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    I want to start applying for Master's degrees in Autumn, as I'm currently in my second year. The problem is the two academic references needed on your application. My course has very few course hours (7 a week :/) and so I don't really know the lecturers that well and I feel a bit awkward asking them for references when they don't even know who I am.

    I took a module where the lecturer also did the seminars, I got a first in the essay for the module, and feel like he at least knows my face because not many of us attended to seminars so am planning to ask him.

    Should I wait until next year when I have a dissertation supervisor and ask whoever that is?

    Do I email or ask in person?

    Thanks in advance
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    Doesn't matter how much they know you, since they'll just construct a reference from your attendance records and achievement.

    So pick two lecturers who supervised you on your modules. Ideally, these will be modules which:

    a) have some relevance to your proposed MA
    b) you performed well in
    c) you attended fully or close to fully

    That way they can write a reference which, in more words, says "LouLou92 studied on my module, Ancient Greek Approaches To Social Media. She completed two essays which were assessed as firsts, showing a highly mature approach to the subject matter. Her attendance was excellence."

    Ideally you would have a friendly lecturer or two who'll write a more personal reference, but you don't have that luxury (and it's probably not very necessary) so the above will have to do.
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    (Original post by nonswimmer)
    Doesn't matter how much they know you, since they'll just construct a reference from your attendance records and achievement.

    So pick two lecturers who supervised you on your modules. Ideally, these will be modules which:

    a) have some relevance to your proposed MA
    b) you performed well in
    c) you attended fully or close to fully

    That way they can write a reference which, in more words, says "LouLou92 studied on my module, Ancient Greek Approaches To Social Media. She completed two essays which were assessed as firsts, showing a highly mature approach to the subject matter. Her attendance was excellence."

    Ideally you would have a friendly lecturer or two who'll write a more personal reference, but you don't have that luxury (and it's probably not very necessary) so the above will have to do.
    thanks for your help
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    (Original post by LouLou92)
    I want to start applying for Master's degrees in Autumn, as I'm currently in my second year. The problem is the two academic references needed on your application. My course has very few course hours (7 a week :/) and so I don't really know the lecturers that well and I feel a bit awkward asking them for references when they don't even know who I am.

    I took a module where the lecturer also did the seminars, I got a first in the essay for the module, and feel like he at least knows my face because not many of us attended to seminars so am planning to ask him.

    Should I wait until next year when I have a dissertation supervisor and ask whoever that is?

    Do I email or ask in person?

    Thanks in advance
    You should work on getting yourself known to lecturers first. At the beginning of your third year ask them in person if they will be you referee.

    Contact hours are not relevant. I had great relationships with pretty much every lecturer I have ever had and they willingly write references years after I left the university. All because my attendance was good and I contributed in seminars. It is not rocket science.
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    I agree with the above.

    My references were the module leaders of the courses I took in the first part of third year (it was mid/late-Oct when I approached them my references). One of them was also my dissertation supervisor and had taught me in 2nd year. The other one was more familiar with the MA subject, so asked them to look over my PS and discussed uni choices etc.

    I think talking to them in person is always a good idea. It gives you more of a chance to explain to them why you want to do the course and they should be able to convey your passion in their references. I also told one of them I was intending to apply for funding at the uni, which they also argued their case for in the reference, which I think was pretty instrumental in me getting some funding.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by psychedelicious)
    Between now and graduation get to know your lecturers. Go and see them in their office hours even if you have no problems. Academics love discussing their research and work. In seminars be as vocal as possible. Always try and make interesting or informed points. Basically get yourself known. This will increase the number of people capable of writing a reference for you and increase the quality of your reference.

    Source: this is what I did.

    (Original post by You!Me!Dancing!)
    I agree with the above.

    My references were the module leaders of the courses I took in the first part of third year (it was mid/late-Oct when I approached them my references). One of them was also my dissertation supervisor and had taught me in 2nd year. The other one was more familiar with the MA subject, so asked them to look over my PS and discussed uni choices etc.

    I think talking to them in person is always a good idea. It gives you more of a chance to explain to them why you want to do the course and they should be able to convey your passion in their references. I also told one of them I was intending to apply for funding at the uni, which they also argued their case for in the reference, which I think was pretty instrumental in me getting some funding.

