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Antonia's Postgraduate Journey and Top Tips

Deciding to study a master’s degree is a big commitment but one that can have an incredible payoff. Antonia Shevlin, one of our Student Advisory Board members, shares her experience of postgraduate studying, why she chose the path she did and her tips for anyone thinking of continuing their studies.

I chose to do a Psychology Conversion Masters after my undergraduate degree to gain BPS accreditation in order to work towards becoming an Educational Psychologist. Although I had the choice to choose the BPS accredited units in my undergraduate, I chose the options that gave me more experience in the education field, looking at the curriculum, child development and their role in society along with educational leadership.

By taking the conversion course, I got to enhance my knowledge of the units I covered in my undergraduate degree but also at a higher more in-depth view with an applied and more practical take on case studies. Although I had studied psychology during my undergraduate years and had the option to do a Postgraduate Diploma, I chose to do the full master’s to do another dissertation project based on my own experiences and interests.

My course was a little different in that it was all via Distance Learning and therefore required self-determination and self-motivation. Studying a master’s should be something you want to do and in a subject that you enjoy, which can help with career prospects.

I thoroughly enjoyed studying my master’s delving into the psychological world across multiple disciplines. I was given the opportunity to conduct research on matters that were relevant for me and tailor my assignments to areas, which suited me. I got to choose from a range of specialism units that would be relevant to my career path.

My advice for future postgraduate students would be to do a course you enjoy as this will benefit you in terms of motivation, and will bring you out with a better qualification because you are interested in it.

Some tips to help you decide on your Postgraduate future

Plan 
Make sure you have done your research; What modules will I take? What is the assessment like? Where will my course be based? Where am I going to study?

Be Proactive
Go and visit University Open days, talk to the tutors, students on the course, ask questions, take a tour of the facilities.

Get motivated
Want it! You need to want to achieve, you have to set aside time for study, research, placements. There are a number of ways you can get into the mindset of postgraduate study:

  • Create a Gant chart with your assignment deadlines
  • Create a weekly timetable and try to stick to it – make sure you are balancing work-life, home-life and study life.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help, or let people know if you are struggling.

Most importantly make the most of it! By getting involved through my course and interactions with my tutors I was given the opportunity to undertake some great projects such as research reports, mentoring, paid work and an internship.

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