Know your area of interest

Know your area of interest

Dear Madam,

I have completed a Master’s course in Embedded Systems from Uppsala University with an average score of 4 out of 5. I am interested in pursuing PhD in solar cells, or in the field of embedded systems such as Robotics or Automation. Could you please guide me as to which countries (Canada, USA, Germany or New Zealand) and universities are good?

Mohit B V


Dear Mohit,

To pursue a PhD in any area, you need to do extensive research about various universities across the world by looking at their websites, reading works of professors and shortlisting a few that are in keeping
with your area of interest.

You should then write to each of these professors telling them about your research interest and convince them to accept you in their department.

Most PhD programmes are fully funded and unless someone is willing to be your mentor and guide, you can not apply to their department.

All the countries you have mentioned have excellent universities that offer specialisations in Electrical engineering. The university that accepts you and is willing to fund you would be the best one to pick.


Dear Madam,

My daughter wants to study abroad. She is in her second year BSc. As I cannot afford the educational costs for studying abroad fully, is there any scholarship available that can help? What is the procedure to apply for courses abroad?



Dear Sudarshan,

If your daughter wishes to study abroad I would recommend a one-year Master’s programme which will cut down your expenses and at the same time help her land a job earlier. All Master’s programmes in UK, Australia, and New Zealand are for a duration of one year.

Now, countries like USA and Canada have also started offering one–year programmes. Many public universities in Germany offer free education for everyone including international students. Perhaps you can ask your daughter to spend the next couple of years learning German at the Goethe Institute. Knowing the local language will certainly strengthen her resume.

Apart from university scholarships, you could also explore scholarship options in India that fund meritorious students for higher education abroad. These are the Lore India Foundation Scholarship Trust (, the Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship for Higher Studies (, Aga Khan Education Services (, Inlaks Shivdasani foundation (, and the J N Tata Endowment for Higher Education (

The procedure to apply to study abroad is quite simple. She has to write an English test like IELTS, TOEFL or PTE. Most UK universities accept only IELTS. All other countries are happy to accept any of the three tests.

The applications are submitted online on the university websites. She would have to upload her transcripts, resume, statement of purpose stating her career goals and referee details for recommendation letters. Countries like USA, Germany, Singapore and Canada will also require GRE.


Dear Madam,

I am an MBA graduate and want to become a sailor. What is the course that I should take? I am also interested in cooking and want to do a course which will enable me to work as a skilled chef abroad or in ships. Please suggest.



Dear Saajan,

The course that would be ideal for you keeping your business background in mind is a Master’s in International Shipping and Logistics. Alternate courses are Master’s in Maritime Management, Supply Chain Management, Shipping Management. Universities that offer these programmes include Southampton Solent University, Middlesex University, Greenwich University, Plymouth University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Nanyang Technological University Singapore and Institute of Maritime and Business Management, Singapore.

As far as your interest in cooking goes, you could perhaps do a short-term course or diploma in Culinary Arts and Patisserie. You could specialise in the type of cuisine that interests you.

A job in Shipping and logistics Management seems possible than that of a chef. To be a skilled chef on a ship requires years of study and training. You can’t do both. Nobody expects a logistics person to double up as a chef!


Dear Madam,

I have completed my MSc in Clinical Psychology. I am interested in pursuing PhD in the same subject. Could you let me know which universities are good for pursuing a PhD programme in Clinical Psychology?

Kanusha YK


Dear Kanusha,

Some of the best schools in the USA for Clinical Psychology are: University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Berkeley; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yale University; University of Texas at Austin; University of Washington; Duke University; University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and University of Pennsylvania.

In the UK, universities that are known for their PhD programmes in Clinical Psychology are University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Liverpool, King’s College London, Nottingham Trent University, University of Birmingham, Queen Mary University of London, University College London, University of Bath and University of St Andrews.

In Canada, McGill University, University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, Ryerson University and the University of British Columbia offer programmes in this specialisation. In Germany, the University of Gottingen and the University of Mannheim offer PhD in clinical psychology.

These are names of just a few universities I have taken to give you an example. When you research university websites, you will be surprised at the number of universities in each country that offer your specialisations. The key to being accepted in any PhD programme is your interaction with professors, and how well you are able to assure them that you will be an asset to their department. Choose a university that is good for you and is willing to fund you.


Dear Madam,

I am currently pursuing BSc in Animation and Multimedia. I want to continue in this field. However, I am not sure what course to pursue. I do not mind staying in India or going abroad. Can you please suggest good courses in this field and good colleges in India or abroad?



Dear P,

You can pursue your Master’s in any country of your choice in the following areas: Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Computer Generated Imagery (3D), Multimedia Design, Interactive Arts,
Digital Animation and Motion Arts, and Digital Imaging, Surface imaging etc. For more details about universities, visit


Dear Madam,

I am a third-year BPharm student and I have an average of 58% in first and second years. I would like to pursue my Master’s in Canada. Would a good IELTS or TOEFL score be sufficient to secure admission abroad or are my marks going to lower my chances? Also, would learning French be as a plus point in my resume?

A Student


Dear Student,

Apart from writing your English test, also take the GRE test which is required by all the top Canadian universities. Your 58% will be overlooked if you get 327 and above in GRE. French will help in the job market in some parts of Canada like Quebec.

If you can, work on a research paper this year which will strengthen your resume. A good score in these tests, a strong statement of purpose and a well-presented resume will get you into your dream college. So, you have nothing to be worried about!