Before we go any further I am going to unabashedly steer right into a writing cliche: I had always dreamt of staying on to do a masters in Art History.
It was the winter of 2014, the nights were cold and Shia LaBeouf had decided he wasn’t famous any more...
I had really loved my joint honours course, but my real strength lay in research and writing and I wanted to pursue that side of my creativity. At that point in the autumn/winter term of my third year I hadn't done much else to find out about postgraduate study other than a scroll through the website and do a lot of day dreaming about how learned I could be if I did a masters. Helpfully, about a month or so before the Open Evening I got my prod in the form of an email asking me if I would like to attend a Postgraduate Open Evening, it took me no time at all to register online and I popped the date in my diary.
The Open Evening was really useful, because my understanding of how masters degrees operated was still quite abstract. I didn’t really have a clue about how a masters year would run, my MRes for example ran for a full 12 months, though the last four of those months were writing up time, which was independent work. This would be different from a ResM which is the longer version of my one year MRes, and these are both very different from a taught masters programme (although both contain taught elements). The differentiation between all of the titles still confused me too, for then I did not know my MPhils from my ResMs.
They also discussed things like workload, funding and working during your masters as well as explaining all the exciting research avenues you could follow. For those applying from 2016 onward there is now a handy £10,000 loan to help fund your postgraduate study, but many masters students still find that they need to work to supplement their loan. I'll write in future about how I balanced work and where I worked in a future blog post.
The Open Evening isn’t long, it was only three hours and those three hours provided me with so many answers to questions I had and to questions I hadn’t even got around to asking yet.
If you’re thinking of postgraduate study then you can sign up for an 2017 Open Evening here.
You can also take a peek at last year’s Open Evening programme here so you can see how the evening runs.
It was really worth going popping along to the Open Evening, plus I got a free cuppa, which is always a win!