Moving into Postgraduate Studies
Starting Postgraduate Taught or Research studies is an exciting opportunity to delve deeper into the subject that you are passionate about.
As a postgraduate student you will be expected to work more independently than ever before and be proactive about building your academic and support networks.
Here are a few tips on fostering the right postgraduate skills for academic success:
- Time management skills- you are likely to be juggling a busy life with your university commitments. Even if you have recently studied at undergraduate level, postgraduate study may bring new challenges of self-motivation and self-discipline, as you will be required to work more independently.
- Research skills- you will be expected to develop a deeper understanding of your subject by reading beyond the core texts and selecting relevant materials yourself. If you have not used academic journals before, visit the library (online or in person) and become familiar with the journals that are relevant to your discipline.
- Critical Thinking – you will be expected to demonstrate your skills in critically analysing your readings. This means that you can evaluate the sources that you use and show how the work of others contributes to your own understanding.
- Referencing – keep a record of your references as you read. To help with this you may want to use a reference management tool such as EndNote.
- Evaluation and data-analysis skills- you may be required to conduct your own research and collect and analyse your data.
- Writing skills- you will probably have to produce a long essay or report or deliver a presentation with your findings. Make sure that you allow enough time for all stages of the writing process. Discuss your ideas with your tutor to make sure you are heading in the right direction.
Ask for help
Just because you are a postgraduate does not mean that you no longer need support – there is plenty of advice and help available.
For academic support:
- Peer Mentors
- Student Learning Developers
- Learning and Research Librarians
- Plus a range of online resources including your Digital Library, Skills4Study and Productivity Software.
For Wellbeing Support: