As the new semester approaches not only am I preparing the Careers Resource Centre for a new cohort I’m also preparing to go back to University myself, for the 2nd year of my part time masters. I’m studying Library and Information Management.
Studying a masters part-time either alongside a current job or due to other commitments may be something you are considering or even starting this autumn, so I thought I’d give you an insight into how I coped with the pressure of my fist year.
There is no getting around the fact that studying for masters alongside other commitments such as employment or childcare is demanding and often very difficult. I would therefore recommend that you think carefully about the reasons why you want to take the qualification and whether or not you can realistically commit to the demands of the course.
If you do decide that a part-time masters is right for you there are few coping strategies I could recommend –
- Don’t treat the course as an extension to your undergraduate degree – Even if you are studying the same subject as your undergrad degree the work demands and fact that you may only be on campus once or twice a week means that part time postgraduate study is very different.
- Organise a routine that suits you – Whether it’s sacrificing the majority of your weekend, working as soon as you get in on an evening or starting to work later in the night it’s important to find a routine that works for you – and to stick to it! Remember what works for others might not work for you.
- Don’t try to ‘compete’ with full-time students – don’t worry if you hear full time students are spending hours and hours in the library, as a part time student this is simply not possible. Although full time students will be taking more modules than you they may also have more time on their hands to study.
- Don’t read that extra book– Following on from my previous point as a part time student do that best you can do with the time available to you. If you don’t have time to read that extra book, don’t read it!
- Allow yourself some time off – For you own sanity, and the other around you it’s important to give yourself some time off when you can. Try to arrange something fun during this time to get your mind off your work.
Careers Consultant (Postgraduate) at the University of Manchester, UK