Diary of a Postgrad student – first ‘proper’ lecture

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Practicum? Probably. Meeting on Thursday to discuss. Watch this space!

Dissertation? Rejections from 3 supervisors so far. Waiting on response from 2 others. Trying not to panic

So here we are – the first ‘proper’ week of being a Masters student.

It was a bit of a chaotic start.

I knew I would be in most of Wednesdays for lectures.

I didn’t know which of the optional modules I’d picked that I’d actually get. We have a personalised timetable on evision now but there is nothing in there about the optional modules and there has been no communication confirming what we got. I also didn’t know when the lectures would be for those optional modules.

Luckily someone had found out where to look and posted in our Masters student Facebook group. I discovered I have my first two options (yay!) Unfortunately a friend on the same Masters as me got her 5th and 10th option (boo!). Luckily for me she is now on the same optional module as me (yay!).

Then after digging around with the course name and number, and investigating the general timetable, I discovered the first lecture was this morning at 9am. I discovered this yesterday. Luckily I could bug out of the networking meeting I’d arranged to go to and go to the lecture instead. My poor friend was sick last night so I promised I’d keep her posted.

It was a gorgeous autumn morning and I really enjoyed my walk in. I love walking. I drive most places and you miss so much when you drive.

I did my usual thing and walked to Starbucks. Then sauntered back to the lecture which was in the Baxter tower this time. I still haven’t quite mastered the shift to being a student and was there well before everyone else.

Of course, everyone turned up eventually and it was quite a large class. I really enjoyed this lecture. It was the first time I felt like I was actually learning something as opposed to being given a task. Of course, I still picked up some work – a group presentation in a few weeks and two 2500 word assessments due in the first quarter of next year. We got sorted into a group and got a topic to begin preparing. We will be given more guidance on what to do over time. This lecture is mixed with the 4th year psychology students, so there was still an assumption of a lot of prior knowledge, but this time it was at a level I have already covered in the reading around I’ve done as a therapist. This was all about evolution and that is my specific area of interest.

The walk back to the car was quite different to last week. I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed and fighting back the tears. So that’s a good start!

Tomorrow we are due to give a short presentation on ourselves to the class. It seems most people are freaking out about that. But this is my bread and butter so I’m not too worried.

We will also be discussing a couple of papers we were asked to review. This will be a good opportunity to see how far off I was with my analysis of them. This was a task that I had to do with zero previous experience of doing anything like that before. Hopefully I am not a million miles away from what was expected.

I am slightly phobic of libraries though (no idea why and definitely not good when you are on a research masters!) so I’m hoping that I can head there with a friend once lectures are over and start looking up some stuff for the group presentation that’s due in a couple of weeks.

Written by: Dawn Walton

Hi, my name is Dawn Walton and I am a 44 year old therapist that lives in the Dundee area. I’m originally from Anglesey in North Wales, but I’ve lived here for 17 years. My first degree was in Computing at UMIST in Manchester. Now I’m studying a Masters in Psychological Research Methods with the aim of going on to do a Phd.


I love Starbucks and Pokemon Go. So they are likely to feature in my posts quite often!


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