You might be thinking what happens if I want to take up a postgraduate Masters, but not in the same subject you did your undergraduate in? This is completely fine, and actually pretty common!
Everyone is around 17/18 years old when they are asked to choose what subject they wanted to take at university. A decision that would inevitably shape their whole academic and professional career. Without having much knowledge of the working world, I chose, similarly to many others, to pursue a humanity subject I was passionate about and that would give me a broad overview of skills.
Now, when coming to the end of your academic lifespan, you are presented continuously with the question ‘what are you going to do after your undergrad?’ This daunting question is every student’s worst nightmare. However, what is more of a burden is suddenly realising that you want to study or take an interest in a new subject that doesn’t follow on from your undergraduate subject. Therefore, this blog has the sole purpose of proving how and why humanity, or any other subject, undergraduates, can apply to do a business or management Masters.
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to switch things up – whether you’re aspiring towards a particular career or simply finding that your academic interests lie elsewhere – the decision is absolutely yours to make.
Before you dive headfirst into applying for business Masters you must research into the different curriculums and teachings that different Universities provide. While undergrad degrees usually follow a very similar teaching schedule, Masters can vary hugely between universities.
Websites like QS are great tools to understand different course structures, entry requirements, specialisations and future career options. For example, Henley holds triple-accreditation status, meaning they have 3 different accreditation bodies behind them such as AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB. 98% of Henley graduates are employed postgraduate, according to the 2021 Masters Career Survey, and 95% of students would recommend the programme. These are all features that you would need to look into more in depth before applying, but this is no difference to how you would research into if you were choosing a humanity Masters.
When it comes to applying, this is where you want to demonstrate that regardless of your change in study subject you have the passion and drive to do well in a Business Masters. You want to draw attention to any previous work experience you have that would be useful when studying a Business Masters, including experiences that made you think you wanted to study Business, rather than carrying on with a humanity (or a non-business) subject. Whilst humanities can provide graduates skills that are adaptable, the admissions office want to see what business experience you’ve held before and that your desire to study this Masters is based on something and not just a whim.
If you don’t have any experience you can relate to studying a Business Masters, another way to show your dedication is by demonstrating how you have taken an active interest in this subject area outside of your original degree. This could include reading Forbes or Bloomberg, or even being a member of your Business Society on campus.
The main thing you want to demonstrate to any university admissions office is that you have the skills necessary for the position and that you are eager to learn. As a humanity graduate you want to prove that a degree that isn’t always regarded as a gateway into business programmes can provide a unique outlook.
Having a written-based degree will have taught you how to analyse conflicting problems, accumulate research and to nurture your individual mindset – which are all vital assets to a Business Masters. After all, humanity graduates don’t assume answers without researching and collecting data to make their own judgements!
Let’s assume you have been lucky enough to be accepted onto a Master programme in Business, how should you now prepare?
A postgraduate degree is, as you can presume, different to studying at undergraduate level, which is only heightened if you are changing subjects. Nothing to be fearful of, just something you need to consider coming onto the course!
The variety of courses available mean there are more options and opportunities to study particular or specialised subjects than you would have previously found at undergraduate level. This may require you to put in some extra work before you start if you want to be prepared. Doing this extra preparation can ensure you have a good work schedule before you even start and aren’t falling behind on the foundations of the course that perhaps others would have already know if they studied business at undergraduate.
Therefore, don’t be put off applying for a Business or Management Masters if your undergrad degree area doesn’t necessarily fit into the same subject department. Lots of students change their subject areas, or choose to further their general knowledge by gaining new skills from other subjects.
Have confidence in what you’re passionate to study and make sure to research and you will do well in whatever!