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3 things you unexpectedly learn on a Master’s degree

It is well understood that when you join a Master’s course you are going to learn some things you never knew before. However, there is more to this than meets the eye, and not all of your learning will be academic, below is a list of 3 things you will unexpectedly learn whilst doing a Master’s degree.

1. How to work well, anywhere

Honestly, one of the greatest attributes of the MA student is that they learn to adapt to work in all environments. The busy schedule of an MA student means that when you’re trying to balance a job, a social life and your study you will find (and take) opportunities to work everywhere and anywhere. It might be on a bus, on the toilet at work or even in the pub (yes believe me, I’ve seen it happen), if there’s work to be done, it will be done! You might have needed dead silence in order to concentrate at undergraduate but by Master’s you understand that that isn’t always possible. In fact, you’ll probably grow so used to cancelling out noise in your head that working in silence will feel a bit scary.

2. How to respect deadlines

On your Bachelor’s degree, I am sure that you had at least one experience of pushing yourself far too close to the deadline, in fact, if you were anything like me you were probably constantly chancing your luck. You might take this attitude into your Master’s, but you‘ll swiftly learn that it is definitely not a good idea to leave things to the last minute. If something goes wrong, it goes really wrong and whilst at Bachelors there’s often a chance to rectify mistakes across other modules, at MA the module numbers are limited (it is one year after all). Your grades really matter and every paper counts.

3. How to (properly) use a library

This is perhaps the most essential skill of a Master’s student and will often be the difference between you sinking or swimming on a course. You spent time in the library during your Bachelors, sure, but did you use the library properly? There is a lot more to your average university library than just books and silence. It is essential that you make sure you have familiarised with the different online resources of your University. Your establishment will have access to multiple databases and resource centres and these will be key in identifying the sources, that will take your work from undergraduate level to the necessary level for Master’s.