Why attend a postgraduate open day?

We asked Alice Brereton, Postgraduate Recruitment Manager, to tell us all about Bristol’s postgraduate open day in 60 seconds.

 

“You have the opportunity to meet our internationally renowned academic staff and current postgraduate students, whilst getting a feel for the university and city”

Why should students come to a postgraduate open day?

There is only so much you can gather from looking online – the fantastic thing about coming to our open day, is that you have the opportunity to meet our internationally renowned academic staff and current postgraduate students, whilst getting a feel for the university and city.

We recognise that continuing to postgraduate level, or coming back to academic study, is an important decision for individuals. Our postgraduate open day on 20 November allows you to get the answers to your specific questions and experience the atmosphere here – Bristol is a friendly campus in the heart of a vibrant city.

“There’ll be talks on offer, such as personal statement top tips, postgraduate funding, getting back into study, research at Bristol, student panels.”

What can attendees expect from the day?

The day begins at 1.00pm when you can register and collect your welcome pack. The main exhibition will be taking place between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. You’ll have the opportunity to talk to our students and academics and find out more about course units, types of assessment and anything else you’d like to know. Our support services will also be on hand to explain what support is available to help you feel safe, supported and able to reach your full potential.

From 1:20 pm to 3:50 pm there’ll be a suite of informative talks on offer, such as personal statement top tips, postgraduate funding, getting back into study, research at Bristol, student panels and many more. You can take a look at our open day programme to find out more and plan your day.

From 4:00 pm until 5:30 pm there will be a selection of Faculty specific and subject specific tours and presentations, where you will get to explore the different classrooms, libraries, labs and study spaces.

What else is on offer?

We are running city tours and campus tours in the morning, before the event begins. This provides you with more time to attend talks and chat to academics during the afternoon. Morning tours can be booked in advance and whilst the event is running, from 1pm to 4pm, we are holding student led tours of the campus, which you can book on to at registration.

“I’d recommend making a plan before coming to the event to get as much as possible out of the day.”

How can students get the most out of the day?

I’d recommend making a plan before coming to the event to get as much as possible out of the day, talk to student ambassadors in the red t-shirts, interact with the academics who are on hand to answer questions – along with experts from support services; everyone is keen to help and ensure you get all the information required.

Use the timings in our program so you can attend the talks, go on a tour and also have enough time to talk to academics and students. You can attend as many talks as you like – but please make sure you get to the talks 5 minutes early, as they can fill up quickly.

Most importantly, enjoy the day!

How do I keep in touch with all the latest postgraduate information at University of Bristol?

Remember to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and keep an eye on this blog channel. You can also visit www.bristol.ac.uk/vip where you can sign up to receive further information and updates.

Written by Alice Brereton, Postgraduate Recruitment Manager

 

To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November.

 

Get to know Bristol Students’ Union

The SU’s Chris talks to us about his full-time role and his work to develop postgraduate networks  

 

“My PhD is now on hold for a year so I can work full-time to represent the 8000 postgraduates at the University of Bristol”

I first arrived in Bristol as an undergraduate to study Physics in 2012. After I graduated, I was fortunate enough to be offered a place to continue the research I had started in my final year as a PhD in Membrane Biophysics. Alongside that, in my first year, I was a course rep for my research group within the school, through which I got involved in activity around student representation at the Students’ Union. Then, earlier this year, I stood for election for my current job – Postgraduate Education Officer at Bristol SU. Having been elected into this role, my PhD is now on hold for a year so I can work full-time to represent the 8000 postgraduates at the University of Bristol.

The title of Postgraduate Education Officer can sound quite vague, so what does it mean in reality? In short, it means that I support the work done at the SU (a separate partner organisation to the university) whose vision is to support the best student life. I work on this through the lens of being a postgraduate student, and particularly around the educational experience side of things.

“Working with students and hearing about issues from new perspectives is definitely one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of doing this job”

At a postgraduate level, educational experience is fairly all-encompassing, so really, I end up working on all sorts of issues, particularly around the academic support that postgraduates get once they get here. I work really closely with course reps to get a wide-ranging student perspective into what I report back to the university and campaign on. Working with students and hearing about issues from new perspectives is definitely one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of doing this job, however tough and busy it can sometimes be.

