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What do you wish you'd known about studying for a masters? watch

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    Let me and others starting this year absorb all your wisdom

    :adore:

    Thank you
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Let me and others starting this year absorb all your wisdom

    :adore:

    Thank you
    Wish I'd known that referencing/bibliography software exists

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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Wish I'd known that referencing/bibliography software exists

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    Even after finishing an MBA there were still people who didn't know about Refworks!

    Don't leave the project/dissertation until the last minute, don't feel bad about working through the summer, talk to your supervisors if you're having problems, think about what you'll do once the course is over, and remember to have a weekend off here and there. 12 months is over very quickly, good luck!
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Wish I'd known that referencing/bibliography software exists

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    Yes :beard: I've heard of this. I've always used Excel :beard:
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Yes :beard: I've heard of this. I've always used Excel :beard:
    MS Word have it as well. Not as neat, though. I used Mendeley, free and adjustable.

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    How exahusting it is going 12 months without a proper break. Sure I had an odd few days off here and there, but there was always a deadline weighing on my mind. It wasn't like undergrad were there were times of the year e.g summer, where I didn't have any deadlines upcoming.
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    How exahusting it is going 12 months without a proper break. Sure I had an odd few days off here and there, but there was always a deadline weighing on my mind. It wasn't like undergrad were there were times of the year e.g summer, where I didn't have any deadlines upcoming.
    :afraid: Any advice for combatting this?
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    :afraid: Any advice for combatting this?
    Try and develop a schedule which gives you some time off.
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Let me and others starting this year absorb all your wisdom
    If you're on a fairly intense master's course, be deliberate and proactive about building times for socialising and times for relaxing into your schedule. These need not (and probably shouldn't be) long times, but I recommend not compromising on them. I found it very useful to remind myself once a week that I was a human being before I was a master's student.

    If you're doing a writing-heavy course, remember that the pain and self-disgust that come with writing are not useful judgements, just natural parts of the process. Fight through them.

    In my experience the last-minute all-nighter and the essay crisis library camp cease to be useful tools at master's level, because the scale of the work you need to complete is too big. So plan your work in advance and start early.

    If there are any PhD students in your department who're recent veterans of the master's course you're doing see if you can get hold of them and get them to give you advice on how to handle the course.
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    Warn your friends that they may not see much of you for the next year. But remember to make time to see them as they can help you keep a sense of perspective and provide support.

    On a taught Masters it's very likely that you will have deadline pile-ups - a huge amount of learning is being crammed into two terms and any coursework will reflect that. In my second term, I had seven deadlines over eight weeks (EDIT: Correction - it was eight deadlines in seven weeks. My memory has started to blank out the horror...). If you don't already have time-management skills, this is a good time to develop them. Start working as soon as you get an assignment brief.

    Dissertation crises feel like the end of the world, but you can survive them. As an above poster said, leaving them until the last minute isn't ideal. However, I found myself without a topic or supervisor at Easter, as my initial plan collapsed. I mugged up a new topic from scratch, finished it a month before the deadline and got a Distinction. Please please do not take this as a recommendation - it was an awful three months. However, I did it and I survived, so others can as well. A course colleague survived a major falling out with her supervisor and swapping to another simply because the original one was being particularly vindictive towards her.

    When you finish a Masters, your final act will be to hand in your dissertation. It's likely to feel like a huge anti-climax, so remember to get together with course colleagues and give yourselves a good pat on the back for getting through it. In my experience, the university won't give two hoots (I went to say goodbye to my course leader to find that they'd gone on holiday. Never had so much as a farewell email from them and they didn't bother turning up to graduation either). Once the reality hits you, you're going to feel pretty superhuman for having survived the experience *

    If you want to go on to a PhD, it will be a lot more relaxed than the Masters. A PhD is a marathon, where a Masters is a Marines assault course. Nobody could keep that madness up for three more years!
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    How boring and pointless it would be. Save your few grand and go on a few holidays.
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    (Original post by QHF)
    If you're on a fairly intense master's course, be deliberate and proactive about building times for socialising and times for relaxing into your schedule. These need not (and probably shouldn't be) long times, but I recommend not compromising on them. I found it very useful to remind myself once a week that I was a human being before I was a master's student.

    If you're doing a writing-heavy course, remember that the pain and self-disgust that come with writing are not useful judgements, just natural parts of the process. Fight through them.

    In my experience the last-minute all-nighter and the essay crisis library camp cease to be useful tools at master's level, because the scale of the work you need to complete is too big. So plan your work in advance and start early.

