#DILO (A day in the life of) a master’s student – Philip Redhead

What is the best way to study online? Should you do an online programme? How to better manage time when learning online?

How to deal with the challenges of learning online? Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash.

These are all questions that we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) get regularly asked by students looking to join one of our online programmes. Undertaking to do an online master’s degree programme will be an additional commitment to your time and finances, and it is wise to get information beforehand.

Through this continuing series of blog posts, some of our past and current students have shared their experiences, thoughts and opinions and given their feedback on handling some of these choices and situations. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.

“Expect it to be tough but rewarding.”

Philip Redhead

An Introduction

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash.

Who are you?

Philip Redhead

Which Uni are you studying with?

York St John University

Which programme did you choose and why?

MBA Leading Innovation and Change. I selected this course to build on my MSc in Educational Leadership and Management in terms of a broader business and strategy angle.

The Study Plan

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? For example, how many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?

Each module really does require 200-300 hours. I planned for 2-3 hours per day on most weekdays and extended periods at weekends. I also took leave at crucial times to ensure submission deadlines were met.

What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)

Evenings through the week and full days at weekends and on the days I took leave leading up to the draft and final submissions.

How much time did you devote to each assignment?

200-300 hours

Travelling and Communication

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash.

How did travelling impact your ability to study?

As a consultant, I was travelling regularly, which helped me have alone time in hotels to focus on my studies. I even got quite a lot done on planes.

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?

This was fine. I was always within 3-4 hours of Zurich and York. Also, being ‘ahead’ gave me an extra feeling of comfort over deadlines!

A typical day as a master’s student

What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?

Depends. On working weekdays maybe 2 hours most evenings. Then planned, long days in cafes.

Any advice?

Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies.

Expect it to be tough but rewarding. Plan time across the 12 weeks of each module when you know, you will be alone and not be disturbed. The better you plan and communicate your plan, the more understanding and supportive your family and employer will be! Select your module dates according to your commitments, and don’t be afraid to change. Resist the temptation to do this quickly and overlap courses if you are also working full time.


I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this place for more similar blogs. You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer and the application process.

#DILO – A day in the life of an RKC student – Lebo

It’s 2022 and everyone is busy making new resolutions for the year. If you are looking for some inspiration and guidance on how the online studies of Master’s look like, look no further. We continue with our blog series bringing you answers to some of the questions we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) frequently get from students looking to join one of our online programmes. We asked some of our past and current students to share their thoughts and opinions, to give their feedback on how they handled online learning challenges. Hopefully, this will, in turn, help you make an informed decision.  

I believe learning is a life-long process. You never know when an opportunity to learn is thrown your way. Would you grab the opportunity, or would you think it’s too late to learn and study?

Who you are, really?   

My name is Ramona F.

Which Uni are you studying at?   

University of Cumbria

Which programme did you choose and why?  

Online MBA International Healthcare Management. I am a Registered nurse who wanted to have more of a formal training as a nurse manager.

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?  

I work three days most weeks and I usually plan to use two days for studying. But most of the time, life happens and I have to boycott that plan and burn the midnight oil and not sleep to meet the study deadlines.

PC: Unsplash.com

What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g., early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)   

Weekends worked better for me.

How did travelling impact your ability to study?    

Not much. I usually would study at home due to my work demands.

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?   

I would interact with peers and professors through the forums, WhatsApp groups and email or phone calls. I stayed up late to meet others in different time zones.

How much time did you devote to each assignment?    

As much as I could afford. Sometimes a whole 24 hour day was just used by default to try to get the work done on time.  

PC: Unsplash.com

What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?  

Working a 12 to 14 hours shift, getting home and making dinner and helping your kid with homework. Then staying up after hours to do assignments. In nutshell there was no rest mostly.

Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies?    

You can do it! Here are my two cents:

1. Get the cumbria/RKC account set up to your mobile, so that you can participate in forums while not at home and see deadlines or any changes. 2. Print a copy of the weekly assignments with deadlines and strike off as they are completed. 3. Reach out to your course peers. 4. Let the lecturer know if you are facing any difficulty. 5. No question is stupid! 6. Try to get the required textbook. 7. Read several sources 8. Use peer reviewed sources whether it’s required or not. 9. Get access to the UOC library.

Good luck!

PC: Canva.com

If you have been dreaming of joining a master’s programme or have had this personal goal to gain a higher degree, now is the time! Take valuable advice from our current students, gain from their experience, add your unique study strategies, and make your own success stories! I would love to feature you one day on our college blog.    

Chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, the application process, and for information on discounts we might be offering at this time. 

