Five tips to help you prepare for your Master’s
Written by Eduardo Ruiz Puentes, a current MA Sociology student.
Starting a Master’s is an exciting experience but can also be overwhelming and stressful in many ways. Thus, here are five tips to help you prepare for the start of your Postgraduate study at The University of Manchester.
1. Read about your lectures in advance:
Even if you are studying a Master’s in the same field as your degree, it is important to read about your lectures in advance. All the lectures have an overview on the university website and reading about the topics will help you engage with the courses easily. Thus, you will take advantage of the lectures and contribute more during the seminars. In my case, it took me a few weeks to catch up with the lectures, mainly because I jumped to a new field during my Master’s.
2. Look up what the university offers (societies, volunteering, and sports):
During the first week, you will have a lot of different activities to settle down in the university and the city, so you could run out of time to look up the extracurricular activities you want to do. Remember that to have a complete experience during your Master’s, you will have to do other activities that complement your lectures and will help you to make some friends. That’s why the university offers a wide variety of activities, like societies, volunteering programs, and sports, so look at which activity suits you before arriving and don’t lose time looking for it during the first weeks.
3. University webinars and emails:
In the last months before you start your Master’s, there will be webinars about different topics, including your programme, how to find accommodation, open a bank account, and other useful information. In addition, you will receive emails with very important information that will help you to prepare your trip and your master, so is important to read and be aware of your email and university events. Also, if you have any questions, remember that there are different ways in which you can interact with students or members of the university staff, so don’t be shy and send them an email.
4. Start to think about your dissertation:
This could sound crazy, but from the first moment you arrive at the university, everybody is going to ask you about your dissertation, and a lot of students get stressed and get overwhelmed during the first semester because they don’t have a topic. So, my recommendation is to start to think about some options you would like to do your research on. The faster you choose the topic, the more time you will have to develop the dissertation.
5. Organise your time
Time is one of the most important issues during your Master’s and one of the main differences between a degree and a Master’s. During your Master’s you will be autonomous on your time, so you need to be organised to do everything you want this year. After you arrive, the time will pass very fast, so if you don’t plan your activities, you could have problems with the assessments, the dissertation, or other extracurricular activities like travel.
Finally, enjoy your Master’s, this is an excellent and wonderful experience in life, you will meet new people, networking, and you will be an ambassador of The University of Manchester.