Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Should you apply for postgraduate study?

Are you unsure whether you should undertake post graduate study?
Has it been a while since you studied? You've most likely completed a Bachelor Degree and are currently in the workforce so you are an excellent candidate for further study in your field of knowledge and expertise. 

A recent conversation with a friend led me to write this post. My friend wasn't sure whether she should study again, especially seeing as it had been a long time since she had last attended University. She had completed her undergraduate before online learning had come about. These days, enrolling in subjects, signing up for tutorials, searching for journal articles, participating in discussions with other students and submission of assignments can all be done online.

Learning has never been easier. Whether you decide to be an on campus student, an online learner or a mixture of both, studying has never been so accessible and flexible! 

Here are five tips for enrolling in postgraduate studies:

1) Choose your postgraduate study
There are postgraduate certificates and degrees or if you have completed a degree with honours, you may want to look at undertaking research for a Doctorate. Research courses at different Universities as many have studying by distance options. This opens up the choice of available courses.

2) Choose your area of study 
Ask yourself is there anything you would like to specialise in. Carefully check the pre-requisites for entry into the course as some require the area of study to be in the same stream as your undergraduate degree. Many courses can be tailored to meet your learning needs.

3) Choose your mode of study
If you're working full-time, enrolling in 1-2 subjects per semester would be doable. Take into consideration that postgraduate studies are typically shorter than undergraduate degrees. Even if you are an on campus student, there will still most likely be an online component.

4) Fitting Uni in with your life
With your life busy with work, family and social commitments, how do you fit in Uni? Think of your postgraduate studies as a hobby. You know how to learn, you are just having fun in a field that's already familiar. Organise yourself so that you find the balance in your life.  Use a calendar and schedule in the weekends when study is a must and include important birthdays, events etc to work around. 

5) Embrace the new way of studying at University
Teaching and learning at University has changed a lot especially over the last decade. It's okay to feel overwhelmed at first. You will have tech staff at the Univeristy to help you with logging on and email etc. As a postgraduate student, there will be a smaller number of students than in an undergraduate course therefore you'll be able to get to know the lecturers better- even online! They are there to help you! And join a study support network like eDegree for some great study tips  ( yep shameless plug!).

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