A first class postgraduate degree is every student's dream.
If you're hoping for a magic formula or step-by-step guide to achieving a first class postgraduate degree then we're sorry to disappoint!
What we can offer you though, is some useful, actionable advice and guidance that will certainly help you along the path.
Work, Work, Work Postgraduate degrees are intense. You may think you are well prepared after your undergraduate study, but in reality postgraduate study is a whole different ball game. Your workload will build up very quickly, and there is nothing worse than running out of time to complete a task that you know you would have otherwise aced. Be prepared to work long and work hard. Start early, finish late and don't ever hand anything in that you feel is substandard.
Study Smart Not Hard Blindly plodding on through lectures, readings, past exam papers and exercise questions will not guarantee you a first class postgraduate degree. All that stuff, whilst good, cannot be substituted for understanding, digesting and developing feeling and intuition with the material. You won't learn anything by osmosis. As noble as it may be to stay locked to the library every day until closing time, you need to ensure you are making the most effective use of your time.
Know What Is Being Asked Of You Determining what is really being asked of you is essential. It's so easy to jump in head first and focus on the completion of the task rather than the process. This is a mistake. You need to demonstrate that you understand the course content, can expand upon your existing knowledge and go above and beyond the expected standard. Master this and you're work will always be high quality, relevant and most of all worthy of a first class postgraduate degree.
Make Time To Relax Earlier we talked about the importance of working hard, but it is equally as important not to go overboard and become obsessive. Stress is a real concentration killer, which is why you need to make time to relax and wind down every now and then. By no means are we encouraging you to get out there and party more, but we are recommended that you re-energise to stay at the top of your game.
Eliminating unwanted stress from your life will help to keep you motivated, enthusiastic and focused.
Always Give 100% Treat every assignment as though it is the only one you will ever get graded on. By putting 100% into everything you do you will develop key habits that will aid you well after you've hung up your gown and cap. Do whatever it takes to overcome the challenges that your postgraduate degree throws at you. Embrace the difficulty and counter it with hard work - that's the key to success.
Have you got any advice on how to get a first class postgraduate degree for future students? We'd love to hear from you.