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  • Study tips for postgraduate students

TSR Wiki > University > Postgraduate Education > Study tips for postgraduate students


Many TSR members have experience of being a postgraduate student and know what it is like to have to work at postgraduate level. You'll probably not have as much contact time with academic staff, have to organise your time much more by yourself and possibly have different types of assessed work.

So here is a place for you to share your study tips for succeeding at postgraduate study. Make sure you're logged in to the site, then click on 'edit' and add your advice and ideas!

Contents

Postgraduate Study Tips

In terms of depth, postgraduate study is different from undergraduate. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can write something the night before and still pass! It's a marathon, not a sprint.


<Enter experiences here>

Preparing yourself for an arts/essay based (taught or partly taught) Masters

Just to put into context, this is rewritten by someone who has just began their mphil in Musicology at Cambridge

Epic amounts of reading

  • If you are given a reading list before term, don't leave it until term starts. Check the list, if there are books that continually crop up or are required texts then see if you can buy them cheaply. If not familiarize yourself with the texts (though don't read too much, use your summer to rest - especially if you have come straight from undergraduate).
  • Check out the library and photocopying facilities. Check out the prices. You need to be as organised as you possibly can be as when term starts and it becomes hectic you won't have a lot of time to try and find out where everything is. If you arrive on your course date, then schedule library tours and ask people about the facilities.
  • If you are given the reading list straight away in induction then check it out straight away. Don't get behind on your first week - if you are worried about time and reading then photocopy the first weeks reading asap. This means not only do you not need to worry about people having taken out the books, you can read the extracts in your own time.
  • If you are given the reading list for the term, decide if you want to make photocopies of everything, or if you will just make notes from the book.
pros of making photocopies
  • You can scribble all over them
  • you don't need to worry about trying to take out the books
  • You don't need to worry about having the books too long when others need them
  • You can keep them for reference during PhD or your academic career
  • During writing an essay you don't need to rely on having the book again
  • you won't get late fines when you forget to return them
cons of making photocopies
  • Its expensive
  • Its time consuming
  • you may have everyone from your class bug you for them
  • You should check out copyright laws and try not to infringe

* Remember, if you do decide to photocopy have a system, put them into a folder by week of your course with an index in. ALWAYS put the basic information on, author, title, publication, date, it saves time in footnoting. Also put the page number, and the library class mark - it makes them far easier to quickly find again. It is also good to sometimes put on the week of uni you use them and the seminar number for if they get mixed up.

Lectures

  • Turn up. Even if they aren't compulsory, turn up, even when its the second term and everyone decides not to go, some of the best lectures have been those surprises.
  • You are old enough and mature enough to know how best you learn. Is your note taking effective? Go to study skills sessions if your not sure.
  • If you are one of those people who drift off then try and record your lectures....

[[[to be continued]]]]


Also See

Got postgrad questions which aren't covered above? Then visit the Postgraduate Forum to get your answers.


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