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    I'm just curious to see what PG's think of how PG differs to UG. Do you find PG less social? How does it differ in that regard?
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    I think PG life is what you make of it. Like, despite having more contact hours/actual lectures in my MA course, I find myself being much more sociable on my PhD course, purely because I am making more of a concerted effort to attend things and involve myself in campus life (despite living off-campus).

    I think with PhD level especially, people can get easily isolated because it's just you working at whatever you do. Like my uni department doesn't do any compulsory classes or anything at all for the PhD cohort! If you want to make friends or see people on a regular basis, you have to really make an effort to do that :yes:

    It also depends on the dynamics of your cohort and what ages they are and whether they live on campus/off campus, and/or have family or job commitments :yes:
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    Yes I do, but there are a lot of factors involved. Are you doing a science or humanities/arts PhD? (rhetorical question). If you're in sciences you're more likely to go to a lab every day, where you'll be part of a team. In other subjects sometimes you have a nice shared office and bond with a group by working with them at similar times regularly.

    Different departments and Universities have more or less PhD students who can be more or less organised. The facilities available for postgraduates to occupy and hang out in are a big factor, as well as how many students live close to the campus/department location.

    I think the bottom line summary would be that PhDs can be social but its not automatic like it used to be on undergraduate/taught programmes. With a lot less contact time/structured classes for many, you can't just expect to meet people automatically like you would have done. But if you put the time into engaging in societies, activities, or going out to parties and popular venues, then it will be social.
    If you're moving from another University to an entirely new one and new town, it is harder and can take longer to extend roots in your new home.

    Things that influence the PhD being less social include the fact that people going onto the PhD at the same Uni they did their Masters and undergrad often have a headstart, and pre-existing friendships and social commitments in place. Its not that they will be exclusive, but rather that because they have less need for forming new social bonds, that can reduce the number of people around to make friends with easily. Also the stage of life PhDs are at mean that a lot more are already in marriages or long term relationships... sometimes with families. And more have to balance their studies alongside work, leaving less time to socialise.
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    (Original post by theperformer)
    I'm just curious to see what PG's think of how PG differs to UG. Do you find PG less social? How does it differ in that regard?
    I found Post graduate (MA course) less sociable than undergraduate, not because I had less time but because most of the people I knew moved away- I stayed on at the same uni and they moved out of the city entirely. My new coursemates, although friendly & lovely people, either had pre existing friendship groups or made friends based around living on campus, people from their cultural group and their social English wasn't always great. Beyond my course it was difficult to meet others, I did eventually manage to but I had to join a pre existing social group which was hard at times.
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    I found it just aa social because most of my social group is outside of uni and I still had time to see them.
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    My Masters was more sociable than my undergrad, in that I was in a small cohort of five who all got on well. We socialised a lot during the day, going for lunch and coffee together, and we formed an unofficial mutual support group. I made better and more lasting friendships during my Masters than during my undergrad. However we didn't socialise at evenings and weekends. I commuted, another had family responsibilities and someone else had an evening job. In any case, we found that we were doing a lot of academic work evenings/weekends as all of us took at least one additional elective module in addition to our credit-bearing ones.

    My PhD was more difficult. I did a lot of my data gathering away from campus, so I wasn't around colleagues much right from the start. When I was, I found that they treated the PhD as a 9-5 office job, which I loathed - most of them had come straight through the undergrad/Masters route and it was a novelty for them. To me, that smacked of my old working life and I liked working mostly during my most productive hours, which were 2pm-10pm. My colleagues all went to lunch at the same time, which was another thing I wanted more flexibility on - I got hungry an hour before their set lunch time.i had a dedicated desk in a shared office but I couldn't do anything useful there. By that point, my academic life was a solo pursuit. Having worked in open plan offices before uni with no trouble, I found that I just couldn't concentrate properly with others around me.

    So it was a mixed bag for me. Masters was better (but different) from undergrad. PhD was less social, mainly through my own preferences.
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    I think it very much depends on a lot of factors. At my university Masters has been far less social with the 'nightlife' aspect, purely because we're all from different places - there's no postgraduate accommodation, a few people are from the city itself, a few of us commute from other sides of the county or from different counties. Lectures/seminars are condensed into two full days of uni, to make it easier for those of us that commute in, so we have those two full days of being together at uni, but then go home and don't see each other until the next Thursday (although still in contact via text, FB etc of course, and there are times when we have met up in the library on other days).

