are more likely to do
a postgrad to enhance their knowledge of
either their current or new subject
52
49
48
50
44
40
40
42
37
32
29
30
•Scottish students are least likely to do a
postgrad to postpone employment and are
more interested in increasing employability
or are required to do it for their career
22
20
13
8
10
0
0
Postpone
Gain more
Gain more
Increase
Employment knowledge of a knowledge of employability
new course current course
Scottish
International
•UK students main reason is to increase
their employability
UK
Career
requirement
Postgraduate Survey
WHICH COURSE?
Professional accreditation makes the course more appealing to post
grad applicants
•
64.2% find accreditation of a course by a professional body more
appealing
•
Most popular study areas are
•
Humanities
•
Science
•
Engineering
•
Business
Are you more attracted to courses accredited by a professional body?
Undergraduates vs Graduates vs Postgraduates
Postgrad
•Postgraduates are least worried about
courses being accredited by a professional
body as they have experienced a postgrad
course for themselves
59
Graduate
68
Undergrad
66
54
56
58
60
62
64
66
68
70
Accredited courses are more attractive
Scottish/UK/International students
UK
60
International
•International students are most interested
in courses that are accredited by a
professional body, possibly due to them
looking for added value from the course
73
Scottish
43
0
10
20
30
40
50
Accredited courses are more attractive
60
70
80
Postgraduate Survey
STUDENT LOYALTY
Few students remain loyal to their university for postgraduate courses
•
•
•
61.7% expect to change universities for their postgraduate degree with
the most popular alternatives being
1.
University of Manchester
6.
University of Reading
2.
University of Sussex
7.
Sheffield Hallam University
3.
University College London
8.
University of Oxford
4.
King’s College London
9.
University of Bristol
5.
Birkbeck University of London
10. University of Leeds
20.1% will stay at their university with the most popular being
1.
University of Sussex
4.
University of Kent
2.
University of Southampton
5.
University of Oxford
3.
The Open University
6.
University of Leeds
Students are split on whether they would consider studying abroad
•
46.5% would leave the country
•
47% would stay in the UK
•
6.5% are undecided
Would you consider a postgraduates course at a non-UK university?
Undergraduates vs Graduates vs Postgraduates
Postgrad
•Those that have graduated are most likely
to consider a post grad abroad as are
those currently studying for one
50
Graduate
54
Undergrad
31
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Considering doing postgrad abroad
Scottish/UK/International students
UK
•UK universities seem to be the primary
goal for UK and Scottish students with
international students most open to
studying elsewhere
20
International
84
Scottish
25
0
20
40
60
Considering doing postgrad abroad
80
100
International students named a total of 28 British universities that they
would like to do a postgraduate course at
•
65% of international students expect to change universities for their
postgraduate degree, naming the following UK institutions
•
University of Manchester
•
King’s College London
•
University of Stirling
•
•
University of Edinburgh
London School of Economics and
Political Science
•
University of Birmingham
•
Sheffield Hallam University
•
University of St Andrews
•
University of Bradford
•
University of Aberdeen
•
•
London School of Hygiene & Tropical
Medicine
University of Liverpool
•
•
University of Southampton
University of Westminster
•
•
University of Kent
University of Exeter
•
•
University of Leeds
University of Oxford
•
•
Queen Mary
University of Bath
•
•
University of Sussex
University of Bristol
•
•
University of East London
Brunel University London
•
•
Imperial College London
University of Reading
•
•
University of Huddersfield
The Open University
Postgraduate Survey
COST / BENEFIT OF A
POSTGRADUATE DEGREE
The majority of students will fund themselves through their post grad
•
52.6% of students will fund
themselves with a combination
of part time work, personal
savings and bank loans
•
24.6% expect to work part
time whilst studying
•
18.3% will receive funding
from parents or other family
member
“International students expect their courses to be more with 47% believing a postgraduate
course will cost them over £12,000”
How do you expect to fund your post grad degree?
