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To Post Graduation Degree or not to Post Graduation Degree: Pros and Cons of Post Graduation Degrees

The UK is globally renowned for being the home of some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, etc. and the list continues.

Many international medical graduates aspire to join the alumni of these esteemed institutions, either before or after they start working in the UK. This article will explain the pros and cons of joining a UK university for your post-graduation.

What is a Post-Graduation Degree? A post-graduation degree is any course undertaken after an undergraduate degree (example: MBBS, or Bachelors in Biomedical Science). They are of variable lengths, however in general, the rule of thumb is as follows:

PG Certificate: 3 months (full time study)/ 1 year (part time study)

PG Diploma: 6 months (full time study)/ 1-2 years (part time study)

Masters (MSc): 1 year (full time study)/ 2-4 years (part time study)

Philosophers Degree (PhD/DPhil): 3 years (full time study)/5-8 years (part time study)

Benefits of Post-Graduation Degrees:

  1. Greater understanding of a specific field:

Regardless of the length of the course, each post-graduation degree entails a gruelling

number of hours to be invested in attending classes, completing assignments, group

projects, and finally passing the summative assessment (i.e. dissertation/ thesis/ final

exams). Cumulatively, you must know a great deal about your subject before you can

add the degree details at the end of your name, therefore, be sure that you will nearly

be an expert in your field of post-graduation.

2. Enriching your CV and prospective ability to get a job:

Putting this into perspective, if you were a Consultant in Neurology, you would probably

be more likely to interview or hire a doctor to work in your team who has a Masters in

Neuroscience than someone fresh out of medical school, if the two candidates met

head to head (pun intended). A post-graduation degree shows a commitment to

speciality and involvement in academia. While many of your traits are assessed before

deeming you fit for a job, a post-graduation degree will make your CV stand out

throughout your career. To get a training job in the UK, you also get points for having a

post-graduate qualification!

3. Networking Opportunity

Regardless of the country or city, people are generally more sociable in educational institutions compared to at a work environment. Studying in university will give you the opportunity to meet people who are interested in the similar things as you and form strong social bonds, which may help you especially if you are new in the country.

4. Becoming a Published Author:

Your involvement in academic degrees, will very likely help you think like a writer until you are ready to become a writer. There are Masters in Research and PhDs where writing a paper are compulsory parts of your course and this will help you become a published writer under the guidance of your supervisor.

Struggles of Post-Graduation Degrees:

  1. Time investment:

Do keep in mind that like all educational qualifications, any post-graduation degree

will require you to invest time into the topic. There will be lectures, meetings with your

supervisors, group projects, and a good number of assignments to complete every now

and then. You will get more time for this as a full time student but if you decide to do

your course part time, you need to make sure you are good at managing your study

time outside your job.

2. Cost:

I tend to refer to university fees as an investment into your future more than a cost,

however, it is a factor to bear in mind. A PG Certificate usually costs between £2000-

£6000 while a PhD might cost up to £70,000 (for International Students)! The cost of

your postgraduate degree depends on many circumstances such as:

- Whether you are a UK national (less expensive) or an International student (more


- Whether you have a scholarship or not

- Whether you are doing the course full-time or part-time

- Which university you are doing the course in

Therefore, when you look into the costs of a post-graduate degree, make sure you

calculate the cost according to your personal circumstances as it is different for every


3. Digression from the clinical field:

Most medical post-graduation degrees are somewhat related to your clinical specialty,

however, they will focus more on sharpening your knowledge and reasoning skills than

your practical skills. Some graduates say they feel a bit out of practice when they return

back to their clinical fields. However, your skills tend to come back with time and in the

long run, this degree might teach you the skills needed to become a better doctor.

Please do leave your thoughts in the comments and if there is anything else you would like to know regarding this topic! Best of luck!

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What are the courses / Diplomas / masters i can do to pursue a career in emergency medicine?

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