We asked postgraduates Rebecca and Michael what advice they would give to new Masters students.
Rebecca Beech, who has just completed the Strategic Marketing MA (2014-15) course, gave us this set of tips…
Rebecca’s top tips for surviving a year on a masters:
- Become more organised! Use colour-coded post-its, folders and highlighters to organise your notes logically.
- Revise the topics of your course before you start your masters. This will give you a better understanding during the first few lectures and seminars.
- Don’t ignore the essential reading list. You will be expected to have read the texts, and this will dramatically improve your coursework and exam grades.
- Book appointments with your lecturer throughout the year. They will provide a key insight into how to improve your coursework or prepare for exams.
- Be friendly. During your year you will meet many people from all over the world. Undertaking a masters course is not just about hard work; you’ll meet so many new people and form lifelong friendships.
- Turn up to everything. It is so important to go to all of the lectures and seminars during the academic year, they form the foundation for your coursework and allow time for you to discuss, debate and increase your understanding.
- Socialise. Take up all the opportunities on campus that you find; whether it’s part-time work, joining a society or just taking part with an on-campus bbq, anything that will help you relax and socialise outside of the classroom.
- Stick to a healthy diet while studying. The vitamins and nutrients from good food will give you the energy you need to feel motivated to do your work.
- Take regular breaks from your studying. This will free your mind and give you time to relax. For example, go to the local park or the pub with friends, have a night out or a night in! Even going to the gym or popping to the shops will give your brain chance to rest and recharge.
Michael Burke, MSc Strength and Conditioning graduate (2013-14) also offers the following tips for postgraduates:
- Take part in regular discussions with your classmates both in and out of lectures.
- Invest in a diary and plan where you need to be and when. Try to set some kind of schedule as time keeping is a major part of successfully completing an MSc.
- Put a plan together at the start of your postgrad year with time frames to complete drafts/ research stages etc and plan to meet your supervisor at the end of these time frames to get feedback.
- Keep up to date with relative topics and important reading between your undergraduate and postgraduate so it’s not a shock when you return.
- Ask lecturers questions! Don’t be scared to speak up or enter into a debate, you will get a better understanding as a result.