Graduate Studies FAQs

Introducing postgraduate study

Not sure what postgraduate study involves and whether it's for you? The questions in this section can help explain how master’s degrees and other courses work.

A Masters degree is a postgraduate university degree, usually studied after an undergraduate Bachelors degree.

A Masters is one type of postgraduate degree (more advanced courses, usually studied by people who already have undergraduate qualifications). Some other types of course, such as Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas, aren't full Masters degrees.

Postgraduate' and 'graduate' generally mean the same thing when used to describe university degrees:

  • Postgraduate study is a British term for courses that begin after someone has already graduated from a Bachelors (a post-graduate degree)
  • Graduate study is a North American term for courses that begin once someone is a graduate (having finished a bachelor’s degree)

So, basically, a Masters in the UK is referred to as a postgraduate degree, but a Masters in the USA is referred to as a graduate degree.

A master’s degree is a second-cycle degree, above a bachelor’s but below a PhD (or another doctorate). Most people study a master’s as a postgraduate student, having already finished an undergraduate degree.

A MHRM degree is worth 80 credits, the CEMBA degree is worth 90 credits, and the CEMPA degree is worth 90 credits.

A postgraduate student is someone who is studying a postgraduate degree (such as a Masters or PhD). Postgraduate students have normally already completed an undergraduate degree (such as a Bachelors).

A full-time master’s is usually 1-2 years long. Most Masters degrees at UCCI are designed to be taken as a flex schedule course. Allowing you to remain fully employed during the time you are enroled.  

Master’s degrees tackle more advanced material than bachelor’s degrees and students are expected to study more independently. But anyone who has completed an undergraduate degree should be prepared for postgraduate study.

It depends on your course, but you will need to spend more time working independently to be successful as a postgraduate student. You should be prepared to study for at least 20-25 hours per week, in addition to your timetable of classes and lectures.

Yes. All master’s degrees end with an assessment project, dissertation or equivalent. This usually takes up the final semester of your course. Courses that don't include a dissertation are usually Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate level.

A Masters assessment (or thesis) is usually around 15,000-20,000 words. Most are divided into three to four individual chapters, plus an introduction, conclusion and bibliography.

Assessments for master’s degrees vary by subject. Courses for the CEMPA and CEMBA will usually be assessed through essays and coursework. MHRM subjects may also have formal exams to test knowledge of key concepts and practices.

At UCCI our masters are built with the COL’s approach to learning, this includes learning at one’s own pace, place and time, self- instructional learning materials, face-to-face and distance tutor support. This allows our students the ability to maintain full time employment while studying for their masters degrees.

Postgraduate Course Types

At UCCI we have a selection of postgraduate courses in the fields of Human Resources, Business Administration and Public Administration. Each of these master’s degrees provide lots of flexible ways to study. This section will help explain your options.

A Master’s in Human Resources Management (MHRM) is a postgraduate course that is delivered in modules. The course is a 36-credit programme that will last for 18 months that will be necessary for the HRCI’s PHR, or SPHR certifications. The programme follows a flexible schedule and comprises of three modules. Stand-alone sessions are a part of Module 1 and 2 to accommodate HR practitioners who might need professional development.

A Commonwealth Executive Master of Business Administration (CEMBA) is a two-year programme that features hands on interaction with the international business world as well as the local landscape in the Cayman Islands. The programme is built with the COL’s approach to learning, this includes learning at one’s own pace, place and time, self- instructional learning materials, face-to-face and distance tutor support. The Course is equivalent to two years of full-time study--i.e., four semesters or approximately 1,800 hours.

A Commonwealth Executive Master’s in Public Administration (CEMPA) is designed to help busy managers and public service officers gain a higher level of competency and develop an international perspective of public administration. The programme features flexible scheduling — while using a learner-centred system so students can continue to work while accessing higher education. The programme is equivalent to two years of full-time study--i.e., four semesters or approximately 1,800 hours.