Undergraduates vs Graduates vs Postgraduates
30
27
25
24
25
•Taking on part time work whilst studying is
the most popular way to fund a post grad
23
22
20
19
20
18
17
17
15
15
12
•Graduates are least likely to fund it with
personal savings, probably due to having
none left after uni
•Public funding is the least but this is likely
due to a lack of knowledge of the support
available for postgraduate students
10
5
0
Funding postgrad Funding postgrad Funding postgrad
by parents
by part time work
with personal
savings
Undergrad
Graduate
Postgrad
Receive public
funding
Scottish/UK/International Students
40
35
35
30
25
25
22
21
20
20
17
•Scottish students are most likely to work
part time to fund their post grad and least
likely to rely on public funding
24
18
18
18
15
15
9
10
5
0
Funding postgrad Funding postgrad Funding postgrad
by parents
by part time work
with personal
savings
Scottish
International
UK
Receive public
funding
•International students are marginally more
expectant on receiving financial help from
their parents
Increasing knowledge and employability are the main reasons for doing
a post grad
•
Gaining a greater knowledge of their chosen subject is the main
benefit that students see in doing a post grad course
•
73.2% believe that it will give them greater career prospects
•
52.7% think that increasing employability is one of the main
benefits
•
Other benefits include
•
Being employable after retirement
•
Having an additional career option
•
Academic status and self-satisfaction
Undergraduate and postgraduate students would be less likely to
continue their studies had they paid higher tuition fees
•
Only 41% said that they would definitely have still done their
postgraduate course had they had to pay the £9,000 tuition fees
that will hit the 2012 entrants.
“I have no choice if I want to follow my chosen career”
“The benefit of it is worth more than the amount to be paid as a fee”
•
29.9% would not have done a post grad had they paid the higher
rate for their first degree with the remainder unsure what they
would have done.
“I wouldn’t have been able to afford it”
Would you have still done a post grad if you’d paid £9,000 tuition fees?
Undergraduates vs Graduates vs Postgraduates
Postgrad
•Current postgraduate students are least
likely to have continued their studies had
they paid the higher fees set to come in
2012
38
Graduate
45
Undergrad
41
34
36
38
40
42
44
46
Even if you'd paid £9,000 tuition fees
Scottish/UK/International students
UK
•International students are least likely to be
affected by a rise in fees deterring them
from doing a postgraduate course as they
expect to pay more any way
34
International
53
Scottish
29
0
10
20
30
40
Even if you'd paid £9,000 tuition fees
50
60
Postgraduate Survey
MAKING THE DECISION
86.8% of 20-25 year olds on The Student Room are considering
studying a post grad course
How many students decided they wanted to do a post grad before they were 20?
Undergraduates vs Graduates vs Postgraduates
Postgrad
17
Graduate
24
Undergrad
37
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
•Students are making the decision to do a
postgraduate course from a younger age
with more undergraduates making the
decision before they are 20
40
Decided under 20
Scottish/UK/International students
UK
•International students are more likely to
know they are going to do a postgraduate
course from a young age
21
International
30
Scottish
11
0
5
10
15
20
Decided under 20
25
30
35
Universities and associates are the main source of information and
influencer of a students decision to do a postgraduate course
Postgraduate Survey
DISTANCE LEARNING
Students are undecided on distance learning courses
Do you know about distance learning and would you consider it?
Undergraduates vs Graduates vs Postgraduates
39
UK
•International students are most aware of
distance learning options and marginally
more likely to consider one for a post grad
56
40
International
73
38
Scottish
50
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Would consider distance learning postgrad
Aware of options for distance learning
Scottish/UK/International students
Postgrad
41
Graduate
41
•Postgraduates are most aware probably
due to having actually been through the
process of looking at the options available
to them
67
60
49
Undergrad
63
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Would consider distance learning postgrad
Aware of options for distance learning
70
80
Postgraduate Survey
ABOUT THE STUDENT ROOM?
4.5 million unique users a month looking for information, support and
advice from their peers
•
88% of TSR users said they would be interested in studying a
Postgraduate course
•
82% of users said that they would like more information about
Postgraduate courses
•
25% of visits to The Student Room are international students
•
32% of The Student Room’s users at university said their
decision of where to attend was directly influenced by The
Student Room
For more information about this research contact Kailan D’Arcy or Jamie
O’Connell at The Student Room... 0800 999 3222
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postgraduate degrees - The Student Room Group