A Typical Week on the MSc Environmental Governance Course
A typical university week for an MSc Environmental Governance student consists of four two-hour in person lectures/ seminars a week. Along with this, various required and recommended readings sometimes accompanied with pre-recorded lectures which supplement the classes, make up the rest of the work for the week.
I tend to have one lecture a day Monday-Thursday however the days and times of these are dependent on our choice of modules. Preparation before the in-person meetings are required, often in the form of readings, which are announced on Blackboard (the student portal) at least a few days in advance of the lectures. Therefore, I tend to start my work for the week ahead on the previous Friday so that I am prepared in time for the lectures.
I usually work on campus Monday-Friday and try to stick to a 9-5 working pattern. I work in the Library or Arthur Lewis Building (home to the Geography Department) with housemates or course mates before and after lectures. I try to bring a packed lunch to campus, often involving a meal-deal (not the best idea for our student budgets but convenient nevertheless). The walk to and from campus is always a nice opportunity to get some fresh air, chat to friends and refresh after a day full of work. Many students cycle or get the bus from Fallowfield areas too.
I have had the opportunity to go to Wigan Flashes on a field trip and I am currently doing some work in the computer labs getting taught how to best create posters for our up-coming poster assignment on our dissertation outlines. These extra classes or opportunities can make the week more diverse and lead to alterations in a typical working week.
Leaving campus around 5pm means that I can enjoy sociable evenings with University friends and attend various societies. I personally enjoy playing hockey or going to the gym once I have completed my work for the day. Some of my friends and I also try to go along to People and Planet – a society currently looking to reduce fossil fuel links with the university. I tend to have Saturdays off as this gives me an opportunity to play in hockey matches, do my laundry, food shop and plan for the week ahead.
When I have deadlines approaching, I often incorporate reading and writing for the assignment into the working week, meaning I might spend slightly longer on campus. I typically start assignments a month in advance so that I can balance weekly university commitments with the upcoming deadline work without having to carry out all-nighters in the library the night before they are due or get behind on my lecture content. As a full-time student I take two optional and two core modules all of which are assessed by two assignments each, typically a shorter piece of work around 15-20% of your overall module grade followed by a longer assignment work the remainder of the grade. I also attend drop-in sessions with relevant Lecturers to get advice and help regarding these assignments. I strongly encourage all pupils to do this as our Lecturers are so helpful and their feedback can help you achieve high grades.
Written by Emily, current postgraduate student at The University of Manchester.