April is almost over and by now I’m sure you have already selected your top two favourite universities that you want to apply to, or have already submitted your applications. When choosing the best university to do your Master’s degree at, the question you typically want an answer to is ‘What is it like studying there?’ and I think this is the right time of the year for me to try and answer that question for you.
Just have in mind that what I’m going to say here is based on how I find my course, MSc Organisational Psychology, and in no way am I saying that it is going to be the same for you. Anyway, here is a brief summary of what to expect when you come here in September.
When you first arrive, you will have to attend quite a few inductions and introduction lectures. This will be the perfect way to meet people from your course or the University, so don’t miss that opportunity. The first thing you will be told when you go to the first induction lecture is that the course will be intense and this will in no way be an exaggeration. Doing a Master’s degree is not the same as an undergraduate degree. You will be perceived as someone mature and smart enough to be able to deal with levels of work that were not expected from you before.
The first semester is not that hard or at least I didn’t find it that stressful. You will have one group presentation, one lab report, the Test User examination before Christmas and only two exams after the holidays. There will be a lot more time to spend outside, getting to know Manchester, building friendships and traveling around England (and Scotland. Definitely go to Scotland. Don’t forget to visit Glasgow for the weekend, it’s a great city… and my second home :).
Enjoy the free time because, like all good things, it won’t last forever. To be completely honest, the first semester wasn’t that easy for me but that was purely because, as I had mentioned in previous posts, I’ve got a part-time job and balancing uni and work can be quite tricky and stressful sometimes.
The second semester is a lot more intense. You will have three group presentations (two of them won’t be marked though), one essay, one lab report and three exams after the spring break. Moreover, it will not only be that you have more assignments, but the workload will become a lot more because you will have to start planning your dissertation. You will have to spend a lot of time developing a clear idea of what you want your dissertation to be about and researching previous literature on your topic of choice. You will have to fill out an Ethical Approval Form, write an outline of your dissertation and also write a Critical Literature Review (a long one), where you will summarise everything you have found in the literature so that your supervisor can give you feedback on your work.
Don’t get too scared though – it’s not only going to be lectures and long library sessions. You will get to enjoy nice parties at the Business School where you will party alongside your lecturers and also attend events aimed at inspiring and motivating you to build a successful life. There will also be plenty of nights out with your course mates where the good music and the friendly banter will help you forget about your worries and assignment deadlines.
I don’t want to scare you but you will be expected to work hard. However, achieving great things is never easy and your Master’s degree is something you will be tremendously proud to have. I’m sure that you will be happy to study here and just know that every sleepless night spent studying will be worth it at the end.