MSc in September what to expect? Watch

Sadieleigh95
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I know every course and uni is different, but in comparison to my BSc how will the MSc be different?


Amount of lectures? Number of modules? Word counts? Different marking schemes? A lot harder?
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Ghazzy21
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The amount of lectures you'll have will be quite mixed depending on the amount of content you'll have per module or Unit.

But as usual for an MSc course, expect to be hit with a lot of compulsory Units to study in the space of 2 terms. Also, assignment deadlines will be a bit more tighter than expected as you'll have a lot of assignments for a lot of Units.

The word count for each assignment may be stepped up from the average 2-3k limits to more than 4-5k depending on what the Unit will be teaching (is it practical or more theory based, you'll have to see when you start).

Judging from a lot of Masters students experiences - it is a big jump from the normal BSc degree as MSc is building upon that knowledge and going more intricate into the details of the subject and the ideas, theories and concepts to an advanced level.

I'm looking at applying for MSc Management and a lot of lecturers and tutors have told me to brace myself with the amount of work and the intensive academic teaching you'll be expected to undergo (+ more independent study time and less 1:1 contact with lecturers are the months go by in an MSc course)

Hope it helps though 😊
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Duncan2012
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(Original post by Sadieleigh95)
I know every course and uni is different, but in comparison to my BSc how will the MSc be different?


Amount of lectures? Number of modules? Word counts? Different marking schemes? A lot harder?
A lot of this (the parts that matter, at least) will be online. I would have thought you would have considered these when considering where to apply. As for the subjective questions, well, they're subjective.

Personally I had no problems going from undergrad to postgrad, even with a few years between them.
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by Sadieleigh95)
I know every course and uni is different, but in comparison to my BSc how will the MSc be different?


Amount of lectures? Number of modules? Word counts? Different marking schemes? A lot harder?
I think it depends on the course but having seen my daughter and son do MSc it is full on. A lot harder. More critical thinking and a whole year in length
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UniofReadingPG
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(Original post by Sadieleigh95)
I know every course and uni is different, but in comparison to my BSc how will the MSc be different?


Amount of lectures? Number of modules? Word counts? Different marking schemes? A lot harder?
Hi!

I found that when I started my masters, the amount of lectures I had was a lot less than I was expecting. In contrast to undergraduate, my Masters modules were either 5 weeks or 8 weeks long (each lecture was 3 hours), so the level of contact time I had was a lot less. Again, my lectures all finished in March and my exams were in April, so since then, I've been working on my dissertation.

I've had 10 modules this year, including the independent project. Often, they try and spread the number of modules per term, so half in the Autumn and half in the Spring, leaving Summer for your dissertation.

In terms of assignments, for me personally, the word counts have been mixed - some have been the same as undergraduate level word counts, some have been longer. The marking changes slightly, where undergraduate level required a 40% for a pass, masters level requires a 50%. I've personally found the marking a lot harsher, but I think that's because I moved university, there's quite a big step up and expectations change. Each university is different and marking schemes all seem to reflect each other, but all lectures look for different things, so what could be a 50% in one module, could be a 60% in another (all depending on who's marking).

The advice I would give is don't be too hard on yourself. By this I mean - myself and a lot of my friends were all achieving a lot of marks in the 70% range at undergraduate, however due to the step up, the markers and the level of academia you're expected to be working at for masters, these aren't marks you'll be expected to achieve immediately. You will improve as the year goes on, but I've learned not to be too hard on myself when I don't achieve a mark as high as I'm used to. My lecturer once told me that an essay that achieves a mark in the 50% range (pass) at masters, would probably be a 2:1 at undergraduate.

I would definitely recommend doing a masters, I've learnt so much in the past year and I feel that my writing has improved a lot!

Good luck in whatever you choose!

Ruth
Student Ambassador/Psychology Masters Student
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Alan88
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I've just finished my first year of a part-time MSc after a five year break from studying and I found it very different to being an UG student - though I'm not sure if that is because of the length of time I'd been away.

Of course, every institution is different, but my modules ran for a period of 12 weeks. I had formative assessments for each module and the summative assessments were quite close in terms of submission dates so I was having to manage quite a few deadlines at once. The assessments had a much larger word count than that at UG level, with the majority of my written assessments being 3,000+ words. For presentations, we were encouraged to not read from a transcript and try and deliver the presentations with only few prompts. I had a lot of freedom in terms of my assessments though, with me being able to choose my topic in every assessment.

You are definitely expected to know a lot more at Masters level and there is a lot of emphasis on your critical analysis and academic voice. A lot of people on my course were frustrated at some of the marks they had been receiving, as it is not what they were used to at UG level, but the benchmark is very different. My advice is to stay on top of your workload and commit yourself 100%, but, it's also about knowing when to get away from the books for a while. Though marking seems harsh, I believe what you put into your MSc will be reflective in your marks. I've had my results and I've had 70%+ in everything, on top of working a 30 hour week job and volunteering.
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Sadieleigh95
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(Original post by UniofReadingPG)
Hi!

I found that when I started my masters, the amount of lectures I had was a lot less than I was expecting. In contrast to undergraduate, my Masters modules were either 5 weeks or 8 weeks long (each lecture was 3 hours), so the level of contact time I had was a lot less. Again, my lectures all finished in March and my exams were in April, so since then, I've been working on my dissertation.

I've had 10 modules this year, including the independent project. Often, they try and spread the number of modules per term, so half in the Autumn and half in the Spring, leaving Summer for your dissertation.

