Getting ready to start a postgraduate program has changed this year as universities and postgraduate students have had to adapt and get used to a post-pandemic world.
As a result of the pandemic you will find that there are some different ways of doing things and there may be new unexpected challenges, so here are a few pointers to help you get ready for this upcoming academic year.
Understand study methods
Whether you have opted to study your postgraduate program online or on campus, the majority of universities are planning to employ a significant amount of online teaching in the early stages of this academic year. If you haven't studied online before, then you should familiarise yourself with online studying and the systems and software in place at your university. Perhaps you have a combination of online and on-campus studying, a delayed starting date or social distancing on-campus. Either way, it's worth reading up on a few study tips for online study and distance learning, especially if you are going to have less contact time with your lecturers than you were expecting.
Create a place to study
The necessity of having a good study space is always key to postgraduate study success, so much like previous years, a place to study in your home is essential. It will need a good light source, a comfortable chair and a spacious desk along with a strong wifi signal or internet connection. However, you might find this study space is even more important than previous years as you’re not necessarily going to have the guarantee of being able to head to the library. By opting to live in privately managed student accommodation like that provided by Fresh Student Living, you will be guaranteed to have clean, stylish and secure accommodation that is Covid-safe and comes complete with a good internet connection so you can participate in Zoom classes and online webinars with no buffing.
What is expected of you outside of your course?
If you are travelling for your course, then you should check your university’s codes of conduct in light of the pandemic. For some universities, students who break the local social distancing guidelines and Covid-19 regulations can face disciplinary proceedings or expulsion in addition to any local fines. You must understand what is expected both on-campus and also within the larger community.
Keep in touch with tutors
It will be vital to your success this year to keep in touch with the academic staff. This way you will be informed of any changes, and they will know you are engaging with the course. Many lecturers will not have the same open office hours as they used to, so you will have to make appointments to see them or use other methods such as email to contact them. Many universities have decided to cancel all field trips for this year already, but as regulations change, the universities will adapt accordingly, and keeping in regular contact with your tutor is the best way to understand what is going on.
Use social media
Many universities and postgraduate courses have active social media accounts. Get involved with these groups to get to know your fellow students better as this will make you feel more connected as well as make it easier when you do come to meet in person. Chatting to someone in the same position as you – be it online or in person – will help you to relax and feel more comfortable on your PG program. Most departments or schools will be holding online events for postgraduate students to get to know each other, and attending these events will help get you motivated for the coming year.
because it’s worth it!
Regardless of issues that arise due to Covid-19, postgraduate study is still a great option, as well as being personally fulfilling and mentally stimulating, it can also really help you grow your potential future salary as this table shows.