3 reasons to start your master’s degree in 2021 at Robert Kennedy College

There are only eight days left this year. Some of you must be reflecting on how they fared on their resolutions for the year, while others will be setting new resolutions for the new year 2022. I know it’s been an extremely challenging year for everyone around the world; with Covid-19 restrictions, life has not been ‘normal’ for the longest time. And it’s far from over. I do not mean to end 2021 on a sad note. On the bright side, there are still last few days left of 2021 to do something meaningful and progressive in your life. If starting a master’s degree has been one of the resolutions for 2020, it’s still not too late. You can still embark on the journey before the year ends.  

Everyone looks for “the right time” to start something new in their life. And when it’s about starting an online masters, there are many factors to consider, such as work-life balance, flexibility at work, financial factors etc.  

Here are three reasons why it’s a good time to start your master’s right now:  

ACCOMPLISH YOUR RESOLUTION 

As I mentioned above, it’s never too late to accomplish your ultimate goals. While you may procrastinate or become complacent with your goals or even postpone them for next year, you might regret the decision one day. So, take a quick decision and enrol yourself for the master’s degree programme. Applying for the master’s is simple. The process involves applying online and providing us with necessary documents like your CV and highest education certificate.   

CHRISTMAS PROMOTION DISCOUNT OFFER  

We are currently offering special Christmas promotion until 26th December. With this limited-time offer, you can start with a deposit of just 500 Swiss Francs and receive a discount of 1000 Swiss Francs. (Yes, you saw that right!).  

Or if you pay between 25% and 50% of the fees in advance, you can receive a discount of 1500 Swiss Francs, or if you pay 100% of the fees in advance, the discount is 2000 Swiss Francs. You can find more details on this page where you can also convert the fees to your local currency: https://chf.help/#/christmas  

Save money with our Christmas promotion offer

STUDY AT UNIVERSITY RECOGNISED BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT  

Put your mind at rest as the University of Cumbria, the University of Salford and York St John University are fully accredited by the British government and duly listed on the United Kingdom’s Department for Education list of recognised UK awarding institutions. You can verify their official University status directly at the UK government website.  

So, above are three of the many reasons you should start your master’s degree now. Talk to our advisors on WhatsApp, who can guide you through the admission process.  

Let me know in the comments section below your reason for starting the master’s programme! 

#DILO – A day in the life of an RKC Master’s student – Guochang Li

As a former Education advisor, if I had to pick one of the most frequently asked questions by prospective students, it would be “How many hours do I need to study?”  

The vast majority (if not all) of our students are working and leading hectic professional lives. Some are motivated and have already decided to undertake a master’s, while others contemplate the unknowns of an online programme. In my experience, two things affect their decision the most.   

First – finances, and second, being able to strike the perfect work, study, and life balance. While I cannot completely help you with the finances (partially yes – check out the discount offers currently being offered on our online MBA, MSc, and LL.M programmes), I thought what I could do to help was to bring some facts to light about the other unknowns – what does a typical day in the life of an online master’s student look like?  

Today, we’re looking at Guochang Li’s typical study days. Guochang, an RKC & York St. John University graduate, offered us these answers:  

An Introduction  

Vidhi Kapoor (VK): Which programme did you choose and why?  

Guochang Li (GL): Innovation Leadership and Consulting. In my opinion, innovation is the vitality for an enterprise to survive and develop. Individuals with innovation leadership have more substantial competitive advantages in their career development. Innovation requires individuals to keep an open mind, which is beneficial for a good communication between individuals and society.

The Study Plan   

VK : How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?  

GL: I planned to put 2-3 hours per day into studying the module. But the reality is – that is not enough. Especially for the amount of reading that is required. So I ended up setting about 3-4 hours per day eventually.  

VK: What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)  

GL: Early mornings were the most suitable time to study for me.

Guochang allocated approximately 2to 3 hours a day for module study

VK: How much time did you devote for each assignment?  

GL: About 2 weeks for the mid-assignment, and 4 weeks for the final assignment.

Travelling and Communication  

VK: Did you travel for work? How did travelling impact your ability to study?  

GL: Travelling (especially the business travelling) do impact the study. I need to pur more time before or after travelling to catch up on my study plan.

VK: How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?  

GL: The forum and email were the best way for me to interact with professors and peers. I also joined the study group of my classmates in the same time zone. We helped each other and discussed for studies together.

A typical day as a master’s student  

VK: What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?  

GL: I divided my day as follows: Early morning(2 hours): read the recommended material to understand the courses, and make reading notes. Lunch break or afternoon(1 hour): go through the new courses, and make notes. Evening (1 hour): reading. Weekend Morning: Reading, or writing the assignment.

Any advice?  

VK:Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies.  

GL: 1. Reading the recommended material is very important for understanding the courses. In my experience reading at least 1-2 study material of each course comes helpful in the module study and in writing the assignment. 2. Planning module study and assignment writing, and following the plan 3. Keep the deadlines in your mind to complete the plan, and allow yourself 2-3 days to review and revise the assignments. 4. Use reading tools, as Acrobat for reading, Zotero for notes.