“One of my focuses this year is to ensure that all networks are inclusive of postgraduates and their voices for their time at university and beyond”

I’m really keen to see more and more postgraduates – both taught and research – involved with what the SU does. Outside of direct educational issues, we run Networks, which are grassroots groups in our democracy for students to campaign on topics that matter especially to their identities and interests, ranging from BME to LGBT+ to Sustainability. Postgraduate students have traditionally stuck to their own dedicated network, but one of my focuses this year is to ensure that all networks are inclusive of postgraduates and their voices in these issues for their time at university and beyond. Overall, I’m really looking to use this year to shape what the postgraduate student experience looks like holistically – not just for current Bristol students, but for the students of the future as well. 

If you’re a postgraduate student at University of Bristol, come down to the SU and say hello and see how you could get involved.

Written by Chris Brasnett, Postgraduate Education Officer, Bristol SU

 

To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November.

 

Why go to a Postgraduate open day at the University of Bristol? 

Master’s student Lyndon shares his experience of a postgraduate open day

 

 

I feel it is important to attend an open day at the university of your choosing for postgraduate study.

Firstlythis is an important step in your academic career, are you ready for the exciting challenge that postgraduate study poses (whether your undergraduate studies have just finished or you are returning from a break in education)? 

Secondly, even if you know the university (I didn’t study at Bristol prior to enrolling on my MA) it is important to gauge the feel of the place, the campus, city, course or courses on offer to you and to have conversations with the staff that will teach or supervise your studies. 

“My own experience of the postgraduate open day at Bristol was positive… everyone was very friendly and keen to help”

There is considerable information available on university websites even down to unit details, staff biographies/research interests and also student reviews. Although they are a useful first step, I would argue that face-to-face discussions and visits give you a far better idea of what a place is like to study at and what you can expect from your time on a course. 

My own experience of the postgraduate open day at Bristol was positive, it was busier than I anticipated, however, there were plenty of volunteers on hand to guide and assist me to find the right people to talk to. More importantly, everyone was very friendly and keen to help, if they didn’t have the answer to a query, they would find the right person to ask and either give you the information or hand you over to that person. 

“…after talking to the course director and getting answers to my questions, I was able to decide the best route for my postgraduate degree”

Initially I was considering the MPhil route, as well as the taught MA, but after talking to the course director and getting answers to my questions, I was able to decide the best route for my postgraduate degree. I also needed to decide whether to study full or part time and what that looked like in terms of contact hours, timetabling and study load. I was able to ask questions about units that were likely to be available and what ideas were contained and discussed within the core (nonoptional) unit. I chose full time, taught course, as it suited my circumstances better. 

As well as this important, incredibly helpful and informative conversation, there are other benefits to visiting an open day, for example, I was also given guidance about what would be beneficial to include in my personal statement as I was unsure beforehand how to pitch this. 

Finally, I was able to get an idea of the geography of the university buildings, including the study facilities, refreshment areas and the libraries. Simply physically walking around the various parts of the campus and its environs, talking to current students and staff  gave me a flavour of what to expect should I choose postgraduate study at Bristol. 

Reader, despite all the hills, I am glad I chose Bristol for my postgraduate adventure! 

 

Written by Lyndon, History of Art MA

 

To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November

 

What it’s like to study for a master’s

#WeareBristol #SPAIS, this is what l could see whenever l researched about International Development and the University of Bristol. Firstly my mentor and former professor Dr Gabriel Faimau is a SPAIS and Bristol alumni. When l spoke about taking up a postgraduate course he directed me to Bristol, because of their teaching style. In his words, ‘You will love Bristol!’ and twelve months later l am in Bristol and loving every second of my postgraduate study.

I have over seven years’ work experience in the development sector. I have worked with international organisations such as ActionAid International based in Uganda and UNHCR in Botswana. Despite having all this experience, l felt l needed and wanted to do postgraduate study and this is why…

“I firmly believe that postgraduate study opens your eyes to various world views and perspectives and affords you an opportunity to interact and learn from your peers.”

I’ve been successful in my career, with an undergraduate degree in Criminology, however, I realised passion alone was not enough for further progression and development. I went on to take a diploma in Development Leadership and that is when l realised l needed a postgraduate degree. It is then that before completing my diploma. l sent in an application to the University of Bristol for a Master’s degree in International Development. I firmly believe that postgraduate study opens your eyes to various world views and perspectives and affords you an opportunity to interact and learn from your peers.

