Preparing for postgraduate study at the University of Manchester
Hello! My name is Rukia, a postgraduate student studying ‘Social Research Methods and Statistics’ (random, I know). After completing a year of studying at this level, I have reflected on what has worked for me and what I wish I had known sooner. Read on for my recommendations on how to prepare for the world of postgraduate study!
1. Do your research!
Check out your course again before you start. Look at what the layout of your course will look like, down to each individual module and what they involve. You can find this in the uni prospectus or on the website.
Here are some questions to think about:
- How will you be assessed?
- What modules are compulsory?
- What optional modules will you need to choose between?
- What are the credits gained from a particular module?
Knowing what’s coming up will give you an idea of the topics you’ll be covering, the reading you’ll be relying on, and what to expect when you start lectures in September.
2. Gain your bearings!
When you begin the year, it’s just as important to be prepared for a new physical environment as well as new information. Walk around campus, because there’s a lot to take in. The University of Manchester campus covers such a large area, so if you’re a new student be sure to do some exploring.
Here are some places you may want to have a look at:
- Your lecture locations
- A tour of the library (your new second home)
- The Museum
Save time to take some pictures outside the beautiful buildings. You’ve earned your place here, so make the most of it!
3. Manage your time!
As with any setting, good time management will be your greatest weapon. Get ready to dedicate the time. When you get your timetable, create a week – to – week schedule that you can then break down into daily tasks. By doing this, you can attend lectures, be productive for a set period, and then have the rest of the day to relax!
This sounds a little daunting at first, so here are a few steps to help you:
- Check your current schedule
- Set your academic goal
- List deadlines and commitments
- Prioritise your list
- Decide on a format
- Schedule in your classes, study sessions and commitments
This past year was quite disorientating due to the pandemic and not organising myself until later on, so I strongly recommend treating your course in this manner. Not only will you have time dedicated to work, but it’s a great feeling to know that at the end of the day, you can check out and wind down.
4. Jump right in!
Get ready to MAKE SOME FRIENDS. If I was able to make friends in a pandemic, so can you. You can try this beforehand by attending open events, socials or checking out extra-curricular societies. If this doesn’t happen though, talk to whoever you’re in class with! Having a study buddy is the most comforting thing you can give to yourself in university; someone to join in with getting work done, sharing materials, and even hanging out afterwards. Consider me your first friend after reading this 🙂
Well done for making it to the end. I hope some of these tips will be of use to you! Completing my course during the pandemic was the most challenging yet rewarding experience of my life. Remember to give it your all, and I promise it’ll be worth it. Enjoy your summer and rest up for the rollercoaster that is postgraduate study!
Thank you to Ayisha Ul-Haq for helping edit this article.