Posted in Intern advice, Uni work, Written by Katie

Making the most of Easter!

Easter has come both too early (as exams are around the corner) and too late (as we all need a good break)! This is the time to start preparing for exams and having some well-deserved relaxation. This guide will help you make the most of your break.

Come into 301!

Okay, this may not be the first thing on your list over Easter but trust me it is a good tip. We have handouts on our carousel in reception for all things study skills including exam revision planning, mind maps and exam technique.

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Create a Balance

We have 3 weeks off over Easter so I try to plan my time so that I take one week off, one week to catch up on work and one week to get ahead and prepare for exams.

Time off

This semester has been tough with the stress of the strikes and extra-curricular activities so you need to take some time off! This can be easier said than done but you don’t want to burn out before exams hit, especially considering these are final exams for a lot of us. See your family and take long walks with your dog. Appreciate the little things before having to get back into the swing of university.

*I had to include more than one photo because these dogs are too cute!

Catch Up

I mean this in many ways: catch up on sleep and catch up with friends and family but most importantly catch up with any missed classes. I must admit, I’m a typical student and fall into the trap of not attending lectures whilst telling myself I’ll catch up tomorrow (which I never do). Then I skip other classes to catch up with my missed classes. It now means I have around 12 hours of lecture recordings to catch up on. You don’t want to start the next half of the semester with last semesters work hanging over you so do it now.

Get Ahead

This is the perfect opportunity to also get ahead for next semester and ensure you have done the reading in advance. This will really take the pressure off when you are doing exam revision and is my top tip for the Easter break! Be careful not to over-do it. You also need to follow my tip above about taking a break to avoid burning out.

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Revision Plans

Get a solid plan in place as soon as possible for revision because in the Summer exams come around very quickly once teaching has ended. You can use getrevising.com to make a study planner where you enter each module along with all of your commitments and it makes a plan for you. If you have any other time available, make sure to start making revision resources.  This can be in the form of revision cards, mind maps or whatever works best for you.

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SURE: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience

Ever thought of joining a research project? The SURE scheme is a funded research opportunity for undergraduates in their penultimate year. Students will be directly involved in the research activity of the University, working in an area of special interest.

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For applying, students must team up with an academic and submit a joint application before the deadline, 22nd March 2018. You can find the online application form here.

If you are passionate about something and want to make a difference, the SURE scheme is a great start. Throughout the project you will gain many research skills and knowledge about your chosen subject. This will also be a great addition to your CV.Image result for happy pokemon gif

To be eligible to apply, you must be a University of Sheffield student in your penultimate year of study. If you are on a 4 years course then you can apply in your 2nd or 3rd year. Every applicant needs to have an academic supervisor. Note that if you have participated in the SURE scheme before, you cannot participate for a second time.

For more information about SURE, click here.

 

Posted in Intern advice, student life, Written by Sophie

Funding your Postgraduate Degree!

If you’ve applied for a postgraduate degree, you might be thinking about how you are going to fund it. The funding avenues are very different to those at undergraduate level, and it is important to know what sources of funding would be appropriate for you. As I am currently undertaking a Masters degree, these avenues will be most appropriate for Masters degrees, but you would find PhD level funding in similar ways.giphy (26)

The main way to find out what funding a university has is to check their website! They will likely have a list of funding avenues that you can browse and check their requirements. For instance, the University of Sheffield has a ‘Postgraduate Student Funding Table’ with a list of sources (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/finance/pg). Depending on the type of degree you would like to study, there will be different routes for different departments. I applied for the Arts and Humanities scholarships, as I am studying English Language and Linguistics, but there also scholarships within departments such as Law, Management, Dentistry, etc.

There may also be university-wide scholarships, such as the Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarships, with 100+ scholarships worth £10,000 each for students that meet part of the widening participation criteria, or that have high academic success. Each university is likely to have set aside some money to fund postgraduate degrees, so be sure to see what they have on offer.

A source of funding that is not often utilised is the ‘Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding’, which gives you access to charities and external bodies that would like to fund students regardless of subject or nationality. You can register via your student email address or simply login while you are on campus to gain access to the site. You can search for specific criteria that you meet, such as where your usual home is, what your parents’ jobs are, whether you come from a widening participation criteria, and even, whether you are a vegetarian/vegan (some students have been funded via this charity before!). It is worth having a look through the website – the amounts that charities give may be a lot smaller than the scholarships but if you manage to secure a number of these, you could be receiving enough money to fund part of your studies.

Finally, there are Postgraduate Government Loans which are providing loans of up to £10,609 for postgraduate taught Masters students aged under 60. If you are wanting to take out a loan via this route, be mindful that when paying it back you will be doing so alongside your undergraduate loan, as opposed to it being added on top of your first loan.

Make sure when applying for funding that you really put across your passion for the subject and how the degree/funding will help you (and the wider community) in the future. What are your short-term and long-term goals? How will others benefit from your study? Do you have any particular dissertation ideas in mind?

I wish you the best of luck in applying for any postgraduate funding!

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