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Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Introduction and guidance

This badged open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, will introduce you to the nature of Master’s-level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level.

The course covers four thematic areas (over eight sessions):

  1. The nature of Master’s-level study and distance learning
  2. Essential information and digital literacy skills for postgraduate study
  3. Some approaches to critical thinking, analysis and reflection
  4. Applying critical and reflective thinking in academic and professional contexts.

You will find this course useful if you are planning to study at postgraduate level. It will also be helpful if you are re-engaging with postgraduate study after a period of absence from academic study. If you are planning to move on to postgraduate study soon, do make sure that you complete this course well in advance of the start date of your postgraduate course. 

This course can be started at any time. You can work through the eight sessions at your own pace, and while there are no restrictions on the length of time required to complete this course, as a guide, if you were to study one session each week, then it is possible to complete the course over an eight-week period. Should you find that you do have time and wish to press on, you can complete the course over a shorter timescale to suit your circumstances. Completing this course ahead of the start date for your intended postgraduate degree programme will ensure that you are better prepared for your postgraduate studies.

As part of this course, you will undertake a number of interactive quizzes, of which Sessions 4 and 8 will provide you with an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course, and about badges, in the next sections.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • understand the requirements and demands of academic study at Master’s level
  • recognise and begin to apply some of the conventions of academic and reflective writing expected at postgraduate level
  • carry out a literature search around a familiar subject and cite and reference literature within a short piece of original text
  • compare and evaluate different arguments and perspectives on a particular issue
  • begin to apply critical and reflective thinking in academic and professional contexts.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each session, you can find a link to the following session. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Course content’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course. Alternatively, use the session links at the top of every page of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button in your browser. You can do this by holding down the ‘CTRL’ key (or CMD on a Mac) and left clicking the mouse button; or right click and ‘open in new tab’.