Diary of a Postgrad Student – back in flow

And so it begins again. It is now the final semester of my Masters *sobs*. Although, unlike everyone else, we will be working through the summer as the dissertation is not due until August. It is the last semester of attending regular lectures though.

So where am I up to?

  1. I have completed 80 hours of my practicum on a project about priming. Before Christmas I was running experiments which was really good fun. I got a chance to chat to first and second year students who were doing Psychology either as their primary, or as part of their course. I should be able to complete the remaining 10 hours that I require with some of the coding and analysis. I then have to write 2500 words of a summary. No idea at all what the structure of that should be. Guess I’ll work that out soon
  2. I am up to 80 completions of my dissertation survey on the link between a fear of public speaking and an earlier emotionally connected event. Interestingly there have been over 1700 visits too the link which has got my cogs whirring about completion rates,  data validity and survey design. But I’m having to reign that in because it really isn’t a priority right now! If you have any sort of fear of public speaking, you can complete the survey here *pretty please*
  3. I eventually got round to completing one of the assignments from last semesters module, that is due on the 7th February. It was really hard work. I had no idea how to even start it. Luckily, one of my new modules provided a nice structure for it and I managed to get it done and submitted. I still have another 2500 word essay for that module, that is due in March. I got a better mark on my second assignment last semester, which means I did learn. That’s a good sign. Still very average on the marks but that is fine. I am not the sort of person that gets great marks. The next assignment is due on the 5th Feb. Basically this means that I can start the assignment now because we are not going to cover the material in the lectures for the assignment. These lectures are student led anyway. We read papers and discuss. I have discovered that Masters lectures are a lot more like tutorials. I have really enjoyed them and am going to miss it so much when I’m done with them in a couple of months.
  4. This semester I have to write: 2 x 2500 word essays for one module, 2 x 2500 word essays for last semesters module (1 done), 2500 words for my practicum, 1 x 10,000 word dissertation, and finally whatever my advanced stats module requires. I have a LOT of writing to do before this Masters is over. In fact that adds up to 22,500 words of writing in the next 6 months. Luckily I don’t find writing too hard – although I do find academic writing almost impossible. But let’s face it, if I’m going to do a Phd I need to get good at this!

I’m in Mondays and Fridays from now on. Tomorrow I start Advanced Quantitative methods – advanced stats. This is going to be interesting because I’ve never studied basic stats. I taught myself for analysis of customer satisfaction data and call quality data. So I’m ever-so-slightly bricking it. I do, however, have the Andy Fields book which looks awesome. It has pictures. Can’t go wrong with a stats book with pictures!


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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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