You don't always need academic qualifications to apply for our courses

Learn how to highlight your professional and personal skills

If you’re applying for a Master’s course without having an undergraduate degree or equivalent, you may be wondering if this could affect your odds of being accepted onto your programme of choice.

At the University of Portsmouth, we know that subject expertise can be gained in a variety of ways. The knowledge you’ve gained from your work is just as valuable as academic qualifications.

However, as with any application, it’s important to know how to showcase your capabilities – this will help give you the highest possible chance of success.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Emphasise your relevant work experience

The professional experience you hold is your biggest asset, so be sure to showcase it clearly on both your CV and personal statement.

While it’s necessary to mention relevant positions and the responsibilities involved, don’t forget to connect these roles with what they’ve taught you about the subject. This makes it easy for our Admissions team to gauge if your expertise is at a level that ensures you can hit the ground running once you begin the programme.

Highlight your commitment to developing your study skills

Engaging with Master’s-level material requires researching and writing in ways you may be less familiar with. Plus, as a postgraduate student, you’ll be expected to self-direct your studies and use of time.

If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry – our library offers a rich range of resources to help you learn how to take on academic reading, referencing, and researching with confidence. Our library staff are also available 24/7 if you need to ask them for any additional support.

By communicating your dedication to picking up these capabilities in your personal statement, you help signify to the Admissions team that you’re serious about your development both academically and professionally.

Explain your passion for the subject and course

Of course, our Admissions team would also love to hear about why you want to study your subject of choice – as well as your reasons for choosing our course.

Whether your motivations are professional, personal, or a combination of both, remember to explain how you think your learnings will help you attain your goals, as well as which aspects of the course helped you decide to study with us.

Choose your references wisely

We typically require all applicants to submit at least one work reference, with the option to choose an academic reference as their second pick.

As you’ll only be able to submit work references, this gives you the opportunity to select two references who can discuss your capabilities from different perspectives. This may prove advantageous to you, as your selections could help provide a well-rounded understanding of your offering as a professional and prospective student.

Think carefully about your choices and considering selecting references who you’ve worked with on different projects, teams, or even across different organisations.

Ready to apply for one of our part-time, online courses? Check out our step-by-step guide to completing your application:

Find out more >

Recent Posts

The benefits of CIPD accreditation for human resource managers

Whether you recruit, train and manage people directly, or develop company strategy instead, people management can be rewarding and satisfying. In a ...

university of portsmouth online Read More

Why mobile digital forensics is a growing field

Over the last 30 years, we have seen various changes in the technology world: mobile networks, mobile phones, remote working, and cloud computing, to ...

university of portsmouth online Read More

What's it like to study an MSc in Cybercrime online?

In this Q&A, current MSc Cybercrime student Zoe-Clair tells us about why she chose to study online with Portsmouth, how she thinks her degree ...

university of portsmouth online Read More