You Can Earn Your Post-Graduate Degree in Just One Year in the United Kingdom

Professional post-graduate programs can lead to some of the best-paying, most highly valued jobs. If you've dreamt of becoming a lawyer, doctor, or pharmacist, you'll need a professional post-grad program to make that dream a reality.

Of course, post-grad can be time-consuming. Most professional programs in Canada last two years — and that's on top of your bachelor's degree, which probably took you four years already!

Luckily, we live a world where studying abroad is a possibility! In the United Kingdom, these same post-grad degrees take only a year to complete. That's a whole year you could instead spend on building work experience — and earning money.

A master's degree in just one year? What's the catch?

The catch is you'll need to work extra hard to learn everything you need to know before the time's up. UK master's degrees are intensive, challenging, and demanding, so you'll need to be ready for what's ahead before you make the decision to study abroad.

You'll be working non-stop to pursue your degree, which won't leave much time for part-time jobs, volunteer experiences, and even hobbies! But if you're serious about powering through, earning your master's in just one year could be worth the effort it takes to get there.

What sorts of master's degrees can be done in a single year?

Short answer: almost any master's degree you can imagine can be completed in a year in the United Kingdom. Some of the most popular choices include:

  • Law
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometry
  • Business
  • Medical science

These are just a few of the hot tickets in the UK, though. Most degrees you might want to pursue (from African Studies to Zoology) are available in a single-year format. Different universities will have different programming choices, but there are plenty of universities in the UK, so you'll have lots to choose from.

The United Kingdom is renowned for its quality educational institutions, so you can be sure that your hard-earned master's degree will be recognized (and welcomed!) in Europe, Canada, and around the world.

What does a master's degree in the UK cost for Canadians?

This is the sticking point for most students. An accelerated pace is one thing, putting your nose to the grindstone, but the price tag for a year's tuition as a Canadian student can be pretty high.

For example, the University of Cambridge — one of the top universities on the planet — offers a one-year Chemistry master's for $58,000 CAD (roughly converted from GBP). For reference, the median income in Canada in 2020 was $73,000 — meaning that Chemistry degree could cost nearly a year's take-home pay for most families.

Of course, this doesn't take into account tuition reductions, scholarships, teaching assistantships, and other forms of financial aid. The fees you actually pay could be quite a bit lower than this example. Still, the stated cost of a one year master's could send you (and your loved ones) into sticker shock!

(By way of contrast, Concordia University in Montréal offers a two-year master's degree in Chemistry, with Canadian tuition of about $11,500 per year, coming to about $23,000 for the full program. Plus you have an additional year of living expenses, and the opportunity cost of another year of school.)

What financial aid options can help bring the price down?

Scholarship and funding programs exist to help you reach your goals. Some are usable at any school, like the Chevening Scholarships, while others are offered by schools themselves — so you'll have to do some investigation to learn about all of your options.

Sites like ScholarshipsCanada can help you browse and sort your options. You'll also want to directly contact the schools that interest you so you can ask questions and gain clarity on what financial aid you might be able to count on.

Studying abroad can be an eye-opening, life-changing experience, offering new challenges and new opportunities in equal measure. If you're eager to get your career started as soon as possible, and you just need that elusive master's degree to make it happen, pursuing your graduate degree in the United Kingdom could be a good choice.

The higher price tag for international students might not look so bad when you're earning more money on average than people with undergrad degrees.

Curious to learn more about studying in the UK? Check out these tips from a Canadian student at the University of York. Bon voyage!

Explore graduate programs in the UK