Should you convert? Your guide to postgraduate conversion courses

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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Once you have finished your undergraduate degree, there are a number of issues to consider. Do a postgraduate degree or look for work? Continue with your undergraduate field or consider one of the many conversion courses available?

A postgrad degree can give you an advantage in the jobs market. But a postgrad in a field where employers are struggling to fill positions may be even more valuable. This is why conversion courses have become so popular in recent years. These degrees can help you find work that is specialised, in demand and well paid.

Most conversion courses are one-year taught courses. They are available in a wide range of disciples. This includes business, IT and finance, as well as teaching, medicine and law

Entry requirements

The entry requirements to conversion courses vary depending on the course and college. All require that you have an undergraduate degree, but some only accept applicants with an honours degree of 2:1. Others are only open to those with specific undergrad degrees or competencies. The good news is that many conversion courses that are open all graduates. Let’s have a look at the options on offer.

Business Courses

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is open to graduates from a wide range of disciplines as well as business graduates. The MBA take a year full-time. It is also possible to do the degree over two years part-time.

Certain courses, such as those offered by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School or the Queen’s University Management School, are not open to recent graduates. Instead, applicants have to have a number of years working in business.

IT Courses

IT professionals are in high demand. This means that IT conversion courses are very popular. For the most part, these are one-year courses. These include UCC’s Higher Diploma in Applied Science and the Higher Diploma in Information Technology at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Students learn both theory and practice, and many graduates go on to do an IT Masters too.

Law Courses

Law conversion courses have been popular for a very long time. They attract graduates from a huge number of disciplines. Postgrad law degrees specialise in a particular area of law. However, if you are thinking of a career as a solicitor or barrister you will need to take the examinations of the relevant professional body. These are the legal practice course or the Bar Professional Training Course respectively.

Medicine Courses

The University of Limerick, UCC, University College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland all offer four-year medical degrees for graduates of any discipline. Essentially, this means you would be doing a four-year undergraduate degree. To be accepted, you will need a 2.1 honours bachelor degree. Furthermore, you will have to do well on the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test.

Teaching Courses

In 2014, the two-year Professional Master’s in Education (PME) replaced the one-year H.Dip. To do a postgraduate teaching programme, you need to apply at Applicants come from a variety of disciplines, but their undergraduate degree must meet the minimum entry requirements.



Anne Sexton

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Doing a postgrad degree as a mature student


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