My course is structured into two teaching blocks and this term l am taking three core modules. One of my favourite things about these modules is that they are all seminars. SPAIS is big on peer learning – we spend hours discussing various topics and understanding the practical linked to theory. Theories of development has since opened my eyes to the routes of development. I am in a better position to understand development work and ensure that future projects l implement are not only inclusive, but are sustainable as well. There are numerous networking opportunities available to postgraduate students, not just seminars, but also events run by the PG network.

Bristol has a great Postgraduate Open Day where prospective students can enquire more about their courses and find out more about possible career paths. If you are unsure about a course the open day will give you all the information you need to know and help you make your decisions.

If you are looking to study for postgraduate, look no further because Bristol should definitely be your home. #WeareBristol

Written by Mpho Elizabeth, International Development MSc

 

To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November

 

Why choose a master’s?

You’re about to complete your undergraduate studies and I bet you’re asking yourself what you should do next. That question goes through almost every undergrad’s head, so don’t worry about it. Almost no one has life after graduation figured out, some go straight into a job, others take a year off to travel, and some go on to complete postgraduate studies. If you are considering going on to complete a master’s, you are most likely asking yourself, “Is it worth it?” It is and I’ll explain why below. 

First of all, completing a master’s wasn’t always part of my plan. I decided to pursue an MSc in Public Health after taking a public health class at the university where I studied for my undergraduate degree. After working for a personal injury law firm that dealt with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it confirmed that I wanted to go on to study a master’s. I wanted to learn more about how local and national governments go about handling outbreaks, whether it is STDs or other diseases. I scoured the internet for ways to get more experience in this field and made up my mind that completing a master’s in Public Health was the way to go. As an international student, I am able to gain different perspectives on major public health topics and see firsthand a majorly different health system to the one back home. Additionally, I am able to meet and network with people from all over the world, which opens doors for my future endeavours.

Secondly, the University of Bristol is an amazing university, with an outstanding research reputation. The MSc in Public Health programme, although fairly new, gives you the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully work in the public health sector. What initially drew me to this course was its diverse course catalogue. The modules range from Health Economics to Environmental Health. Additionally, our lecturers are incredibly clever and have an abundance of experience in this field. They are also the most helpful and friendliest lecturers I’ve ever had. I’m used to having classes in auditoriums where the professors don’t even know you exist. In this MSc programme, I am actually able to interact with the lecturers and get my questions answered. It’s an incredibly inclusive environment which makes it easy to ask questions without feeling judged. So please do not think that completing a master’s means that you are going to be completely on your own.  

Lastly, although the dissertation part of completing a master’s programme might be a bit daunting, I promise it’s not as bad as you think. I did have to write a similar paper during my undergraduate studies, so I came into this programme with previous experience writing a long research paper. Don’t worry if you don’t have that experience though, because you’re able to choose your own topic to write about, which makes it easier and more enjoyable. Additionally, this is a way to choose your “speciality” in a way, since you’re able to go into your chosen topic at great depth and you spend a whole semester just analysing data from that field. Writing twenty or more pages doesn’t seem so bad when you’re writing about something you enjoy and are actually really interested in.  

In Summary, completing a master’s broadens your knowledge on a specific topic, let’s you meet people from all over the world, therefore teaching you various ways to view problems in your topic area, and opens all types of career doors. It has been a great experience and I would highly recommend looking into completing a master’s, especially at the University of Bristol. You definitely won’t regret it. 

Written by Gabriela, Public Health MSc

 

To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November

 

Cosy spaces and grand showcases — how the Bristol Doctoral College helps our research students

As a research student at Bristol, you’re not just an important part of your school and faculty — you’re also a member of our thriving Bristol Doctoral College (BDC).

But what is the BDC, and how does being a part of it help postgraduate researchers (also known as ‘PGRs’) during their research degrees?

A key aim of the BDC is to support the development of postgraduate researchers across all research degree programmes, and to enhance their experiences with training, interdisciplinary events and opportunities.

The BDC has a small (but friendly) team who work to make that happen. A lot of our activity is centred on the Personal and Professional Development Programme, a specially curated selection of courses and resources that’s designed to support postgraduate researchers at every stage of their research degrees — from those early days of scoping and planning, to getting ready for that all-important viva.

We also hold events to welcome new postgraduate researchers to our vibrant community — and, in the case of the Research without Borders festival and Three Minute Thesis competition, give PGRs opportunities to connect, collaborate and share their fascinating research with the wider world. Since 2017, Research without Borders has concluded with a grand showcase exhibition in Colston Hall — putting the work of Bristol’s postgraduate researchers right into the heart of the city.

