How important is the supervisor at masters level?

Badges: 20
Report Thread starter 11 months ago
Hello all,

I am doing a technical masters degree and have to choose a supervisor and a project.

There are some supervisors in our department that are very senior and well renowned for their research. Hence I've been naturally drawn to contact them and attempt to formulate a challenging proposal within their domains of expertise. (They also tend to be busier people).

There is another supervisor in the department who has recently finished their PhD and are an assistant lecturer within the department. They have near to none cited publications in comparison, but are working on a project that interests me.

I would like to apply a particular technique to solve some of the work within this project, although I believe this supervisor would be of much help, there are other lecturers/supervisors within the department who would perhaps be able to better advise me on the application of this particular technique.

First question: Would it be inappropriate (or even rude) to seek help from other professors during the course of the project?

Second question: How important is the supervisor anyway at the masters level? Should I factor in the supervisor over the project application domain...

... considering that we work on the project for about 7 months (fully over the summer period). I understand at PhD level the supervisor can make or break your doctoral, but what about at a Masters level?

Any views here would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Kaylee Frye
Badges: 11
Report 11 months ago
I can't really answer your question, but I do know that sometimes a slightly less 'impressive' and more approachable supervisor can be a very good thing. A friend of mine had a very renowned supervisor for an undergraduate dissertation, and she was often anxious to pitch her ideas to him, and felt nervous about contacting him too often. Meanwhile another friend was supervised by a PhD student, and they were very approachable and put so much time and effort into helping her that she got the better dissertation.

This was at undergraduate though. I'm not sure how things differ at master's level, but I'd quite like to know too - my department doesn't allow us to select our own supervisors, so I've been a bit anxious about who I'll end up with, and what that will mean for my project.

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