MA - Not very busy!!


I find myself in a paradox. I have just read a few threads and everybody seems to be really busy with their MA/Msc. I am now very worried as I don't seem to be busy at all.

All of my deadlines are after Christmas - most in February! I am a part-time student so I only have half the workload of full-time but I've read that part-time students are also very busy. I do of course have a job to contend with! Do people out there think I'm taking things too casually? I have just written a formative essay (1500 words) that does not count towards my final grade and not much of the reading I did will be relevant elsewhere! So I have not really done any reading for my master's yet. Should i get cracking? Am I in danger of falling seriously behind? Or are there others out there that found the beginning of their master's programme quite easy going?


Hi M_Heneghan

I just completed a full-time English MA and my first deadlines were also in February - I think what you need to think about is how long each piece of work is going to take you to write, and how close the deadlines are to one another. It may seem like you have a lot of time, but it took me about 7-8 weeks to write each essay (that's including all the reading, research, and writing), so I would say that you do need to start working on these asap, especially if your essay deadlines are close together. Also, if you want to submit drafts to your tutors, they usually want to receive those a few weeks before the deadline in order to have time to give you feedback - I know many people on my course had to get their draft essays written and submitted over Christmas in order for the tutor to have time to look at them. Obviously, because I was doing an English MA there was a lot of reading to be done - the reading may not be as heavy for your subject.

My advice would just be to make sure you plan your time and work out how long it's going to take you to complete things - whatever you do, don't leave things to the last minute. The best thing you can probably do is to start thinking about what your essay titles are going to be, and then consult with your tutor about what kinds of things you should start reading based on your topic, and go from there.

Good luck!


Lucky you, I'm insanely busy and i'm just coming to the end of the first term. In fact, from what i've heard from other postgrad students, the MSc course I'm currently doing involves a lot more work than they are having to do. By the end of my course (without taking the dissertation into account) i'm looking at an overall word count of about 90,000 words.


Don't worry. I did the same. In fact, because I was feeling bad for not working, I even wrote my dissertation before Christmas and spent the rest of my time correcting it. I was also writing my essays quite fast, because I knew what I wanted to write about.
My flatmate was exactly the opposite. She was in the same course as I were, and she was studying all day and all night. She was always getting extensions for her essays and she had no personal life.....