5 Things You Need to Know Before Doing a Masters

Other | Thursday 16th March 2017 | Annoush

These are the things you need to know before plunging into the world of a postgraduate degree. 

There is more than one

Figure out which one is the best for you. Do you want to do a full time or a part time degree. Part time usually is two years where as full time is one year. An MA (Master of Arts) or Msc is usually full time with lectures and tutorials, these can involve completing exams or research or a combination of the two, so it’s important to research which method you prefer. 

Or you might want to do a research Masters (MRes), which is entirely research lead, meaning that you will have to write a thesis throughout the year.

Work hard but party harder

Especially if you do an MRes. This is something people don’t tell you about the world of postgrad study, it’s isolating and lonely. Try to schedule in seeing friends weekly, even if they are working, it’s important to socialise. Get out of the house, go to the local library or The British Library, if you need specific books, it’s better to work around other people. Or you could just take a day off, and party untill the next day!

Working might also be the last thing on your mind, but having a steady part time job, will not only help with the lack of money, but will also give you some stability and importantly allow you to socialise regularly with other humans.

Stick to a schedule and take long walks

Spending every day without timetabled lectures, allows you to slip into bad habits like watching Nexflix for 6 hours straight or sleeping for the whole day. But here are some tips on helping you get motivated. Go for walks, even if it is just around the local park, it is always better to come back to something with a fresh mind.  

Make lists, this sounds obvious, but it is incredibly helpful, even if you can cross of just one thing a day you are already getting closer to the end goal.

It's okay to be broke for a little while 

Because doing a Masters alongside a full time job, is virtually impossible, you need to get used to not having as much money. So having a part time job will  help with the cash flow issues. But don't worry it is only temporary!  

You could get it free

For some post grad degrees you don’t have to pay at all! Or at least you can get scholarships. So make sure you check out your university to see if you meet their criteria to get a scholarship.Usually these scholarships involve you teaching or taking part in university activities, but research MA’s are more likely to have scholarships linked to them.