How to begin a Masters in a new subject
So, you’re doing a Masters – either you don’t want to leave your city, or you can’t face being an adult quite yet. The most sensible people will carry on in their same subject or subject area – so Biomed to Physiology, that makes sense.
What about us few who are changing tack? I don't know what possessed me, but I'm moving from Biomed to an MA in Media and Journalism, so I know a bit about it. A week in, having been inducted onto your course is when the doubts start to creep in. Everyone so far who you have met on your course has blanched when you revealed your undergrad degree. No one seems to be in the same position as you, and the rest of your course seem to know what they’re talking about.
Masters are scary enough. You’ve now committed to another 12 months of study, that’s another lot of debt, tears and all-nighters in the library. Moving from one subject to another is just another stress.
First things first
You’re probably not going to know anyone. So, you’ve got to bring out those skills from Freshers' Week and make some new friends. Masters also brings people from many other unis, so it’s a chance to find out how people found their undergrad and learn about other city’s student life. Also, you’ll have the bonus of knowing the city, so being a guide to people who are new can really help. You can let everyone know that Quilliams does the best tea in the Toon.
Join a society
If you’re struggling to find people with similar interests on your course why not join a society. Sports teams are a great way to get into a social group – we’ll see you in Tiger. However, if you’re not a sporty person join maybe cocktail society – the infamous Cocksoc. There’s pretty much a society for everything now, so get cooking, writing or dancing.
There’s going to be a new writing style – you need to adapt from the prescribed way your undergrad referenced and structured your essays and hand-ins. Moving from something scientific or analytic to something more creative. Not to mention that they’re going to have different submission times, so don’t think it’s a 4pm deadline if you’re now expected to hand in at midday. However, do not despair, you’ve swapped course onto something new. You’ve done the same thing for three years; a change will be refreshing and hopefully more interesting.
You’re not alone, there’s always a surprising number of your class mates and friends who will have stayed, for Masters of their own or just to work and stay up North. That means you can crawl back to your old course mates, whether they’re on the Masters you ‘should’ have done, or working. Have a good whine about how difficult your new course is – they won’t know any different and grab a coffee or go for a good night out. So even if you’re sitting with less people in lectures, you’ll still have people to go for brunch with in 1901, pre-drinks at Osbornes and a night out at WHQ.
So, lots of your friends have disappeared home, you’re stressed and unsure about what’s to come and have got to go to 9am’s for another 12 months; but you’ve got another year in the Toon, so it’ll all be alright in the end.