Earn with a job or learn with further study? Choose both with part time or distance learning

Many students feel torn between the options of getting their first job (and starting to make some inroads into their student debt) and pursuing graduate study to improve their prospects in the job market. The good news is that there are loads of options that will allow you to have the best of both worlds.

You've studied hard for three or four years and got your degree. Maybe it was in a non-vocational subject and you have now focused on your route forwards and, although you recognise that it will mean some further study, you need to earn some money too. Perhaps you've been working for a while and feel the need to develop your skills in your chosen field. Whatever the reason, postgraduate study in a huge range of subjects is now available in a variety of formats - so you don't have to choose between work and study.

Postgraduate study methods: the options

Most universities offer a range of options designed to enable students to find a work/study balance while studying for a masters of or even a doctorate.

Part time Many postgraduate taught and research programmes are available part time. These may be taught in blocks of time (eg one or two weeks of intensive tuition followed by home study), day release, evening classes or even at a limited number of weekends. They can last from one to two years, or more if you are pursuing research.

Distance learning Teaching programmes have been revolutionised since the introduction of distance learning. This means that, wherever you live, you can continue to study, learn and progress your career. Such programmes give you the flexibility to study when it suits you and there are no timetabled classes to attend.

CPD (continuing professional development) Maybe what you require is a shorter, more specifically work-related course linked to your continuing professional development. These will lead to a certificate or diploma rather than a masters. Again, universities offer a wide range of these, or your company may even have a specially tailored CPD course that has been developed with a local university to help you with reach then next rung on the ladder.

Our search and compare facility lets you review courses so that you can find the right postgraduate qualification and study method to suit you.

Overseas postgraduate students

Overseas students may find it less easy to study postgraduate courses on a part-time basis due to possible visa restrictions. Make enquiries before you book on a course. View the Home Office website for help.

What about the money?

Being able to start or continue working either full or part time will help you financially but you may also be able to get funding from your employer to help with the course fees. If your proposed postgraduate course is work related, it is worth asking your employer if they are willing to sponsor you or give you some extra time off. Many employers will help with the funding of professional qualifications - for instance in fields such as property, accountancy or even more specialised areas such as insolvency.

Find out more about postgraduate study