March 2017: Getting used to studying in the UK

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During my undergraduate career, I studied Psychology at a large university in the United States. The curriculum on my course mainly consisted of individual assignments, midterms, and final exams. I took 4 classes each semester, which were about 1.5 hours long and we meet twice a week. I had a part-time job and had a pretty good grasp on how to go to work, get good grades, and still have time for a social life. Coming to the UK to study, I figured I would apply these same basic ideas during my postgraduate career.

I have now been living and studying in the UK for roughly 6 months. The curriculum on the MSc Operations, Project, and Supply Chain Management course consists of required readings and case studies, individual assignments, group projects, and exams. Some of the classes are based only on one exam. Yes, that’s right. One exam worth 100% of your grade! I take 4 classes each semester, which are 3 hours long and we meet just once a week. This can be a little daunting, especially if you are not used to the UK education system like me.

The days and weeks pass by quickly. Sometimes it seems like the deadlines for assignments come out of the blue. I keep a calendar of all the assignment due dates so that I can make sure I am on top of everything. It is important to manage your time wisely and prioritise the things you need get done. I found it helpful to make “to-do” lists each week so that I know what I need to focus on. It is also best to study or work on assignments outside of your normal living quarters. For example, go to a café, the Learning Commons or the library. It can be difficult to get out especially if you live alone, but you will find that you are more productive if you do so.

It is important to keep yourself healthy and enjoy your time here. Working out is something I really enjoy. It helps me to clear my mind. I joined a gym near my home. It has plenty of machines and offers free classes throughout the week. At the same time, I like to eat clean as much as possible. On my long days of class, I bring my own lunch instead of purchasing lunch on campus. Lastly, I found that it is also good to hit the pause button on the schoolwork for a night and enjoy this great city with friends.

So, what is the point of me telling you all this? It is not always going to be easy. You might be disappointed, stressed, or feel like giving up at times. However, you will get through it. You will find the things that work for you and I guarantee you will enjoy the ride!

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Manchester’s Central Library is a great place to study

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Enjoying dinner after finishing our first project of second semester

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Snow in Manchester!

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Taking a study break and enjoying a night out with friends!

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About Author

Jasmine Sarkis

MSc Operations, Project and Supply Chain Management, Class of 2017

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