    If there are any PhD students in your department who're recent veterans of the master's course you're doing see if you can get hold of them and get them to give you advice on how to handle the course.
    (Original post by Klix88)
    Warn your friends that they may not see much of you for the next year. But remember to make time to see them as they can help you keep a sense of perspective and provide support.

    On a taught Masters it's very likely that you will have deadline pile-ups - a huge amount of learning is being crammed into two terms and any coursework will reflect that. In my second term, I had seven deadlines over eight weeks. If you don't already have time-management skills, this is a good time to develop them. Start working as soon as you get an assignment brief.

    Dissertation crises feel like the end of the world, but you can survive them. As an above poster said, leaving them until the last minute isn't ideal. However, I found myself without a topic or supervisor at Easter, as my initial plan collapsed. I mugged up a new topic from scratch, finished it a month before the deadline and got a Distinction. Please please do not take this as a recommendation - it was an awful three months. However, I did it and I survived, so others can as well. A course colleague survived a major falling out with her supervisor and swapping to another simply because the original one was being particularly vindictive towards her.
    Thank you both :hugs: This was really helpful. Seems like managing deadlines etc. is going to be my biggest challenge :dumbells:
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    (Original post by JamesManc)
    How boring and pointless it would be. Save your few grand and go on a few holidays.
    :console:
    What did you do your masters in?
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    If you want to go on to a PhD, it will be a lot more relaxed than the Masters. A PhD is a marathon, where a Masters is a Marines assault course. Nobody could keep that madness up for three more years!

    Seriously this thread is freaking me out... I was popped onto my masters because they had 1+3 funding going spare. I was accepted initially for a PhD. As I'd done an integrated masters already, I thought "well my dissertation was fine so I'm sure it'll be fine this time" but now all this talk of crazy workloads is making me really worried!

    My MSc isn't even for people who graduated with my degree It's for social scientists whereas I'm a statistician working in a Psychology department for my PhD I thought another masters would be easy
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    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    Seriously this thread is freaking me out... I was popped onto my masters because they had 1+3 funding going spare. I was accepted initially for a PhD. As I'd done an integrated masters already, I thought "well my dissertation was fine so I'm sure it'll be fine this time" but now all this talk of crazy workloads is making me really worried!
    :lol: I was saying to a friend yesterday that I posted this thread on TSR and now I'm bricking it! (I was feeling pretty confident before) :rofl:

    He said that it is a high workload but generally if you're wanting to do a masters you're a driven person anyway, so you'll be fine

    Are you doing a masters and then a PhD now?
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    :lol: I was saying to a friend yesterday that I posted this thread on TSR and now I'm bricking it! (I was feeling pretty confident before) :rofl:
    i suppose we have just highlighted the negatives, which is a skewed view of a Masters - sorry about that!

    The big positive is that you get to immerse yourself in an aspect of your chosen field, for a whole year. Even as a PhD student, there tend to be distractions which take you away from it now and again. As a Masters student, you have the luxury of being allowed a really sharp focus which personally, I doubt I'll ever get again. My depth of knowledge of my Masters subject hasn't been matched since. Even the PhD felt like more of a vague scattergun approach by comparison - although that may partly explain why I never finished it ...
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    i suppose we have just highlighted the negatives, which is a skewed view of a Masters - sorry about that!

    The big positive is that you get to immerse yourself in an aspect of your chosen field, for a whole year. Even as a PhD student, there tend to be distractions which take you away from it now and again. As a Masters student, you have the luxury of being allowed a really sharp focus which personally, I doubt I'll ever get again. My depth of knowledge of my Masters subject hasn't been matched since. Even the PhD felt like more of a vague scattergun approach by comparison - although that may partly explain why I never finished it ...
    :lol:

    Thank you....! This sounds great :woo: I feel a better now.... this is more like I was hoping it would be! It's interesting that you found the PhD more varied/scattered. Everyone I've ever known who's done a Phd starts getting a 1000 yard stare about their incredibly niche subject after a while.
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    Is it a bad ideo doing a masters becuase you have nothing else to do?

    I've been offered a a place for a MSC in computing at Manchester Metropolitan University and I am basically being forced to do it by my parents

    I've been unemployed for 6 months.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    Is it a bad ideo doing a masters becuase you have nothing else to do?

    I've been offered a a place for a MSC in computing at Manchester Metropolitan University and I am basically being forced to do it by my parents

    I've been unemployed for 6 months.
    Are you interested in computing....? :beard:
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Are you interested in computing....? :beard:
    I'm not really that keen on the course.

    Thing is I have depression and social anxiety and I am on pills for it. I have no interest in anything :-/ All I want to do is live at home and hide away from everything. Also I am just really really lazy.
 
 
 

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