The 10 Best Master’s Degrees in the UK

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It often feels like pursuing a master’s degree is the natural course for anyone who’s graduated from University and wants to build a successful career. Postgraduate degrees can help you become more specialised in your sector, earn promotions and increase your career prospects. But, not all masters programmes are built alike, in fact, many are extremely costly, but do little for your career. To help you avoid the worst master’s programmes, we’ve put together a list of the best master’s degrees in the UK to ensure that you choose wisely.

10. Master’s in Mathematical Finance

The finance sector is huge and reports say that there’s a shortage of mathematicians in general at the moment, so what better programme than something that combines both maths and finance.

One of the highest paying master’s degrees with an average starting salary of £39,000. Of course, to excel in this field, you’re going to need a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a passion for the finance industry. The specific programme falls under the field of applied mathematics and is concerned with identifying and developing strategies to optimise organisational performance in financial markets, so as you’d expect, there’s a lot of data analysis involved.

9. Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

The government is actively trying to encourage students to go into STEM professions so if you are good at maths, have an eye for design and are creative; a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering could be exactly what you need. Most accredited universities offer this programme in combination with a Bachelor’s degree. It forms part of a four-year cycle which starts with two years of core study, followed by a third year of elective study courses and then the final year is essentially the Masters.

The average starting salary for mechanical engineers is about £39,100, and there’s a wide array of jobs you can get into with this degree. These include aerospace, automotive, defence and construction.

8. Master’s in Pharmaceutical Science

This degree is not focused on dosage and sales. It can lead to participating in clinical trials and drug manufacturing. As this is one of the fastest developing industries, the more specialised you become, the better your chances of increasing your earning potential.

What’s great about this particular master’s program and what truly makes it one of the best available is that it will not restrict you to a specific career path, but rather it will leave you with many options to choose from.

As this is a very multidisciplinary master’s degree (you can go into many sectors, including the food or the cosmetic sector), your earning potential can vary, but, on average, you can expect to start earning £40,000 a year (after you’ve gained some experience).

7. Master’s in Architecture

There are many paths you can take to become an accredited architect in the UK, but it’s important to ensure that whatever course you pursue is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Most courses available offer placement at the beginning of the programme and advance course and lab work during the second half of the programme. Of course, to become a fully accredited architect you’ll need to dedicate up to seven years of your life, but with a potential starting salary of £41,000, it is definitely worth the effort. Bear in mind that there’s an architectural boom outside London so to increase your networking chances you should consider universities outside the capital.

6. Master’s in Financial Analysis

It is one of the best masters degrees as it attracts only the very ambitious. Competition is very fierce, but a financial analysis master’s degree can open many doors in many sectors including banking.

As the financial sector is recovering, a master’s in financial analysis will allow you to learn all the secrets of the financial sector which can be valuable if you’re planning to start your own business eventually.



5. Master’s in Statistical Science

Study focuses on analysing and interpreting data and developing statistical models to examine real situations. Most universities offer programmes that allow students to choose elective modules to seek their specialisation based on their particular interests.

Professionals in the financial sector make an average starting salary of £41,100, per year but as most statisticians are extremely specialised and hold high-end positions, with enough years of experience, you’ll be able to command a much higher salary.

4. Master’s in Computer Science

Although a computer science master’s degree is relatively generic, many employers like them as they believe they offer a more comprehensive understanding of the entire computer science field. Whether you are interested in becoming a developer or Computer security specialist, this degree will help you get there.

As roles within this field can vary a lot, it’s hard to pin down a precise compensation package, but you should expect a starting salary of roughly £42,000 a year.

3. Master’s in Actuarial Science

Actuarial science is a very specialised area of the accounting sector. One of the reasons it is such an attractive course is because it offers students a firm understanding of the entire field, including mathematics and statistical analysis. Graduates of actuarial science generally work for insurance companies and banks.

With an average starting salary of £42,400, professionals in this sector are some of the highest paid in the country.

2. Master’s in Engineering

A master’s in Engineering is less specialised than a programme in mechanical engineering, and that is why it pays so well. Employers are often worried that specialised engineers won’t have a very broad and comprehensive understanding of the sector and thus prefer candidates with a master’s in engineering. There are many roles you can fill, especially in the construction industry.

Engineering graduates have a starting salary of £43,000 a year. Your earning potential can increase significantly based on the years you are in the industry and what sector you are pursuing a career in.

1. Master’s in Civil Engineering

A master’s in civil engineering can be extremely profitable as the average starting salary for civil engineers is more than £44,000. It provides graduates with advanced capabilities and in-depth knowledge across a range of civil engineering disciplines. Some of the most common specialisations include Environmental, Geotechnical and Materials Engineering. 


A master’s degree might cost you a few thousand pounds, but as you’ll become more specialised you might also be opening yourself up to a higher earning potential.

Would you consider one of these ten master’s degrees? Let me know in the comment section below!