Postgraduate study readiness

Successful postgraduate students are interested in pursuing a particular area of study in more depth, familiar with the requirements of advanced academic work, and prepared to do independent research. They take advantage of the resources and services available to them, and they have a real commitment to the course of study they have chosen.

Have you thought about why you want to undertake postgraduate study?

If not, that's OK—reasons for studying are very personal. They can range from the desire to progress in a chosen career to personal development. However, having a clear idea of your reasons for studying at postgraduate level will help motivate you when the going gets tough.

Do you know what postgraduate study will involve?

Postgraduate study differs from undergraduate study. For example, students are expected to take more responsibility for their own learning, and the study materials involve more complex ideas. Being prepared for the nature of postgraduate work will assist you in your studies.

If you're unclear on what's involved, it may be a good idea to talk to someone you know who has studied at a postgraduate level, or you may wish to contact us about your planned study.

Do you know what level of work is required of postgraduate students?

Postgraduate study requires a more advanced level of analysis and research. Being aware of the kind of work you will be required to produce will assist you in preparing for your studies.

If you are planning a thesis, then remember you can have a look at copies of completed theses held in the library.

Do you feel confident about your research skills?

Postgraduate students are required to be more proactive in their search for relevant study material. Fortunately, the University provides excellent resources to help you become more confident in your research skills.
Make sure you take the time to become familiar with the services offered by the Library and OWLL well before your first assignment or project plan is due.

Postgraduate students are required to be more proactive in their search for relevant study material. Fortunately, the University provides excellent resources to help you become more confident in your research skills.

Make sure you take the time to become familiar with the services offered by the Library and OWLL well before your first assignment or project plan is due.

Do you have time to commit to your postgraduate studies?

While we say you need 12 hours per week per course—this is an average—there will be times that you’ll need to spend more time. There may possibly be a week you can’t study due to other commitments, and you’ll need the extra time to catch up.

Embarking on a larger research project or thesis means you will need to make a study schedule with clear milestones.

Try using our planners to see what other activities you can move around to find some extra time if you need to.

Do you have friends or family you can rely on to support you through your studies?

It is important to have people in your life to bounce ideas off and who understand the pressures of postgraduate study. If you don't have friends or family available to you, that's OK; you might just need to give some thought as to how you will get support and encouragement during your studies.

You could ask your course co-ordinator or supervisor to put you in touch with other students working on similar projects or areas. You could also check out Massey’s wide range of student services.

Postgraduate study is different from undergraduate level study. Being prepared for the challenges ahead will help you get the most out of your study.

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