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Master a masters

The golden rule when filling out application forms is to plan, plan, plan. You should be clear about what you want to say in your application long before you put pen to paper.

You might remember filling out your UCAS form for your undergraduate degree all those years ago, but if you want to study for a higher degree, you normally have to send an independent application. These forms are available to fill out online. Alternatively, you can apply for up to ten courses through UKPASS, but there are currently only 18 participating institutions.

Take your time

The first half of the form should be easy enough – you will need to fill in your personal details, title of the course you are applying for, and give a breakdown of your educational and relevant work history.

Other parts of the form will require more work depending on what post grad you are undertaking.


You need to give the name of two referees. At least one should be from an academic member of staff at the institution where you gained your most advanced qualification.

References are a vital part of the selection process for university admissions tutors. It is important for you to choose two referees who are able to vouch for your academic ability. Your best bet is to use two lecturers from a previous course – unless you’ve worked for a couple of years prior to going back to university. In this case, you can ask your employer.

Approach your references beforehand. It’s good manners to warn them and gives them time to prepare. You will normally just be asked to provide details of their name, address, job title, telephone number, email address, and their relationship to you.

Personal Statement

This is the part where you summarise your academic interests and reasons for choosing your intended course. Your personal statement should be just that – personal. Look at our article on what to put in.


Funding is also a huge issue to think about, but don’t worry, we’ve got a few tips for you about that too.