MA Application Process
Knowing where to start when creating your application for a Masters can be confusing and bit daunting. Applying at a Postgraduate level won’t be the same passive experience you may remember from UCAS. To add some context, I applied for my MA in Modern History a year after finishing my degree and just as a certain pandemic was starting to take hold. Having gone through this process, I hope some of the tips I have will help you in your own application. Whilst I will be focusing on the application from the perspective of a history student, hopefully you can still find my experience helpful regardless of subject.
Choosing your course
This might sound obvious, but the advantage to studying an MA is there is more choice for the area you want to study. During your Undergrad your choice of course may have had something vaguely linked to your interest in history. After three years it is more than likely your interests will have evolved and shifted a little. Your interests will have evolved and shifted a little. Choosing your MA course provided you the opportunity to support these new interests. Furthermore, an institution might offer a couple of different options. For example, with Warwick there are currently four areas within the MA History course: Early Modern History, Modern History, History of Medicine and Global History. Your interests may have shifted during your Undergrad so it is a good idea to have a look at what these different courses offer.
Look at the modules offered! Just because the course falls into the type of history you want to study (such as Modern or Global History) doesn’t mean the modules will be appropriate to you. Taking a range of modules will aid you in your development as a History student but they need to be relevant to your overall focus. If you want to focus on writing a history of empires and there are no modules on anything remotely linked, that’s probably not the place for you (obvious but it needs to be pointed out).
Preparing your Application
There are a couple of things that need to be checked off before you start writing your application for the MA. Informing your references early that you plan to apply for an MA will save you a lot of time when it finally comes to submitting your application. An advantage of this, f your reference is a current or previous lecturer you can discuss the process in general with them and get loads of advice. Getting advice from people who have been through the same process as you is an excellent way to know precisely what you can put in your application. Plus, if they have the time, they can be an excellent proof-reader.
Set a plan
Most universities don’t have an absolute deadline for applying. Still, the earlier you submit, the more likely you are to be offered a place and also there will be more opportunities to apply for funding programmes.
You have to choose what is best for you but having a deadline at a pace which works for you will keep you accountable. It’s different than applying for an Undergraduate through UCAS where there is a strict deadline or the possibility of getting in once you have your exam results in August. Having your own deadline makes the whole process easier and will ensure that you are making good profress,
Applying for a Masters can be stressful and feel overwhelming at times. I hope that all these tips (as obvious as some may seem!) will get you started on the process. If you have any more questions at the process, drop them in the comment section and I will help as much as I can.