Any tips for those starting a masters in September?

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cshstudent
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I'm starting my MA History at Keele Uni in September but I intend on this being a public forum for anyone starting ANY masters - what tips would you give/what would you like to know?
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lilslaura
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(Original post by cshstudent)
I'm starting my MA History at Keele Uni in September but I intend on this being a public forum for anyone starting ANY masters - what tips would you give/what would you like to know?
Congratulations on your place at Keele! I will be starting an MA this Autumn too, and would also be grateful for any tips on postgraduate study! 😊


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monkyvirus
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I'm starting a MSc in Social Science Research Methods but as it's part of a 1+3 PhD my supervisor expects me to do some PhD work as well, anyone else have this experience?

It doesn't help that my dissertation supervisor from my undergrad wants me to write a paper based on my dissertation (and I probably should cause I'm a wee baby academic). I moved early so my new supervisor has already started me reading and doing a bit of pottering around my research area. So I'm kind of mourning my lack of summer break and I already feel under a bit of pressure...

I also moved a few hundred miles south so I'm absolutely boiling in this heat and accomplishing nothing just now...

tl;dr: I'm actually way more stressed about starting my MSc than I realised when I read the OP :P
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cshstudent
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(Original post by monkyvirus)
I'm starting a MSc in Social Science Research Methods but as it's part of a 1+3 PhD my supervisor expects me to do some PhD work as well, anyone else have this experience?

It doesn't help that my dissertation supervisor from my undergrad wants me to write a paper based on my dissertation (and I probably should cause I'm a wee baby academic). I moved early so my new supervisor has already started me reading and doing a bit of pottering around my research area. So I'm kind of mourning my lack of summer break and I already feel under a bit of pressure...

I also moved a few hundred miles south so I'm absolutely boiling in this heat and accomplishing nothing just now...

tl;dr: I'm actually way more stressed about starting my MSc than I realised when I read the OP :P
that does sound really stressful! I didn't do a dissertation for undergrad and I also haven't studied History at university level before, so I am majorly panicking!
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monkyvirus
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(Original post by cshstudent)
that does sound really stressful! I didn't do a dissertation for undergrad and I also haven't studied History at university level before, so I am majorly panicking!
Masters level dissertations are a big chunk of work but I think they're very satisfying as well (I did an integrated masters for my undergrad so my first dissertation was at masters level and I know they're totally achievable!)

What was your undergrad in?
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BexiG
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Hi Everyone!

I'm going to be studying a MA in Directing Fiction from September. I actually haven't seen any mention of a dissertation but I believe I'll have to do a year long commentary. As an undergrad, I studied contemporary media practice (70% practical course), I did write a 10,000 word dissertation in my final year though plus other essays throughout.

For those who have never written a dissertation some key points I can mention:
- Write your title, but expect it to change by the end
- Pick a core subject area that you really have an interest in, as it'll be far more pleasurable to research
- I wrote my contents page first as this gave me a clear idea of how I want my arguement to flow and became the skeleton before I started writing
- Write little and often, don't try writing huge chunks at a time as you'll just begin to waffle (I would aim for 500 words)
- I would read and note down any relevant quotes and agruments, linking them back to my point.
- I had a method of reading on one day and write the following day, so that I had time to absorb what I'd read
- If I became stuck and unclear, I would take a break and go speak to someone. I used my Dad a lot lol. I would try to explain to him something in media in laymans terms. Once he understood what I was trying to explain, it gave me clearity on what I should write because I'd broken it down in a simple manner.

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Scaryfeet
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Hi folks, I'm starting MA Anthrozoology in September. I'm a bit nervous, especially as I'm going from life science undergrad to social science postgrad.
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monkyvirus
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(Original post by Scaryfeet)
Hi folks, I'm starting MA Anthrozoology in September. I'm a bit nervous, especially as I'm going from life science undergrad to social science postgrad.
Yeah the shift has been worrying me (maths department to psychology department). I feel like the assumed knowledge will be so different from what I actually know!
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TeaAndSugar
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My advice is to really throw yourself in; read the newest work, attend seminars, offer to volunteer to help with research, ask questions... It's a great chance to get your foot in the door and meet some great people

Just finishing my MSc Neuroimaging at Cardiff and while it was very hard, I really enjoyed it!
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Scaryfeet
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(Original post by monkyvirus)
Yeah the shift has been worrying me (maths department to psychology department). I feel like the assumed knowledge will be so different from what I actually know!
Good luck with it! Hopefully someone can come along with some advice for us. I can only suggest doing some reading before the course starts. I figure I'm going to find out who the prominent researchers are and go from there.
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Anndee
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I can't advise on your specific courses but from a general humanities point of view: Read as much and as broad as you can. Engage in seminar discussions and be well-prepared for seminars so you are actually able to engage in said discussions. Don't be afraid to approach supervisors or tutors if you want to read more in-depth on their speciality, they will be more than happy to provide interesting material. If possible, attend conferences.
On a more practical level: Plan your work early. Note down all deadlines as soon as you get them and set yourself dates where you start each assignment so you don't get overwhelmed by the workload once a few deadlines are approaching. At least in my field, three assignment deadlines in the same week at postgraduate level are far more stressful than at undergraduate level, so it's essential to plan early what to write when. When it comes to dissertations, chose a topic that you find really interesting and that you want to research in-depth because for months, you will spend most of your time with it. And finally: Enjoy it your MA, you'll get to spend an entire year to think and write about a subject that (hopefully) you are really passionate about.
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elw71
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Hi,

I'm starting an MSc in Oceanography after doing a part-time OU degree. It's been a very long time since I was in full-time study, so I think I asked a similar question a while back and didn't get a whole lot of responses.

A bit of googling has found the following which I've found quite useful:

https://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/s...sstudying.aspx

https://www.findamasters.com/advice/...tion-tips.aspx

all the best with your studies!
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Ftmshk
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When you get you timetable do a plan for your week including all your reading time and times to work on each module. Stick to it.


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Klix88
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All good stuff above. I'll add:

- If you're at a new uni, hit the library as soon as possible. Just have an orientation session and wander round a bit. Find your core subject sections, locate the journals, get a feel for where you'll be most comfortable for reading/note-taking. Figure out how to use the photocopiers/scanners. I hate those things and they hate me, so I find it best to get the initial skirmish out of the way before I'm looking at a deadline.

- If you spot some undergrad - or even Masters - units which might be useful but aren't part of your course, ask if you can sit in on lectures/seminars. I attended two undergrad units and one extra Masters unit and they were very useful. The Masters one was a seminar format so it did give me the extra job of preparatory reading each week, but that was informative in itself. It's also good to be in a relaxed learning environment, because - no coursework/exams.
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