    Having said that, I have found it far more social in terms of making closer friends on my course - we spend all day at uni together, there are fewer people on the course (around 8) so you get to know everyone far more and it means we all tend to have lunch together, spend our breaks together. We've been far more social on my MSc course than my undergrad course was, but I think that's more down to the fact that it's a smaller university with a quieter social life than my undergrad uni.

    Sorry, this isn't very helpful! In general, though, I think it can be less social with nightlife at postgrad level (although not necessarily, of course), but it can certainly still be social and as the old cliche goes, it is what you make of it.
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    I've found it less drunk, but not less sociable. I meet friends 2/3 times a week for lunch/tea/drinks despite being in London and living a bit out the way. Plus o see other friends every other weekend or so.
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    I found my Master's very social. We were lucky in that everyone lived in the city where we studied, and we set up a social media group for the class that was very active, organising pub trips etc. Friendship groups within the class would also regularly meet for lunches and coffees, but everyone was very friendly and there were no 'cliques'. We also had two classes per week all together, and people would often arrange to have lunch together before or after via the class page.

    My PhD has also been very social, but slightly more low key. I think with PhDs you have to make a bit more of an effort, but if you reach out there will be other like-minded people who want to meet up. Like redferry I often meet friends for lunch or coffee, and there is a regular group who work at the university library who go for coffee at the same time most days, so I join them if I'm there on a particular day. Pub trips and meals are also not uncommon for people's birthdays. The weekly seminar (where visiting academics give papers) is also a good place to see people, and postgrads are encouraged to go to the meal afterwards. With the PhD I find you have to take more initiative - go to the seminars, or work in the library, or arrange to see people. It doesn't happen as easily as when everyone's in class together, but that doesn't mean people either aren't or don't want to be sociable. I'm also lucky with my university's collegiate system, as our college's buttery and bar are great places to hang out in and meet people, and there are always people knocking around there to chat with, since we mostly live in college accommodation. But that is not typical of most PhDs' experience I know.
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    Totally agree with Craggy's points.

    Like many others here, I found my MA very social, not only on the student level, but also at the department and university level: loads and loads of talks, reading groups and just drinks where faculty and students interacted outside of the usual teacher-student relationship.

    I, somewhat naively, thought that was representative of postgrad experience and have, consequently, found my PhD very disappointing in that regard. My department has a deliberately small group of research students, but there is very little in the way of reading groups, talks, drinks (no drinks!) etc, and what there is tends not to be publicized at all, so it is very difficult to find your way to these things as a new student. My cohort of four meet regularly socially, and for a writing group, which is pretty much essential to my mental health, but that's kind of a paltry substitute for a wider intellectual community. With hindsight, I would pay far more attention to the social aspect of the universities I applied to, and try to see through the bull about "friendly, nurturing environments" etc and to try and get a less PR-ish version of what actually happens in departments (but it's so hard to tell this from the outside that I'd probably fail anyway!).
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    (Original post by theperformer)
    I'm just curious to see what PG's think of how PG differs to UG. Do you find PG less social? How does it differ in that regard?
    Not really. I maybe went out clubbing less - and only at the weekends as opposed to all through the week - but I still socialised the same amount with the same type of people.

    I lived in PG halls in my first year, so made plenty of friends there, my department was quite social, and I joined a couple of sports teams with whom I socialised a lot as well. I also worked a part time job and made friends with a load of local girls. So I was rarely short of people to hang out with.
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    (Original post by cole-slaw)
    Not really. I maybe went out clubbing less - and only at the weekends as opposed to all through the week - but I still socialised the same amount with the same type of people.

    I lived in PG halls in my first year, so made plenty of friends there, my department was quite social, and I joined a couple of sports teams with whom I socialised a lot as well. I also worked a part time job and made friends with a load of local girls. So I was rarely short of people to hang out with.
    Where did you study your PG?
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    (Original post by theperformer)
    Where did you study your PG?
    Nottingham. Best city in the country, bar none.
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    (Original post by cole-slaw)
    Nottingham. Best city in the country, bar none.
    Where did you study your undergraduate?
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    (Original post by theperformer)
    Where did you study your undergraduate?
    a different university
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    (Original post by cole-slaw)
    a different university
    Which one?
 
 
 

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