Getting to grips with postgraduate studies


Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Course: MSc International Social Welfare and Social Policy
Category: Social sciences and social care

6 December 2021

MSc International Social Welfare and Social Policy student Amy reflects on her first term of postgraduate study.

I am now coming to the end of my first trimester as a postgraduate student, and though there have been challenges, I am happy to say I have enjoyed it so far!

There are lots of new things to get used to, and the style of the degree itself is different to my undergraduate. However, I am finally getting to grips with it all, but am excited for a well-earned winter break!


The teaching for a postgraduate degree is somewhat different to my undergraduate studies. There is a big individual learning element, and though of course you do receive guidance, you are expected to study independently outside of lectures, I would say. more than as an undergraduate.

This can be tricky at times, especially if like me you’re balancing a part-time job and other responsibilities – just putting the washing on takes enough time out of my day! But I have learnt to create and stick to (as best I can) a timetable so I can ensure I am studying enough during the week.

There have been challenging moments where I wasn’t sure if this was right for me. Taking a step back, looking at what I needed to do and creating a plan really helped me pull things back together.

Personal tutors

As a student at ARU, you will have a personal tutor to help you with all sorts of things whilst you study. My personal tutor is my course leader, which is helpful as she teaches some of my classes, so I can also ask her for academic help too.

Having a personal tutor is great. When I was feeling overwhelmed I asked for advice, and this really helped me get things back on track.

A moment to document

To wrap up this blog, I thought I would add a little personal story.

A couple of weeks ago, deep in the weeds of studying, I was really struggling to even make it out of bed to go to the library. I knew I needed to try and change this mindset, and then the most exciting thing happened... I received a grade back for an assignment I thought I had completely missed the mark with, and received the highest grade I have ever had since studying at university!

This gave me the motivation to keep on pushing through, and I am now at a point where I feel I am ahead of the game. I know there may still be times where I feel lost or overwhelmed, but this grade is telling me that my hard work is not going to waste.

Just know there are people you can speak to at ARU – lecturers, personal tutors, they are just an email or Teams message away. And the wellbeing team are amazing and have helped me in the past, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Support and wellbeing at ARU

Here at ARU, personal tutors and our Student Services team are on hand to support you throughout your studies.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.