A Week in the Life: Do all PG students have similar timetables?
The great thing about pursuing postgraduate study in the UK is that it is generally 'quicker' compared to study programmes in other countries, such as the US, Germany, Australia, or Indonesia. The Masters programme, in particular, usually only spans a year or less, compared to what could have been two years in the US. This has become one of the reasons why a lot of students, including me, chose to study in the UK as we could 'save' some years! Nevertheless, the downside of it is that the study can be exceptionally intense and stressful. The classes only span for three terms times ten weeks! Sometimes I wonder, how can we learn well in the course of ten weeks per term? Another question is: Does this apply to all courses or only some of them? For this blog post, I therefore chose to ask some of my friends who were studying in other departments on what their class timetables look like.
In the MSc in Behavioural and Economic Science programme that I am pursuing, our weeks are very much packed, especially in the Spring Term. With six modules to complete, each of them weighs 15 CATS, we have classes every single day. Usually, the class can run for six hours straight with no breaks in between, but we also have one 'shorter' day in Wednesday, where we only have one tutorial class. On top of lectures, most of the modules also have a weekly one-hour seminar/tutorial session, which is why the week can be really packed. A friend of mine, Marsel, who is pursuing a degree in Sustainable Engineering, apparently has a similar look on his classes timetable. He also has classes all the way through Monday to Friday, with long hours everyday. Interestingly, he also has a 'break' in the middle of the week with no class on Wednesday. I can imagine his Spring Term being way tougher than mine, as he is going to have exams for subjects taken in both Autumn and Spring Term in May! (There are 8 modules that have exams, to be exact) On contrary, I would not have any exams at all - only coursework essays.
I also got in touch with Triny, a really good friend of mine who is pursuing an MA in Arts, Enterprise, and Development. Similarly, Triny's classes are also more packed during the Spring Term rather than the Autumn Term. She only took two core modules in the Autumn Term, so she had relatively more days off. However, in the Spring term, it was her chance to take the optional modules, leaving her with around four classes her week. The Arts programme is more dynamic compared to Economics and Engineering programmes as it consists of more open sessions, discussions, and field trips to some arts centres around Coventry or even London.
I came to the conclusion that even though it may be different in the Autumn Term, the timetables are generally more intense in this Spring Term for everyone, regardless of whether we study TESOL, Science, Arts, Engineering, or Psychology. Pursuing a Master's degree in the UK can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. However, it can be managed if we are able to find a balance between work (study) and other things. Hence, it is very important for us to find ways to destress and take time to manage our anxiety in 'welcoming' exams and assignments, by baking, cooking, or visiting Warwick Sports to release some stress. After all, we should really make sure that the cafe and Warwick Sports get as crowded as the library around the end of term time!