 

Guochang used reading tools, as Acrobat for reading, Zotero for note…

All right, so this was a sneak peek of a typical day in Guochang’s life as a master’s student. I hope you find it insightful and informative and that it gives you an idea of what to expect when you enrol for our master’s programmes. Watch this space as we have many more interesting insights coming up! 

#DILO (A day in the life of) a master’s student – Anicet

We asked some of our past and current students to share their thoughts and opinions, to give their feedback on how they handled the challenges of online learning. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.

There is no better way but to learn from those who came before and see if what worked for them will help you become a better student!

An Introduction

Who are you, really?

I am Anicet.

Which Uni are you studying with?

University of Cumbria

Which programme did you choose and why?

Energy & Sustainability. Chose this to acquire skills and knowledge in environment impact assessments and protection.

The Study Plan

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?

I took one module at a time. Depending on the volume of reading and assignments, spent on average 2 hours a day

What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)  

Early morning and lunch break

How much time did you devote to each assignment?  

Research, book/articles selection and reading, writing and reviewing took a lot of time. I would say on average 40 hours per week.

Photo credit: Canva.com

Travelling and Communication  

How did travelling impact your ability to study?  

Except the time seating on the plane, no major impact as long as I was connected to the Internet

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?  

It was not a big deal since I spent most of the time in Kinshasa, DR Congo.

A typical day as a master’s student  

What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?  

Wake-up at 5:00 AM. Meditation, Gym and toilets till 6:40 AM. Breakfast at 7AM. Arrive at office at 8:30 AM. Stay at work till 6:00PM. Arrive at home at 6:25 PM. Diner at 8:00 PM and bed at 10:00PM

Photo credit: Canva.com

Any advice?  

Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies.  

Prepare and start reading materials/books ahead of time. Do not wait until last minute to work on your assignment. Avoid overloading oneself with many modules at a time.


I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this place for similar blogs. So, if you have been thinking about doing a master’s degree and now understand how to study better for an online programme, look at our programmes and see if anything interests you.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, the application process, and answers to any questions you may have.

#DILO (A day in the life of) a master’s student – Friedrich Karl

Continuing with our series of blogs that answer some of the questions we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) get asked frequently by students looking to join one of our online programmes. We asked some of our past and current students to share their thoughts and opinions, to give their feedback on how they handled the challenges of online learning. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.

Let’s learn from those who came before and see if what worked for them will help you become a better student!

An Introduction

Photo by Adam Solomon on Unsplash

Who are you, really?

Friedrich Karl, born in 1963 German citizen and my whole life on an exciting journey through this amazing world

Which Uni are you studying with?

York St John University

Which programme did you choose and why?

MBA in Innovation Leadership and Consulting. This programme seems to fit best with my tasks in future.

The Study Plan

Plan your study. Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?

Plan: See at the beginning what the module leader was recommending. The next step was to find out what had to be done exactly in order to pass the module. After this, I tried to get an overview of all units right at the beginning. This enabled me to structure the assignment at an early stage. Finally working together with my classmates and the module leader through the regular tasks given and parallelly working on the completion of the assignment. Reality: Pretty much that way, but depending on the workload of my business. Depending on my business: Roughly ten hours per week, sometimes on one day, sometimes split over the week.

What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)  

Evening/nights

How much time did you devote to each assignment?  

It is part of the evaluation. Most of the time, as I mentioned above because as you see I focused my studies on the assignment right from the beginning.  

Travelling and Communication  

The challenges of learning while travelling. Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

How did travelling impact your ability to study?  

Good question for a commercial pilot 😀 Actually, it does not affect me at all because I am used to getting my work done in hotel rooms somewhere else. 

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?  

Most of the time, the conversation is not a dialogue. So, write/get an email and answer it/wait for the answer. 

A typical day as a master’s student  

What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?  

Stressful. I do have a demanding and time-consuming job, and it became tougher from module to module to self-motivate. You always have some pressure in mind. You do your job and think: Oh, I have to do something for my studies. You reach the hotel after a long flight and annoying ground handling, and you cannot go to some spa, because you have to work on your papers. You go to dinner and have a guilty conscience that you are not dealing with unit tasks. So, your whole life is circling around YSJU.  

Any advice?  

Any advice you have for students to better plan their studies.  

Be aware of what is coming up. I think my planning was alright. But it is important that you keep your life as free as possible from any usual desires. Be ready to postpone bigger parts of your normal life during this period to a later date.  


I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this place for similar blogs. So, if you have been thinking about doing a master’s degree and now understand how to study better for an online programme, look at our programmes and see if anything interests you.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, the application process, and answers to any questions you may have.