But it’s not all about festivals and large-scale events. Since October 2018, the BDC has overseen a dedicated space that PGRs can use on a day-to-day level. The PGR Hub, which is now on the second floor of the University’ s Senate House, is a place where PGRs can relax, take part in workshops and meet research students from outside of their school or faculty. And, by applying for our new PGR Community Fund, they can get support to make their own events happen in the space — whether it’s a movie quiz or a meditation session.

As one of our postgraduate researchers said: “The BDC and the PGR Hub help you to connect with people from different disciplines, and make you feel like you’re part of one big PGR community.” We couldn’t have put it any better ourselves.

Find out more about what we do, including supporting doctoral teachers and offering funding for placements, on the BDC webpages.

Images: Jenny Hardy

Combining work and study

Tom Burnett is a full-time Communications Manager at the University of Bristol and studies International Relations part-time. He spoke to us about how he manages to fit studying around his career and family.

I’d been thinking about doing a master’s for about 10 years before I actually decided to go ahead with it. For me, being a postgraduate student is completely different to being an undergraduate. I always had a slight regret that I didn’t make the most of my undergraduate studies, but I was young, I had a brilliant time and I’ve still got friends from then, so it wasn’t a complete waste of three years!

The programme at Bristol is well regarded and there are some great lecturers, so I contacted the School, met with them before applying and they helped me work out the best way to fit studying in around my job and family commitments.

Working full time has actually helped me focus on my studies. Because I’ve got limited time, I can’t spend weeks pondering things, I just have to get on with it. I try to go to the library to study early at the weekends. I can then leave at midday having achieved something and go and spend time with my children.

Going back into education when you’ve got a family is hard, but the University is very supportive. My kids are definitely interested in what I’m doing and they understand the importance of learning, so I think seeing me doing it is a good influence on them. I look forward to the day I can put on my gown and invite the family along to see me graduate – it’ll be a day off school for the kids so I’m sure they’ll enjoy it even more!

Mature students bring a different perspective to studying; whether it’s something you’ve learnt during your career, what you’ve experienced if you’ve been travelling or lived in a different country, it’s good to be able to share that with people.

University staff understand that part-time students have another side of their life that they need to take care of, so the Graduate Administration Managers do their best to help you work out a timetable that fits best with your working life, and the academics are mindful that you might need some extra help.

If you’re coming back into education after a break, I’d recommend making the most of the help available. I booked a meeting with a librarian because, the last time I went to a university library, there was one computer for students to use – it’s a bit different now! There are also people who can help with your essay writing skills and your personal tutor is always there if you need advice.

The lecturers are keen for us to progress and for us to make the most of the opportunities the course brings. For example, they circulate relevant job vacancies that people on my course have taken advantage of.

One of the great things about Bristol is that it’s a truly international university. If you’re interested in global affairs you get to spend time with people from all over the world.

What I like most about the University is that it’s very much part of the city, and vice versa. You just know you’re in a great place to live and study, and I’m proud to be part of the University as both a member of staff and a student.

If you want to explore postgraduate study at Bristol, sign up for our November open day.

Postgraduate open day

Choosing a university for postgraduate study is an important decision and we’re here to help you. On this blog we’ll be sharing information on postgraduate study at the University of Bristol as well as advice and insight from some of our current students.

Visit us in Bristol

If you’re thinking about postgraduate study, our Postgraduate open day is a great way to explore our programmes, talk to the experts and get the student view from our current postgraduates. 

Our open day will take place on Wednesday 20 November and we’d love to see you there. We’ve designed the day to inform and inspire you, show you the benefits of further study and find all the information you need to make this important decision.

Book your place

This is your opportunity to meet some of our current postgraduate students and the academics you could be working with. You’ll also be able to attend central talks about all aspects of postgraduate study as well as some subject specific talks, exhibitions and tours.

Want to explore the city? Book your place on our guided city tour to take in the sights and sounds of Bristol and find out why our city has twice been named the best place to live in Britain (Sunday Times, 2014 and 2017).

Autumn on the Downs
The Harbourside in summer
Royal York Crescent in Clifton

By visiting our campus, meeting our staff and students, and experiencing the atmosphere for yourself, you can make an informed decision on whether Bristol is the right place for you.

Join us for our open day 

Keep in touch

Email us – postgraduate-recruitment@bristol.ac.uk

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