What is it like to be a postgraduate student?

marjon adventure clubDeciding on whether to do a postgraduate course can be a little scary. You might have had thoughts about how the funding works, where will I live, what are the lecturers like and is Marjon the right place for me. I had similar thoughts when I applied, but the team at Marjon are great in helping you before you get here. I thought it might be a nice idea for me to share my experience of postgrad life so far and any tips I’ve got to help you along the way.

I think the big worry for me was funding. Luckily, the process is super straight forward. Student Finance make a loan available for postgraduate students which isn’t means tested. That means that unlike the undergraduate loan you don’t need to enter what you or your parents earn, only how much you’d like to borrow. If you get accepted to the course the kind folks at Student Finance will approve how much you’ve asked for and it’ll appear in your bank account on the first day of the course. You are responsible for paying your tuition, so your loan covers this and living costs. One tip I have is make sure you have a job along side or apply for one! Money can run out quite quickly without one.

The next thing I worried about was accommodation. There is accommodation available on campus for postgraduates, I lived in the Student Village on campus last year and I loved it. There is loads of off campus accommodation too in and around Plymouth and some of it is really nice and quite cheap too! I now live in a student apartment right in the heart of the city and it’s a ten minute walk to great shops and some amazing restaurants. It’s ideal if you’re a postgrad who wants easy transport to campus and a little bit of space too.

Some Masters programs can complete from home, thanks to the lecturers being able to record lectures. The lecturers are really flexible and will happily Skype or phone you to chat about your projects. Small course sizes mean that you can work closely with the lecturers to help you to get the best marks.

I think the final thing I worried about was what I would do when I wasn’t working. I was new to Plymouth, having moved here for the course, was there going to be anything for me as a postgraduate to do when I needed a break? Postgraduates can (and I would encourage this if you’re moving here) join any of the club’s and societies at the University and there will be something there for you, whether you’re into rugby, rock climbing, singing, kayaking, hockey, gaming, volleyball, netball, basketball etc. The list is massive!

There’s also so much to do in and around Plymouth. It is home to the National Marine Aquarium and Friday the Turtle (a local celeb!). There are lots of places with student nights. There are so many amazing restaurants, some of the best fish and chips in the country and lots of vegan spots. To the north of campus is Dartmoor National Park which is easily accessible by public transport. To the west are the many stunning beaches of Cornwall and the home of Poldark. Have a bit of an explore throughout the year, it beats being in the library!

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