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Five things I've learnt about postgraduate study


Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Creative Industries
Course: MA Dramatherapy
Category: Music and performing arts

4 March 2021

I’ve been having a think recently about what I wish I’d known, two years ago, before I started my postgraduate training. As hindsight is such a wonderful thing, I thought I’d share all the nuggets I’ve gathered.

These tips would have helped me two years ago as I prepared for this stage of my educational journey!

1. You can do it

First of all, I’d love to show current-me, who is nearly at the end of her Dramatherapy training, to past-me. I was an absolute ball of excitement and nerves as I embarked upon the unknown that was my postgraduate degree. Stepping into the unknown is a truly magical thing in life. We are all so much more resilient and capable than we feel and believe sometimes and stepping into what we don’t know, or what is new, brings that to the surface in us.

2. E-books are excellent

The second thing I wish I’d known before I started is a little more practical. I wish I’d known that e-books were as excellent as I now believe that they are; this would have saved me a lot of money when forking out for books at the start of my training. I can log on to thousands of books via the library system from any computer which has an internet connection. Not only has this saved more money since starting, it’s also been incredibly useful during the pandemic and has meant that I can do my studying and stay safe at home at the same time.

3. The Students' Union is there for you too

As a postgraduate student, I think that there is a pre-conception that the SU is rather undergraduate focused and that we can’t get much out of it. Two years on, I must say, I wish I’d not had this pre-conception when starting my course. After I got a part-time job, made friends and enjoyed many socials there, I am pleased to say that I feel supported by, and part of, the Student’s Union at ARU.

4. Always reach out

Postgraduate study is a bit of step up in terms of difficulty from undergraduate study. The teaching gets that little bit harder, the independent study is that little bit more and it can, at times, feel like you’re a little bit lost in it all. I wish I’d known before I started that if I start to feel like this, I can just reach out to the people around me. The tutors, the University, my peers and the Students' Union are all super-helpful and supportive. Everyone at ARU wants to see you succeed and achieve exactly what you came here to do and more.

5. Enjoy it

One more thing – and maybe I knew this one already but it’s been reaffirmed to me over the past two years… enjoy it! Studying is such a special and exciting time in your life; enjoy every second, soak up every opportunity and always strive to be your truest and your happiest self whilst at university.

Ellie studies MA Dramatherapy at ARU in Cambridge. If you're interested in postgraduate study and want to find out more about your options, come along to one of our postgraduate Open Evenings.


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.