At undergraduate level in UK higher education, students are expected to develop and demonstrate critical thinking and begin to practice the principles of scholarship and research. Postgraduate study raises the standards of these scholarly attributes and postgraduate students are expected to contribute to the body of knowledge in their discipline.
The essentials of academia, such as documenting sources and evaluating information, are key to this endeavour. Professional standards of research involve rigorous and meticulous analysis of ideas and information, paying attention to detail, and considering complex subjects from a variety of perspectives.
Postgraduate study requires awareness of the particular disciplinary context and engagement with cutting edge and influential research.
At postgraduate level you will gain and deploy more extensive knowledge than at undergraduate level, drawing on a broader range of research as well as specialising in greater depth in your particular area of expertise. Taught Masters courses can have a particularly intense workload because the course is compressed over a short period of time, with deadlines imminent from the very beginning of the course. This, along with the greater degree of independent learning at postgraduate level, involves developing strategies for managing your time effectively.
Postgraduate study will expand and deepen your awareness of what you do know and lead you to realise the extent of what you don’t know. Study at postgraduate level necessitates engaging with the complexities, risks, disappointments and possibilities of learning.