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How exactly can I approach a former lecturer to be a referee? Watch

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    Hi,

    I'm from Malaysia. I graduated last year with a second class law degree from a local university. My plan is to enrol in a Masters programme in UK sometime next year (2017/2018 intake) as presently I'm doing my pupillage so wouldn't make the deadline for this year's applications.

    As we all know, academic references is a key document for admissions to a postgraduate course, but honestly I'm a bit wary of how to approach my former lecturers to ask for one.

    I wasn't a top performing student at my faculty and although I did some extra curricular activities on the side, I wasn't in the spotlight in any way. In other words, if I were to go back to my faculty now, I probably have to reintroduce myself to my lecturers as they most likely don't recall me, and especially since I intend to do Masters next year, the time gap in between will be larger.

    I suppose it's partly my fault for not establishing a good relationship with my lecturers when I was a student. I was cordial with most of them but I just wasn't comfortable to be 'close' to any of them. I doubt any of them have a bad impression of me, the fear is if they don't have any at all.

    Anyone is the same boat or can give helpful advice? Thanks.
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    (Original post by luminous_mun)
    Hi,

    I'm from Malaysia. I graduated last year with a second class law degree from a local university. My plan is to enrol in a Masters programme in UK sometime next year (2017/2018 intake) as presently I'm doing my pupillage so wouldn't make the deadline for this year's applications.

    As we all know, academic references is a key document for admissions to a postgraduate course, but honestly I'm a bit wary of how to approach my former lecturers to ask for one.

    I wasn't a top performing student at my faculty and although I did some extra curricular activities on the side, I wasn't in the spotlight in any way. In other words, if I were to go back to my faculty now, I probably have to reintroduce myself to my lecturers as they most likely don't recall me, and especially since I intend to do Masters next year, the time gap in between will be larger.

    I suppose it's partly my fault for not establishing a good relationship with my lecturers when I was a student. I was cordial with most of them but I just wasn't comfortable to be 'close' to any of them. I doubt any of them have a bad impression of me, the fear is if they don't have any at all.

    Anyone is the same boat or can give helpful advice? Thanks.
    I wouldn't worry about it too much. Lecturers are used to writing references, and they're also used to doing them for students who maybe weren't in the 'spotlight' too much, as you put it. I would politely email one or two lecturers in whose courses you did well and/or whose teaching matches up well with the kind of Master's you're hoping to apply for, briefly introduce yourself as a former student now applying for postgraduate study, and ask if they would be wiling to be a referee. You should also offer to send them your transcripts and an up-to-date CV to help them in writing the reference. They won't be surprised or annoyed I don't think - students often come back after a few years looking for references, since they've decided to do postgrad, and it's part of an academic's job to write them. Just be as polite as possible, and offer to send them any and all documents you think might be helpful for them to write a good reference for you.
 
 
 
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