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Reasons to Stay at the Same University for Your Postgraduate Degree

Reasons to Stay at the Same University for Your Postgraduate Degree main image

By the time it’s graduation day and you’re posing for photos in your gown and mortarboard, you’ll probably do anything to be allowed to stay at university for just a little bit longer. While delaying the inevitable entry into the adult world is hardly the best reason to decide to study a postgraduate degree, the impulse is more than understandable.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other, more valid reasons for studying an additional degree from the boost it will give your career prospects to the opportunity it will provide to specialize in a particular area. But should the strong affection you feel for your current university dictate where you study at postgraduate level? There’s no reason why you can’t apply to other universities as well, and you might be left with a difficult choice between a university you know well and one you don’t but which has a better reputation.

If this happens, what do you pick? Is it a cop-out to just stay put? In short: absolutely not. Here are some of the main reasons why it’s a great idea to stay at the same university for your postgraduate degree.

First things first, you’ve got a better chance of being offered a place

While this shouldn’t stop you from applying to other universities as well, you’ll find the application process is much more straight-forward at your current university. Not only do they already have easy access to your academic record, it’s less likely you’ll be required to interview for a place as you’ll already be well-known to tutors and lecturers. Universities are often keen to encourage students to stay on at postgraduate level, so you might also find that entry requirements are lower than they would be at another university. That’s not the only thing universities do to make staying put more attractive…

It’s cheaper too

Yes, that’s right. Universities might seem like money-grabbing institutions at the best of times, but many offer alumni discounts on postgraduate tuition, so your level of student debt won’t become even more obscene than it already is. One other financial advantage of staying at the same university is you’ll already be well-acquainted with the town or city, and therefore have a good idea of the best cheap shops, bars and restaurants. This level of local knowledge can take months, if not years, to build up in a new location.

You probably won’t be living with strangers

New town, new university, new people. Moving to study a postgraduate degree somewhere else means you’re just reliving all the social anxiety of the start of university all over again. Why run the risk of moving in with a bunch of strangers only to find they’re horrible, insufferable bores? Staying where you currently are means you can either carry on living in your current flat/house, or team up with other friends who are staying after graduation to live together. Much better than going back to arguing with strangers over whose turn it was to buy milk.

You’ll already be comfortable in the academic environment

As well as not having to adjust to a new town or city, you also won’t need to worry about settling into a new academic routine. As you’ve probably already realized from your undergraduate degree, every lecturer and tutor has their own method of teaching and their own quirks when it comes to marking work and giving feedback. If you’re staying at the same university, you’ll probably already know the academic staff who’ll be teaching you and so you won’t have to adjust your own working style. The level of familiarity will also mean you feel more confident asking for help or advice, should you need it.

Reasons why you should move to another university

Of course, there are some reasons why you might want to move to another university that might over-rule the cheaper course costs and existing relationships with tutors. If your current university doesn’t have a particularly strong academic reputation for your chosen subject area, you’ll probably want to apply to somewhere which can give you a better quality education. Similarly, if you weren’t able to get into a top university for your undergraduate (maybe because of poor grades at school) but you’re now graduating with a first-class degree, you might find it’s possible to upgrade to a more reputable university.

Reputation obviously isn’t everything, and you might feel a more rigorous degree isn’t what you’re after, but it’s worth pointing out that one additional benefit of moving to a more established and renowned university is it will widen your network of contacts within the industry you wish to work in, and also open you up to new experiences. This isn’t always the kind of thing to catch an employer’s eye, but it can only reflect positively on you when it’s time to start applying for jobs.

Lead image: Tulane Public Relations (Wikimedia Commons)

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Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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