The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Postgraduate Taught

Our service caters for all students at the University of Southampton and the advice and information is suitable for all levels of study e.g. undergraduate and postgraduate. We do however recognise the additional needs of our postgraduate community.

Masters Students:

Full-time Postgraduate Taught (PGT) courses generally run from October to September. At the very start of your programme you will need to think what you want to do after your course as many graduate schemes close during the Autumn for positions commencing the following Autumn.

With your increased qualifications you unlock more avenues of opportunity, however, as well as a strong academic record, employers will also expect you to have developed skills such as communication, time management, analytics and many more. You will therefore need to identify and market your additional skills to employers.

What do Masters graduates do?

Marketing your Masters


Each year the University of Southampton collates statistical data on our graduates as part of the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) dataset. The information gauges what students were doing 6 months after completing their programme of study. The DLHE 2014-2015 PGT data set (released in July 2016) demonstrates employment destinations and a sample of employers and job titles of our PGT graduates.

The key points are:


93% of responding taught postgraduate leavers were either in employment or further study

Average salary was between £20,000 and £24,999

95% of those working full-time secured professional/managerial level jobs

While undertaking your programme of study you should give some consideration to what drove your decision to pursue a postgraduate course. It is very likely any potential employer would ask this question during the recruitment process. What were your motivations?

  • Required entry into a chosen career
  • To facilitate change of career
  • To improve your employability
  • Follow pursuit of interest in your subject area
  • First step towards a PhD

Whatever your reason for choosing to study a Postgraduate Taught (PGT) programme, your degree has given you the opportunity to increase your analytical abilities, work independently, further develop your organisational, problem solving and communication skills. All of these are key to what employers look for in their recruits, and are amongst the leading factors you should be identifying and marketing when applying for jobs.

Additionally, your PGT study has helped you to become a specialist within your area of study and quite likely equipped you with a more mature outlook on the world.

Evidencing your skills:

Start by identifying your skills. Attempt to evidence base your strengths while considering the following areas:

  • your present studies
  • key projects (dissertation/thesis)
  • other qualifications both academic and vocational
  • past and present work experience
  • responsibilities and achievements in wider life outside of academia

Think about the softer skills you've gained, such as teamwork, giving presentations, multitasking and meeting deadlines. You may also consider specialist software such as analytical tools you may have used during your study.

How to market these skills to an employer:

  • Make sure that you read and understand the job advertisement. Pick out the key skills required for the position and evidence your skills that match.
  • You will need to market your skills at all stages of the recruitment process from the job application and CV through to the final interview. Use our Job Application Resources to assist you at every stage.
  • Don't assume the employer or university to which you are applying to is aware of the work involved in your course. Highlight the most relevant elements.
  • As most PGT courses are only one year long, we suggest you familiarise yourself with our website and our Careers Centre at the earliest opportunity at the start of your studies. If you are unsure about career options after your degree, then try following the suggestions on the Career Planning pages.
  • Check out our MyCareer to check out our events and book a place.
  • You can also login to MyCareer to browse our Jobs Board
  • Meet other postgraduate students at campus socials hosted by the Students' Union.

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