(n.) /noun

Short for postgraduate

Someone who has been through hell and back and decided to do it again

Deciding on your academic future isn’t as easy as making a cup of tea. You would think that after doing an undergraduate degree it would make postgraduate study easier. The same fears and hopes you once had as an undergrad are stirred up once again at the thought of doing another course.

Buzzfeed’s article “what grad school is really like” cleverly summarises all the best and worst parts of your undergrad experience and although post-grad may seem like a daunting task, there’s something crazy inside you that’s shouting, “yes let’s do this!” So now that you know you WANT to do your masters/PhD the next burning question is, WHAT will you study?

“Make a list”

Deciding on your course can be a complicated task especially for those as indecisive as I am. When picking a course I had a pros and cons list as long as the Great Wall of China. In retrospect, a list actually helped in deciding what I wanted to do, it was a great way to sort my thoughts and get direction into where I wanted my masters to take me and what I wanted to learn from it.

I didn’t even know exactly what I wanted to do until I read the course description on the Birmingham City University website and suddenly it clicked! That “light bulb” moment when a great inventor suddenly realises this is the solution they were looking for. A little research can go a long way.

“Find your Springboard and Jump”

The MA in Future Media was nothing short of extraordinary, in fact when reading about it, it seemed more like an internship at an advertising agency instead of a traditional taught degree, and that was exactly what I was searching for. After spending some time working, I wanted a hands-on, practical approach to learning. This may not be for everyone but knowing what you want and figuring it out is part of the process.

A postgraduate degree can give you the competitive edge, the springboard to launch yourself into a career or continue to develop in your field.

“Find the Voice of Reason”

Think of a course advisor as the tiny voice inside your head or rather your inbox, keeping you sane. As an international student there was a never-ending list of questions and concerns about studying at BCU. My course advisor was the voice of reason providing the reassurance needed to choose Future Media as my post-grad course and to better understand what it was all about. Using student forums, talking to alumni and doing your own research can help in the decision making process.

I’m now half way through my year as a post-grad student and despite all the trials every postgrad student has to overcome I can’t deny it’s been a rewarding experience. From reading the course description across the seas in the Caribbean to actually living the BCU experience here in Birmingham, it’s changed me both personally and professionally. Sometimes the hardest thing about being a post-graduate student is the expectation that it will never be as good as your undergraduate, but in fact; like fine wine some things get better with age!

Whether you are new to Birmingham City University or already a student here, our Postgraduate Open Day is a great opportunity to learn more about the University and our postgraduate courses. Come along on Wed 22 April, between 2-7pm for your chance to meet our staff and current students. Register now to attend. You can also keep up to date about postgraduate study at BCU by following our Postgraduate Facebook page.

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