    Good luck

    (Original post by evantej)
    You should work on getting yourself known to lecturers first. At the beginning of your third year ask them in person if they will be you referee.

    Contact hours are not relevant. I had great relationships with pretty much every lecturer I have ever had and they willingly write references years after I left the university. All because my attendance was good and I contributed in seminars. It is not rocket science.
    Thank you all for your help - I do attend and talk in seminars but I'm naturally quiet and not as outspoken as others, I'd never ask a question in my lecture or talk to my lecturers at the end like some people which I wish I had done now but I'm just quite shy.

    So do you think it's a good idea to maybe wait until the beginning of next year and ask my dissertation supervisor?
    Also I have a personal tutor that I've met with twice this year and was thinking of emailing him and asking to speak with him about other things to do with master's in general e.g. funding, seen as he's my tutor do you think it would be a good idea to ask him this year before I get a new tutor I've never met next year?
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    (Original post by LouLou92)
    Thank you all for your help - I do attend and talk in seminars but I'm naturally quiet and not as outspoken as others, I'd never ask a question in my lecture or talk to my lecturers at the end like some people which I wish I had done now but I'm just quite shy.

    So do you think it's a good idea to maybe wait until the beginning of next year and ask my dissertation supervisor?
    Also I have a personal tutor that I've met with twice this year and was thinking of emailing him and asking to speak with him about other things to do with master's in general e.g. funding, seen as he's my tutor do you think it would be a good idea to ask him this year before I get a new tutor I've never met next year?
    If your personal tutor teaches your subject then sure. But if they do not then they will not write a good reference. They are there for pastoral rather than academic support in all honesty. Any advice they give you about funding etc. will be very general and nondescript unless they teach your subject.

    Just to put your mind at rest. So long as you get a 2.1, are not applying for a super-competitive course or university, and are self funding then you will pretty much get an offer anywhere you apply. Do not sweat it.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    If your personal tutor teaches your subject then sure. But if they do not then they will not write a good reference. They are there for pastoral rather than academic support in all honesty. Any advice they give you about funding etc. will be very general and nondescript unless they teach your subject.

    Just to put your mind at rest. So long as you get a 2.1, are not applying for a super-competitive course or university, and are self funding then you will pretty much get an offer anywhere you apply. Do not sweat it.
    Yes he teaches my subject. I didn't take his module this year, and doubt he remembers who I am because pretty much all the staff in our department are a bit hopeless, but I suppose they're used to giving references and doing this stuff so I think I'll just ask him next term and get it over with.

    Thanks for your help again - I just find it a bit awkward going up to people I barely know asking for a reference! I think when (if) I get on a master's course even with few course hours I'll make more of an effort to get to know the academics, it just didn't occur to me as important until recently deciding I want to go into academia myself.
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    (Original post by LouLou92)
    Yes he teaches my subject. I didn't take his module this year, and doubt he remembers who I am because pretty much all the staff in our department are a bit hopeless, but I suppose they're used to giving references and doing this stuff so I think I'll just ask him next term and get it over with.

    Thanks for your help again - I just find it a bit awkward going up to people I barely know asking for a reference! I think when (if) I get on a master's course even with few course hours I'll make more of an effort to get to know the academics, it just didn't occur to me as important until recently deciding I want to go into academia myself.
    A word of warning: at master's level it can be far worse. I had sometimes only ever saw staff once for a two hour seminar. It really depends on the structure of your programme and units you take. Something for you to think about anyway.

    In terms of it being uncomfortable, I completely understand. I would think of it like this. Universities ask for references so your current university has an obligation to give you one.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    A word of warning: at master's level it can be far worse. I had sometimes only ever saw staff once for a two hour seminar. It really depends on the structure of your programme and units you take. Something for you to think about anyway.

    In terms of it being uncomfortable, I completely understand. I would think of it like this. Universities ask for references so your current university has an obligation to give you one.

    Thanks for the advice - think I'll just try and make more of an effort. Like I said I have barely any course hours so the most I've seen an individual lecturer this year has been for 3 hours (2 of those a lecture so can't really make yourself known) and that was only for one term. But I'll use their office hours more next year definitely.
 
 
 
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