What a postgraduate degree can do for you

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By Nicola, MRes Social Science

So, you’re considering doing a postgraduate degree. That’s great! Postgraduate degrees are an awesome opportunity, and I should know – I’m currently doing one! I’m studying for an MRes in Social Science, and am loving it. This blog post will hopefully provide a little insight into what doing an MRes is like, how I got here and what a master’s degree can do for you.

When I decided that I might want to do a master’s degree, I was feeling a little bit stuck. I had graduated with an undergraduate degree almost exactly a year prior, and since then, I had had a string of temporary jobs, followed by a permanent office job which I definitely did not enjoy. I missed university, and the freedom I had as a student; I missed learning every day and actually using my brain. So, I started looking for master’s options, and talking to friends and family to ask for advice. After a few days of searching, I found the MRes in social science and fell in love with the description and the course layout. I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.

As soon as I started the course, all my fears and concerns disappeared: it felt like riding a bike or putting on a favourite cosy jumper.

I realised that I loved education and academia. Even through the intense workdays, or the moments where I feel overwhelmed with all that there is left to do, I know that I am doing something that I love and once that work is done, I truly feel proud of it. I have wonderful supervisors who ensure that I am supported throughout my course and other incredible members of staff who are clearly passionate about the subjects which they teach. Put simply: it feels good to be back.

So, what can a postgraduate degree do for you? Well, in my experience, the biggest benefit has been an increase in confidence. A year ago, if you had told me I had the ability to do a master’s degree, I would never have believed you. Yet, here I am, doing it! I’ve presented my work at conferences, I’ve carried out in-depth interviews with participants, and I’ve got stuck into my project module. Friends and family have noticed my increased confidence too, so it’s not just me.

Postgraduate study also gives you an opportunity to really delve into a topic. I haven’t even finished my final project yet, but I have learned so much, and with such depth. Unlike undergraduate study, where you usually have to do a little bit of everything, postgraduate courses allow you to pick a subject, and then fully immerse yourself in it; digging out the facts and finding new sources.

Every day, I learn something new about my topic, and I feel as though I am becoming more and more of an expert each time I do.

Undertaking postgraduate study is a big decision and commitment, so make sure that you think it over properly. But if you’ve read any of this blog and thought “that sounds like something that would suit me”, or words to that effect, I would definitely recommend a postgraduate course for you. Believe in yourself and give it a go. If I can do it, so can you!

Find out more about postgraduate study at UWE Bristol.

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