Applying for a Masters

Applying for postgraduate study is a little different to going to university the first time around. Here are answers to some of the questions you might have.

You'll normally need a relevant undergraduate degree for admission to a Masters. A 2.1 or higher is the standard entry requirement, but it can be possible to do a Masters with a lower class degree.

A GPA of 3.0 or higher is usually considered 'good' – and is roughly equivalent to a UK 2.1.

It can be possible to apply for a Masters with a lower class degree. You may need to explain how your skills, experience and enthusiasm have equipped you for postgraduate study (and make a stronger case for this in your personal statement). Having a 2.2 or third will probably make it harder to apply for more competitive postgraduate funding.

Most universities expect applicants for master’s study to have an undergraduate degree in a related field. However, you may be able to apply without a Bachelors if you can demonstrate relevant experience and your overall postgraduate application is very strong.

There is a Commonwealth entrance exam that will evaluate your performance for the graduate programmes.

In most countries there's no limit on the number of master’s degrees you can apply for at the same time. That said, postgraduate applications do take time and you should make sure you tailor each one to the specific course (particularly when it comes to writing your personal statement).

Our application fee is non-refundable and can be paid via telephone at 623-8224 with a member of the Admissions Team: CI$50 for all graduate degree programmes.

There isn't usually a set application deadline for Masters degrees. However, you should make sure you apply in plenty of time for the course start date which will usually be September.

Most of the time formal interviews aren't required for master’s degree applications. However, some universities will use postgraduate interviews to select applications for more competitive courses. Others may also invite you to visit them more informally and check that the degree and university you've chosen are a good fit for you.

Most postgraduate courses in Cayman begin in the autumn (September / October).

Funding a Masters

Masters fees vary and postgraduate student loans won't cover all your costs. The following answers will help you make sense of funding.

Average Fees for the UCCI Masters Programmes are as follows:

MHRM - $ Starting at  CI$14,500.00

CEMPA-$Starting at  CI$18,200.00

CEMBA-$Starting at  CI$18,200.00

Annual fees for part-time or full time are postgraduate programmes are usually cheaper. The MHRM degree is broken up into modules. Each module is CI$8200.00. The CEMPA and CEMBA degrees are offered through Flex scheduling with Payment plans.

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career. In addition to tuition fees, some courses involve extra costs like study materials and equipment. Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study.

This rangers from:

  • Government Scholarships to pay for tuition and fees
  • Local scholarships and grants from businesses

Career prospects

Whatever your reason for considering a master’s degree, it's normal to have questions about career prospects, earnings and other potential outcomes. We've answered some of these below.

All properly accredited and awarded master’s degrees are respected academic qualifications.

There's good evidence to suggest that people with a Masters degree do earn more than other graduates. That said, there's no guarantee that a master’s will boost your salary on its own.

There aren't many jobs that specifically require a master’s degree. That said, having a postgraduate qualification demonstrates that you can tackle more advanced material, can work more independently and will have a deeper knowledge of your subject. Evidence also suggests that some subjects so produce very employable (post)graduates.

You don't necessarily need to have a Masters to apply for a PhD, but it's often beneficial. Arts and Humanities subjects prefer students to have some experience of postgraduate-level work before starting a doctorate.

There aren't many jobs that specifically require a master’s degree. That said, having a postgraduate qualification demonstrates that you can tackle more advanced material, can work more independently and will have a deeper knowledge of your subject. Evidence also suggests that some subjects so produce very employable (post)graduates.

Employers will generally respect postgraduate qualifications (even if they aren't looking for them) and your master’s subject doesn't necessarily have to fit exactly with the job you apply for afterwards.

That said, you should always be able to explain why you chose to study a degree (at any level) and communicate what you got out of the experience.

Postgraduate students often graduate separately to undergraduates. This is because Masters degrees finish later (as you spend the summer doing your dissertation).