Starting your postgraduate study journey can be a roller coaster of emotions; as exciting as it is nerve wracking. While there’s lots to look forward to, it’s also normal to be apprehensive of what is to come.
To guide you through the first few weeks of settling in at Cranfield, here’s five top tips recommended by some of our current master’s students to help give you the best start to your MSc journey.
Preparation is key!
Taking time to research the specific requirements of your course, course modules, reading materials or familiarise yourself with the University’s online resources are all great ways to get ready for your academic journey.
If you have questions, your professors or our student ambassadors are always on hand to help you feel more confident about embarking on your studies. There are no silly questions!
Cranfield will be your home for the next year, so another way to prepare is by getting to know the campus itself and exploring the local environment. Where are your lecture rooms? Where can you grab a coffee and meet up with friends?
“Attending induction sessions and campus tours is crucial. They provide valuable information about university facilities, services, and local resources. Plus, it’s an excellent chance to make your first friends.” Isaac Opoku, (Design Thinking MDes).
Good time management and organisation are great skills to help you stay on top of your studies.
Here are a couple of ways to help you stay organised: create a study schedule to help you prioritise tasks or use a digital calendar or planner to keep track of your assignments, deadlines, and social activities.
Having a clear picture of your commitments will help you to manage your time better and avoid stress.
“Right from the beginning, they stressed the significance of time management and planning for achieving success, often reminding us that nothing is impossible if we adhere to these principles. This encouragement significantly boosted my confidence.” Deepa Amandara (Food Systems and Management MSc).
Embrace the global community.
Be a part of an all-inclusive community where diversity is celebrated. We have students from over 100 different countries which creates a unique environment, so be sure to put yourself out there and explore all the different cultures, foods and societies.
“We even organised international picnics where everyone brings food from their respective countries, creating a delightful melting pot of flavours and cultures. These moments of togetherness, shared by both teachers and students, were truly heartwarming.” Deepa Amandara (Food Systems and Management MSc).
Balance study and social.
You came to Cranfield to study a Master’s but it’s equally important to find a balance between your studies and having a social life.
Take a deep breath and put yourself out there! At Cranfield, there are lots of opportunities for you to meet new people and make new friends by joining in with extracurricular activities, sports, societies, and events at the Cranfield Student Association.
There are lots of places you can grab a coffee or a bite to eat on campus, enjoy beautiful countryside and woodland walks that surround the campus or take a 40-minute train ride to London.
“The Cranfield Student Association’s clubs and societies are the best way to take time off your routine academic work and be involved with something else you are passionate about. Joining these groups is a good way to make friends outside your course.” Arinaitwe Byamukama (Advanced Water Management MSc).
It’s OK to ask for help…
If you are feeling overwhelmed, do not understand something or just need a chat – don’t hesitate to reach out.
Take any questions to your professors, your personal tutor or the support staff who will be happy to help guide and support you. Don’t forget to plan regular coffee catch-ups with a course friend or housemate.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the academic support sessions offered by our Careers and Employability Services, the Library and Academic English support.
“Every member of staff (from the academics to the non-academic and support staff) is always happy to help. Do not be afraid to ask for help, it will get you a long way.” Arinaitwe Byamukama (Advanced Water Management MSc).
Student life may bring you some challenges but there will be plenty of exciting opportunities and you will make memories to last a lifetime. Remember to stay open minded, continue to learn new things, have new experiences and step out of your comfort zone.
Thank you to Arinaitwe Byamukama (Advanced Water Management MSc), Deepa Amandara (Food Systems and Management MSc) and Isaac Opoku (Design Thinking MDes) for your contributions.