In terms of assignments, for me personally, the word counts have been mixed - some have been the same as undergraduate level word counts, some have been longer. The marking changes slightly, where undergraduate level required a 40% for a pass, masters level requires a 50%. I've personally found the marking a lot harsher, but I think that's because I moved university, there's quite a big step up and expectations change. Each university is different and marking schemes all seem to reflect each other, but all lectures look for different things, so what could be a 50% in one module, could be a 60% in another (all depending on who's marking).

The advice I would give is don't be too hard on yourself. By this I mean - myself and a lot of my friends were all achieving a lot of marks in the 70% range at undergraduate, however due to the step up, the markers and the level of academia you're expected to be working at for masters, these aren't marks you'll be expected to achieve immediately. You will improve as the year goes on, but I've learned not to be too hard on myself when I don't achieve a mark as high as I'm used to. My lecturer once told me that an essay that achieves a mark in the 50% range (pass) at masters, would probably be a 2:1 at undergraduate.

I would definitely recommend doing a masters, I've learnt so much in the past year and I feel that my writing has improved a lot!

Good luck in whatever you choose!

Ruth
Student Ambassador/Psychology Masters Student
Hey thanks for you’re reply! I notice you’re masters was in psychology! My BSc was psychology and so is the MSc I’m starting in September. Do you think it will be a big jump?

I feel okay about the increase in workload and higher word counts because during my BSc I coped fine.

As you’ve done an MSc in psychology, what is expected in assignments? More references? More critical analysis? How can I prepare for the jump from BSc to MSc?
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UniofReadingPG
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(Original post by Sadieleigh95)
Hey thanks for you’re reply! I notice you’re masters was in psychology! My BSc was psychology and so is the MSc I’m starting in September. Do you think it will be a big jump?

I feel okay about the increase in workload and higher word counts because during my BSc I coped fine.

As you’ve done an MSc in psychology, what is expected in assignments? More references? More critical analysis? How can I prepare for the jump from BSc to MSc?
Hi again!

I think the fact that you've done your BSc in Psychology will help, you'll be familiar with concepts and theories that you'll learn more about during your MSc. The jump is higher in terms of the standard of work you're expected to produce, but as I said previously - they know that it's a jump and they will support you in this! It gets easier and the more reading you do, the more it'll help!

I think you can prepare by doing more prior reading and refining your writing style and structure! More critical analysis will definitely help, they expect you to use critical analysis during BSc, but they expect this to be furthered at MSc so creating more of an argument, using more specific literature to support your analysis etc. You are expected to use references to back up any point you make, but you can put your own spin on it too. Remember that every university is different, so you'll suss out what they expect of you when you start!

Glad you feel okay about the workload!

What uni and psychology course are you doing, if you don't mind me asking?

Ruth
Student Ambassador/Psychology Masters Student
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Sadieleigh95
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(Original post by UniofReadingPG)
Hi again!

I think the fact that you've done your BSc in Psychology will help, you'll be familiar with concepts and theories that you'll learn more about during your MSc. The jump is higher in terms of the standard of work you're expected to produce, but as I said previously - they know that it's a jump and they will support you in this! It gets easier and the more reading you do, the more it'll help!

I think you can prepare by doing more prior reading and refining your writing style and structure! More critical analysis will definitely help, they expect you to use critical analysis during BSc, but they expect this to be furthered at MSc so creating more of an argument, using more specific literature to support your analysis etc. You are expected to use references to back up any point you make, but you can put your own spin on it too. Remember that every university is different, so you'll suss out what they expect of you when you start!

Glad you feel okay about the workload!

What uni and psychology course are you doing, if you don't mind me asking?

Ruth
Student Ambassador/Psychology Masters Student
Hey! I got my results today I got a 2:1 BSc Hons Psychology! So I've secured my place on the MSc Psychology conversion course at Huddersfield! Do you think I should go over all my feedback and figure out where my weaknesses are?
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University of Huddersfield
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(Original post by Sadieleigh95)
Hey! I got my results today I got a 2:1 BSc Hons Psychology! So I've secured my place on the MSc Psychology conversion course at Huddersfield! Do you think I should go over all my feedback and figure out where my weaknesses are?
Hi Sadieleigh95,

Congratulations on your results and for getting your MSc place, that's great news! If you have any questions about the course or about Postgraduate student life in Huddersfield then let us know!

Best wishes,
Claire, UoH
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Sadieleigh95
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Hi Sadieleigh95,

Congratulations on your results and for getting your MSc place, that's great news! If you have any questions about the course or about Postgraduate student life in Huddersfield then let us know!

Best wishes,
Claire, UoH
Hi! I have lots of questions, which way is best to contact you?
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UniofReadingPG
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(Original post by Sadieleigh95)
Hey! I got my results today I got a 2:1 BSc Hons Psychology! So I've secured my place on the MSc Psychology conversion course at Huddersfield! Do you think I should go over all my feedback and figure out where my weaknesses are?
Hi!

That's fantastic, congratulations!!

I think that would be a brilliant way to start. This way you can work out what you need to focus on more during your masters! If you identify your weaknesses, you can discuss these with your personal tutor and other lecturers when you start your assignments.

Sounds like you'll do brilliantly!

Good luck.

Ruth
Student Ambassador/Psychology Masters Student
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University of Huddersfield
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(Original post by Sadieleigh95)
Hi! I have lots of questions, which way is best to contact you?
Hi Sadieleigh95
No problem, you can DM us on The Student Room or if you prefer you can email me at [email protected] and we can go through all your questions.
Thanks and speak soon
Rachel
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