It’s been a couple of weeks since my induction onto my postgraduate programme and it feels like it’s been non-stop, just as it did when I think back to starting my undergraduate course all that time ago. Today I wanted to touch on a bit of what you can expect during that first week on a postgraduate programme at Plymouth, based on what I’ve been up to.
My programme, as will every other one, put on a week of induction activities with the purpose of getting me up to speed with where I would need to be to start work the following Tuesday. Helpfully, I was well prepared for everything I could expect with the timetable of activities for the week, along with other useful enrolment information (such as a reading list, online enrolment instructions etc.) posted on the programme webpage well in advance to look over.
We started on the Tuesday with tea and coffee and a chance to get to know the academics and my fellow course mates before having an overview of what to expect this year. At postgraduate level I’ve found the range of ages and backgrounds to be much broader, with a good mix of professionals coming back to study (some still working full time alongside the programme) and people who have come straight on from their undergraduate or a short couple of years break in between. Happily for me, the number of people was much smaller than my undergrad which I think will lend itself to a more personal, seminar-like setting for all our teaching this year.
The rest of the week was then broken down into various sessions, from using the library and making use of its books and online articles for assignments; to reminders about writing essays and referencing them appropriately; and choosing an optional specialist module to be taken in our second term. Having graduated a couple of years ago now, lots of this was familiar to me but I found that I was pretty rusty on a lot of what is expected of me in Higher Education, so these sessions were invaluable in getting me back up to speed. Before the end of the week you’ll also have the chance to go and pick up your university card, which is vital throughout your time here granting you access to the library, to various discounts in the cafes on campus and as I.D proving your student status.
The induction week also coincided with Freshers’ week on campus. This is a great opportunity to get out and pick up some freebies, whilst exploring the campus which comes alive with a plethora of events and activities welcoming new students to Plymouth. During the week you can sign up to a sports club or society at the Freshers’ fair; buy posters, plants and essentials for your room; and try some of the amazing local foods that are on offer at the campus market. Just be sure to get down there early if you want to beat the crowds (these are very popular events on campus). I also made sure to sign up to the Nancy Astor Sports Centre Gym which is located on campus and has some good membership options for the year, so if sport and fitness is important to you, make sure to check them out too.