August 31, 2018, by Tom T

Making the transition from undergrad to postgrad

The transition from being and undergraduate (UG) to postgraduate (PG) feels like an oceanic jump. Harry Potter faced it, Neo from Matrix faced it. The word is ‘change’.

So how do you embrace the transition and what could you expect from it? Take a look below!

Teaching and learning style

Postgrad is an opportunity for you to delve deeper into what you wish to learn. Your lectures will be longer and more intense than in UG. Taking short notes, practicing past question papers before exams or undergoing additional training in your areas of study through workshops are ways your study from UG to PG would differ.

Professors expect you to have gathered a little background before you attend lectures (which makes things much easier when taught in class). So, spend some time beforehand to work through the slides in Moodle (even if it doesn’t make any sense). It helps – period!

Interactions with teachers / uni staff and how they’re different at PG level

Your Professors would be busy with their PhD students, their research work, and other commitments. So how does that change your interaction level or method?

  1. It is always best to get an appointment by informing the faculty of your time table. That makes it easier for them to help you get a slot in their time table. Otherwise, find out when there are drop in sessions available from the Professor’s time table at the office door / online.
  2. Be proactive, approach your Professor with new ideas, any difficulties that you face with the subject and of course, to get guidance on your career matters. Your level of interest would be judged by the duration and frequency of your interactions. Interact in short, regular intervals with your Professor(s).
  3. Respect the Faculty’s time.
  4. Be professional and concise. Try not to elaborate everything in your email, because chances are it may be missed.
  5. Email Professors early in the morning / around early afternoons. Chances can be much higher at those times for a quicker reply.

Changing your student mindset to be a postgrad

PG is more work, some play, but all fun! It does depend on your mindset. As Bruce Lee once said, “be like water”. Be flexible and organized to make sure you accommodate new commitments and challenges as they come. Being over prepared can sometimes burn you out. Be clear with what you expect to be your outcomes from the course / time at Uni. Pick up your pace gradually as you go and you will surely do well.

Managing your time

Organize your weekly and monthly commitments. Use phone / PC calendar apps. Even better, use your sticky notes. LOTS OF IT! Prepare a dashboard in your room’s pin board. It helped me make sure that I got through all my lectures and social gatherings.

Social life as a PG student

Nottingham is a student city at heart. You can learn literally anything from salsa, to horse riding, the list is limitless. Get some friends together in the weekends and unwind. Taking breaks from work and socializing not only helps you recharge but also helps you build connections and contacts unknowingly, so go for it! Watch out for updates from our Postgraduate Officer Matt Bramley to find out more!

By Rajesh Ramesh
Studying MSc Electrical Engineering

Posted in Uncategorized