Applying to do a Masters: Part Two

As we come to the end of the academic year, you may be thinking about what’s next. One of your options may be to do a Masters Degree. In the second half of this two-part series, Iona outlines what a masters application involves and some tips to succeed in the process.

By Iona Craig.

The master’s application deadline is coming in closer and quicker. If you are still at the early stages of deciding whether or not a masters is for you, it may be worth reading ‘Applying to Masters: Part 1’ which discusses how to decide if a masters is for you, what masters options are available and other key considerations that need made in the decision process. If a masters is for you then it is time to start thinking about applications! What does a masters application actually look like?

Where do I even apply?

Undergrad applications are all boxed up in one tidy system otherwise known as UCAS. Master’s applications are unfortunately not as straight forward. Master’s applications are done directly through the university themselves, which on one hand is great because it means there are no limit to how many you can apply to, but on the other it means if you do want to apply to several, it is more work as they are all done separately. The application portal for the course you want can often be found at the bottom of the course page via a link where you have to make an account. More information on the application portal can be found here. On here, it will be made clear what the application process involves.

A group picture of graduates throwing mortarboards in the air.
A Masters Degree might be the next step for you after Graduation. Image: University of Warwick.

What do masters applications involve?

Each course will involve different components which will be outlined on the master’s webpage. It is important to make a note of these, especially any deadlines and consider when they need starting and how long you will need to complete each of the tasks. Most masters include providing personal information, transcripts of undergrad, your CV, a personal statement and references however some courses have further stages such as interviews. Research masters will also require a research proposal.

What are transcripts and where can I find them?

Transcripts summarise all your module marks from university and can be found on your grad intelligence account. You can log into your grad intelligence account here.

What does my CV need to include?

CVs need to include a very condensed summary of your academic qualifications, personal experiences and interests. More can be found on the university’s carer page where there are numerous resources to help write a CV. All the Warwick Uni career’s services can be found here. Research CVs are structured slightly differently but there are specific resources for this also.

How do I write a personal statement?

Personal statements for masters are similar to that of undergrad ones except they need to be uni specific. As well as including your past experiences and achievements, it is important to reflect on these to show what skills you have learnt as well as say why you want to go to your chosen uni, why you want to do your chosen course and why you would be a great choice for them. Its also good to include what you would being to the course. The careers team at Warwick offer a great service where you can send in your personal statement for feedback which will then be emailed back to you. This can be booked through ‘My Advantage’. The log in for my advantage can be found on the Warwick uni careers page above or here.

Two men with brown hair sitting at a desk looking at a laptop. One is wearing a yellow t-shirt and the other is wearing a blue hoodie and a black baseball cap.
Image: University of Warwick.

What references do I use?

Many unis will request an academic references and a personal reference. Good people to ask for an academic reference from include your personal tutor or your third year supervisor. Good people to ask for personal references from include previous employees for work experience or jobs. Although the references can be requested directly through the application portal, it is good practice to ask the individuals before hand if they are happy to write you a reference, inform them of deadlines and check that it gets submitted.

What now?

Once you have gathered all the needed application materials together, it is good to take a moment to review them or ask someone else too, consider if these really are the masters you want to apply for and then you are ready to send off your application!

Applications can be a mentally challenging process that feel never ending and are often tinged with the fear of rejection. A good way to deal with this is to be honest about how you feel to family and friends – many are likely in the same boat! Chunking the application process into sections or using the resources available through the career’s department and personal tutors when you are unsure of how to progress can make the whole process seem a little more manageable. It does eventually end, I promise!

If you want to read more about doing a Masters degree, we have several blogs on the subject which can be found here.

What are you thinking of doing after leaving university? What are your thoughts on doing a masters? Let us know by tweeting us @warwicklibrary, messaging us on Instagram @warwicklibrary or by emailing us at

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