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Students at a postgraduate fair

 by Mark Bennett
, posted on 11 Jan '17

5 Things You Can Learn at a Postgraduate Study Fair

Considering further study? Now could be the perfect time to start thinking seriously about a Masters or PhD.

We've posted in the past about what these fairs involve. Now, with the Postgraduate Study Fair in Manchester just around the corner, we've looked at 5 specific things this kind of event can offer you.

#1 Up-to-the-minute information and advice

We work hard to keep students updated via this blog and our regular newsletter, but an event can be a great opportunity to receive the latest news. Better yet, you'll be able to ask any questions you have and get them answered right away.

University representatives can offer added reassurance on topics such as EU fees and international visas. Meanwhile, our talks programme will provide the very latest funding information, with time for your questions.

#2 What other students are thinking (and doing)

One of the most valuable opportunities you'll have at an event like the Postgraduate Study Fair in Manchester isn't actually part of the talks programme or a feature of the exhibition hall.

These resources have plenty to offer you, of course. But as you use take advantage of them you'll be in the company of large numbers of other prospective postgraduates.

They'll come from different backgrounds, have different subject-specialisms and be going into a Masters or PhD with different objectives and aspirations. The ideal course for them won't necessarily be the ideal course for you. In fact, in most cases it won't be: there are a lot of postgraduate courses available, after all.

But many of the decisions you're making (and the challenges you're facing) will be similar. Finding out about funding. Understanding entry requirements. Deciding between taught courses or research programmes.

Talking to your fellow attendees can be a great way of reflecting on your own decision-making process. You may even learn about options you weren't aware of, or be prompted to reconsider some you'd overlooked.

Speaking of which. . .

#3 Opportunities you haven't considered

Our course search is one handy way to narrow down your options and our funding guides will help introduce you to the different kinds of support offered for Masters and PhD study.

But, with so many options available, it's easy to miss something. You can use a study fair to help catch opportunities you may have overlooked.

Even if you already have a university or course in mind, it's worth visiting other stands. Their representatives will be more than happy to listen to your interests and highlight any suitable opportunities at their institution.

Postgraduate study events also feature representatives from overseas universities and international support services. It's easy to overlook postgraduate study abroad, but there are some great opportunities out there. A fair is an excellent way to find out more about them.

#4 The answers to your questions

We try and anticipate the kinds of questions a prospective Masters or PhD student might have and offer the information they might need, across our advice and funding sections (and here on the blog).

But there's a limit to how well we can guess exactly what you need to know, right now. That's not a problem at a fair, because you can tell us yourself.

Whatever stage of your postgraduate journey you're at, you'll soon have questions: about funding, about the differences between degree formats, perhaps even about issues such as Brexit. A fair can help provide answers that relate specifically to your circumstances.

At its heart, that's what an event like the Postgraduate Study Fair is all about: answering specific questions from specific people about specific issues relating to postgraduate study. That's what the universities and other organisations will be ready to do in the exhibition hall. It's also a big part of the talks programme, with time for Q&A after each presentation.

#5 What to do next

A good postgraduate fair can be a key part of your search for a Masters or PhD. It can also be the first step in selecting the right course - and applying for it.

You'll come away with useful information on suitable courses and funding options, having had the chance to discuss these with university representatives and postgraduate study experts.

And, if you have found a course worth looking into or an attractive funding opportunity, you'll be able to ask exactly what you need to do next.

That might mean confirming a university's application requirements and deadlines, in person. Or it might mean signing up to our newsletter for updates about upcoming postgraduate loan opportunities (though you've already done that, right?).

Even if you're still making your mind up, you'll have some worthwhile leads to follow. Universities will be able to give you their contact details (and will happily take yours). They'll also be able to provide prospectuses and other resources for you to take a look at in your own time.

So, all we need to ask now is: will we see you soon?

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Upcoming events

Interested in checking out a postgraduate event for yourself? View upcoming study fairs and open days on our website.

Postgraduate fairs - insider advice

Why do university exhibitors present at study fairs? And what advice would they give to students who attend?

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