What Now? Next Steps After Your Undergraduate Degree



If you are in your final year of undergraduate study, February is probably the time you are starting to think seriously about your future. You’ve got around four months before you graduate. What are your next steps? The reality is, you’ve got three options; employment, travel, or further study. As an international student you will also have other factors to consider, namely: do you want to stay in the UK? During your three years spent completing your undergraduate degree, you will have met plenty of people you may not want to leave, meaning that being able to remain in the UK is a priority for you. But what do you do whilst you are here?

Here, we run through the three top post-graduation options, hopefully making your decision a little easier! 


One option, post-graduation, is to go straight into employment. Should you choose to stay in the UK, you have two choices; graduate scheme or direct entry. Graduate schemes are typically offered by large companies and can last anything between 18 months and 3 years. They generally include a mixture of paid training and work, and have start dates in the autumn months. This means you get a summer off! Direct entry jobs work just like any normal job in that you would be expected to start soon after accepting the role. These roles tend to be in smaller organisations, and often employers will be looking for more specialist skills. Depending on your home country, the situation is likely to be similar, and your UK degree will certainly work in your favour in a crowded jobs market. Working in the UK, even for a short period of time, after you graduate will nonetheless provide you with great experience that will help you stand out in the global employment market.

Going from student life, to employment life, is a big adjustment though. No more lie ins, midnight feasts, or mid-week nights out! And your holiday time will be seriously reduced. In the UK, the minimum holiday entitlement is 28 days (including the 8 national bank holidays), which is just four weeks in total, making it very hard to fit in any travelling you may still want to do.

For more information on graduate employment, click here.





During your undergraduate degree, you probably took advantage of the prevalence of cheap flights and the UK’s proximity to the continent, and so have seen much of Europe already. Therefore, you may be keen on venturing further afield. Traditional travel routes for student’s post-graduation include Australia, the USA, and Asia. Now, as an international student, you may likely be from one of these countries or areas anyway, so this option might not be for you. You also need to consider what you want to do once you’ve finished travelling. If your ultimate goal is to settle in the UK, you may find it difficult to get visa approval after having been away for a number of months or years. And if you think the adjustment between student life and employed life will be hard, returning to the 9-5 after months of living it up in paradise will be even tougher!

Which is why we would recommend your third option:

 Postgraduate Education

Whether it is a masters degree or a conversion course, further study will ultimately enhance your employment prospects both in the UK and worldwide. You’ll be able to stay in the UK for at least another year, meaning you won’t have to say goodbye to your UK based loved ones just yet. You’ll also be able to take advantage of university term times and holidays, and fit in some more travelling. Did we mention that postgraduate students are also eligible still for student discount? Whilst still being an official student, you can take advantage of websites such as STA Travel, who offer significantly reduced rates and discounts to those still in education.

Applying for postgraduate study doesn’t even have to be a stressful process! ApplicationUK’s online platform allows you to compare and apply for UK postgraduate courses in one simple process. We also have a team of dedicated advisors on hand to give you personalised support and help, whenever you might need it. There are plenty of scholarships available for international postgraduate students, details of which can be found here, including those based on country of origin, subject type, and academic merit. Apply and enrol on a course through ApplicationUK and you could even receive a £300 bursary.


We hope this has made your options, and future decisions, a little clearer. Should you decide to go for postgraduate education, applications for courses beginning in the next academic year are still open. Search for your ideal course here, or contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.

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Tips for choosing your firm and insurance undergraduate choices on UCAS

So, you’ve received an offer to study at university in the UK. Congratulations! Problem is, you are receiving more and more, and now it’s pretty difficult to decide where to go.

Arguably, making the final firm and conditional choice is one of the most difficult stages of the entire process. Luckily this article will break things down step-by-step and make that all-important choice slightly more easy for you. Our experienced UKEC Malaysia counsellors can provide more detailed guidance on this as well.


Firstly – what is a firm choice?

Firstly, it is best to know the definitions of firm choice and insurance choice. Your firm choice is your first choice, and this is the university you definitely want to attend – all being well with your exam results. Remember, once you choose this course as your firm choice you are making a formal commitment to attend this university or college, which will affect the next 3 years of your university career.

What is an insurance choice?

An insurance choice is a back-up choice to a conditional firm acceptance. Since it is a back-up, it is best to go for something with lower offer conditions. This means you’ll only attend your insurance choice course if you don’t meet the conditions of your firm. Of course, make sure that you are happy with this choice as well.

Top tips: For making your firm and insurance choices:

  1. Review-review-review:

Re-familiarise yourself with the course descriptions and modules. Are they what you want to study? Have a browse through the student satisfaction scores, graduate employment stats, Google the location and type of university. Is it where you want to study? Will you be happy? Once you have received your last decision back from the universities you’ve applied to, you will have a few weeks before replying to your offers – so don’t rush it. Hungry for more detailed information? Our UKEC Malaysia counsellors can also provide you with more detailed information about the universities, and we also have direct feedback and contact with Admissions Tutors back in the UK.

  1. Choosing a firm:

Be realistic. Be honest with yourself – can you meet the requirements of the offer? Is the offer flexible? In theory, even though the course requirements appear to be set in stone, universities will still accept “near-miss” applicants. Ask our UKEC Malaysia counsellors for more advice on choosing a firm.

  1. Choosing an insurance:

Your insurance choice is a back-up option. Meaning, it does not make any sense to pick an insurance choice with higher entry requirements than your firm choice. Also, make sure that you would be happy to go there! An insurance choice is also a commitment to that university.


Choosing a firm and insurance university choice is probably one of the most important choices you’ll make in your educational career. Key things to remember:

  • You will only attend your insurance choice course if you don’t meet the conditions of your firm choice, but do meet the conditions of your insurance.
  • You can’t switch between firm and insurance once you get your results. No ifs, no buts. So, make sure you’re happy with your firm and insurance before you confirm!
  • You must decline all other offers, so make sure that you are absolutely sure that you want to attend those universities.

How can UKEC Malaysia help in this process?

With 7 offices in the UK, and over 15 years of experience, we have experience and location-advantage. We provide free consultation services for students, (which includes visa, accommodation, and much more) even after you’ve submitted your application. We can communicate with universities swiftly and get feedback on your application status. While Malaysia sleeps, UK is awake again, meaning we can work around the clock to deal with your enquiries. Making a firm and insurance choice is an incredibly important decision for a student, and that’s why UKEC Malaysia is here to help. Book an appointment with one of our counsellors, bring along your UCAS application summary and we can help you deal with any application enquiries and provide tailored advice.

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