How to Survive a Full-Time Masters in the UK

4 minute read

When you consider doing a Masters program in the UK, you can opt for a full-time or a part-time mode. This applies to most subjects and is an option many universities offer to support students who are employed full-time so that they can undertake a Masters degree program and continue on their career path. Let’s discuss more about how to survive a full-time masters in the UK

What is a Full-Time Master vs a Part-Time Master?

Technically a full-time Master, compared to a part-time program, is double in intensity and half in duration. Full-time is for one year and part-time for two.

What are the Challenges in Doing a Full-Time Masters in the UK?

A full-time Master can be challenging. The reason is obvious— the pressure of work and the pace at which the course material is covered are intense. There may be up to 13 modules at a time. A student may be required on campus for lectures only 3 days each week, but each day is packed with study including lectures, activities, and projects. In addition, campuses also have workshops, seminars, and lab work as the subject may require. Apart from these days of class, the remaining off-campus days might sound ‘free’, but they are not. This is because the intensive pace of the modules you are doing will require preparation and independent study to complete your assignments and projects. Some students report that doing a job on the side is very challenging.

What Can I do to Overcome the Challenges of a Full-Time Masters?

To overcome these challenges, the most important thing is “Forward Planning”. As a career mentor and a study abroad consultant, I always advise students to do some preparation BEFORE leaving their home country. First, search for funding sources. Study abroad expenses can be huge. Therefore, a student must explore all sources of funding. Bursaries, student scholarships and fee waivers exist at all universities. They may be merit-based or need-based. Do a thorough search online. Are you eligible for any? Seek the support of a study abroad counselling specialist to apply for the scholarships you may be eligible for. 

The second task to complete before leaving for overseas is to read testimonials of students who have shared their experiences online of how they balanced part-time work alongside a full-time Masters. This will give you a realistic idea of how study and employment need to be balanced. It’s hard, but it can be done! In addition to the above, after reaching campus, a student must focus on the settling-in process so that they have their schedule, finances, time management, and work-life balance under control. How? See below.

Also Read: How do you make yourself stand out in your UK University?

Final Tips to Overcome Challenges of a Full-Time Masters in the UK

1. Budget yourself:  Calculate your expenses. Plan your monthly budget to cover rent, food and course materials. Then calculate how much you can spend on leisure or a hobby or weekend meal outings or movies. Figure out how much you need to earn from a part-time job.

2. Build a realistic schedule: Plan your week every Sunday. When are your assignments due?  How many hours of work will that need? If you are doing a part-time job, plan what you need for that.

3. Consider worklife-health balance: Keep slots on the weekend to shop for groceries, meet friends or do any cooking you like to do! Plan at least one outing per weekend (a meal or a movie with friends).

Is there a sport or hobby you have? Join a student group on campus related to that hobby. Even if it’s only for one hour each week, you will meet others who share your passion and being together with them will refresh and energize your mind. This enhances focus and motivation for work. During holidays and festivals, make sure to plan some fun activities with friends on campus. Do not hang out alone! In short, invest in yourself!

A full-time Masters’s program in the UK can be challenging. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with fatigue and overwork. This can lead to feeling de-motivated. My advice as a mentor is to make sure you follow the above tips and stay organized in your finances and your schedule. And, do not forget ‘Self-care’!

We will be back next Friday with another amazing blog from Dr Maina Chawla Singh. Till then, if you have any questions or suggestions, just drop us a comment and we will get back to you. 

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