Students who are about to start a postgraduate programme of study often have apprehensions about what tutors will expect of them and their ability to cope with master's level work generally.

Usually students will have studied at undergraduate level before that; although for some it will be a while since any formal academic study has taken place or it may have been in a subject area where there is less emphasis on academic writing and research.

Therefore regardless of your previous experience, the "Preparing for Postgraduate Study" programme will enable you to review and develop the necessary academic skills you will require to successfully complete your postgraduate qualification.

This course is designed as a set of self-study modules:

  • M Level Study - What to expect - an introduction to the skills required and the characteristics of studying and writing at this level.
  • Researching Information - where to find information and how to evaluate your sources. (A number of resources refer to search databases that you may not have access to - please view research/library resources from your own institution)
  • Planning and structure - for your essays; including signposting, essay sections and the different types of essays.
  • Academic Writing - from the basics through to understanding the essay question and proofreading.
  • Critical Writing - including critical language, critical thinking and developing your argument.
  • Reflective Writing - including reasons for and models of reflection for your writing.
  • Referencing - how and why we reference (examples use the Harvard Referencing Style as detailed in Cite Them Right). The remainder of the section is relevant to all students, but check with your tutors for the exact referencing style that will be in use at your University / College.

You are encouraged to practice each skill; as you progress through the course.

This is not a PASS / FAIL course, but an opportunity for you to develop and improve your academic skills.

By the end of the "Preparing for Postgraduate Study" programme, you should be able to:

  • Appreciate the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate study
  • Understand the importance of a critical approach to thinking, reading and writing in all aspects of postgraduate study
  • Access and critically evaluate high-quality information
  • Plan and structure your writing effectively
  • Adopt an effective and critical approach to your writing
  • Reference sources accurately and systematically both in-text and in the reference list


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