If you are applying for a Masters programme, it’s likely you will be asked to submit a CV as part of your application. Many universities request an academic CV, so in this blog post we will look at what exactly an academic CV is and how to write an academic CV for a Masters application.
An academic or postgraduate CV highlights your academic qualifications, experience and skills. If you search online for an ‘Academic CV’ you will see that the example CVs list academic publications, conferences and research experience. The large majority of applicants applying for a Masters won’t have this kind of experience and so admission tutors aren’t expecting to see this on an academic CV submitted as part of a Masters application. Strictly speaking, they shouldn’t use the term ‘Academic CV’ as this relates to the kind of CV you submit when you are applying for an academic job! Instead, they want to see your qualifications and academic achievements, as well as any relevant skills and experience you might have.
An academic CV for a Masters application is likely to look fairly similar to a regular CV. It should still include your name, contact details, employment and work experience, just like a non-academic CV. However, the key difference will be how much emphasis you give to your academic and academic-related experience. Ideally, you will use headings that draw attention to these aspects of your background, and this might be quite different from how you would present your CV to an employer. In terms of length, this is again similar to a regular CV, so you should be looking at either one or two pages in length. It’s always best to make these ‘full’ pages, so only use two pages if you think you have enough content to fill the second page.
When putting together a strong academic CV for a Masters application, your priority is to evidence the skills and experience the admissions tutor will be looking for from applicants. This is going to be anything that shows you have a good academic background, and have the required skills to be successful on the course. Focus on highlighting the following:
When writing an academic CV for a Masters application, your focus will obviously be on detailing your academic and educational experience. This means your ‘Education’ section should be on your CV’s first page and ideally appear at the top, under your name and contact details. Remember also that the CV you submit as part of your Masters application should include details of your employment, work experience and volunteering (if applicable). Remember to include this experience, even if you consider it to be less relevant, as admissions tutors will be interested in all aspects of your professional background. This experience is also likely to evidence your transferable skills such as time management, multi-tasking, and organisation skills, as well as an ability to work to tight deadlines, all of which are important for being a successful postgraduate student!
In summary, writing an academic CV for a Masters application requires careful consideration of what the admissions tutor for the programme will be looking for and making sure this is conveyed on the CV you submit. Follow the tips in this post to create a well-crafted academic CV that highlights your academic skills and sets you apart from other applicants. Remember to proofread your CV carefully and if you would like feedback before submitting look into my personal statement review service. Good luck with your Masters application!