Are you an early riser or a night owl? Which sleep pattern is best when studying for the online master’s degree? 

I have never been a morning person (as far as I remember). Yes, there were school days when I had no choice but to get up early in the morning and go to school. Adulthood gave me a little freedom when I could take it a little easy. But starting work full-time brought the stress of waking up early, long commutes, long working hours, and less time to take it easy. Luckily, I had no husband or kids to take care of, phew! I  hats off to those who manage work and family and find some “me” time in the little window of 24 hours of a day. Working with Robert Kennedy College (RKC), I realise this already challenging routine of our students gets overextended when they choose to study for a master’s. A challenging but rewarding experience, so say our students.   

Everyone’s sleep pattern is different based on an individual’s internal clock (24 hours defined by earth’s 24 hours of the dark-light cycle), scientifically known as circadian rhythm. If your circadian cycle is shorter, you are an early riser, and a longer circadian cycle makes you a night owl. Another fascinating fact is that the circadian rhythm or cycle changes over time. We are neither larks nor owls necessarily but a mix of both. As a child, one tends to be an early riser, while reaching one’s teens inclination is more towards being a night-owl and adults gradually transition back to being early-risers.   

There is a never-ending debate on which sleep pattern is more rewarding and leads to a successful and happy life. The popular image of the happy-go-lucky early risers is that they are go-getters and believe that they get more done, making them super-productive. On the other hand, while night owls usually catch up on the lost time, are more productive post-midnight, they tend to be more dependent upon caffeine, liquor and generally less emotionally stable. Scientists have found a direct correlation and association between morningness and happiness and morningness and concentration levels.  

We asked a few of RKC’s current master’s students and alumni what their day looks like while studying and what part of the day or night they found more productive for learning. Here is what they had to say:  

Wilson says, “I found morning hours very apt, especially if the assigned time implied adjusting your wake-up schedule and morning routine. The mind is less polluted and cluttered with the day’s requirement, and one is able not only to concentrate but also bring out the best in terms of thinking and concentration”.  

Another student shares her opinion saying, “If you’re working during the weekdays and have children, then the evening is best. It’s dependent on other obligations in your life. But you must schedule it and make it a habit. It eventually becomes routine if you have some discipline and focus on the end goal of achieving the MBA”.   

For Nigel, a morning start of 5 or 5:30 was the most productive.  

On the other hand, Beatrice looked for a balance, “What worked best for me were early in the morning and late in the evening, when there is no distraction (work, children, etc.)”.  

Patrick mentioned, “What has always worked for me is starting my day early when the rest of the world still sleeps. So, I set aside three hours every morning (4 am to 7 am) and occasionally added an hour or two after work (8 pm to 10 pm), depending on how the day had treated me. Discipline and consistency paid off, and I am happy that I achieved distinction grades in three of the four taught modules.”  

One of our 54-year-old mature student shares his opinion, “Usually, in the evenings after work, while on travel on planes but most of the time, weekends where you could really indulge without disturbances. Taking OFF hours and hours to fully concentrate and advance was the biggest pleasure for me on weekends/holidays. Most of the assignments/deadlines were scheduled for Sunday midnight, with the time difference allowing me to work until late Sunday night to complete tasks (if delayed or under time pressure).   

Every student has a unique sleep pattern and routine to follow. While you can take a cue from our students and alumni’s experience, you need to figure out what works best for you. For any career advice, you can talk to one of our advisors in real-time and get answers to all your questions. 

Mature Students – 2 of the biggest challenges of getting back to school

I recently celebrated a birthday, and, in my melancholy, I got a little philosophical and started to think about growing old, achieving, or failing to achieve milestones, etc. You get the picture. Then I started thinking about our students, and I can honestly say they inspired me to write this blog. A majority of our students are mature students, and they choose to challenge themselves by doing a master’s degree.

A master’s degree is a challenge by itself, and added to this are the additional challenges that most mature students face, and I just have one world for our students – RESPECT!

RKC Graduation 2018 @YorkStJohn

I want to start this blog with the preface that I know there are a lot of challenges mature students face when they get back to studying. And I am not saying that any of the other challenges mature students face are not worthy of being considered a “big” challenge; one person’s Everest might be another person’s molehill, by which I mean for each of the challenges we face are the biggest and the only ones that matter.

This blog is about the two most significant, most common challenges faced by mature students, in my opinion, based on what I have seen, heard, and researched. They are –

  1. Job
  2. Family

I consider two other challenges equally important; I find that they are deeply integrated into the above two “big” challenges, so I am putting them in a subcategory. They are – time and finances.

Job

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

There are several reasons what one might decide to a master’s degree late in life.  One of the worries most people would naturally have when they choose to get back to studies after a break is how they will manage work and study at the same time? The fact of the matter is it is not going to be easy! Most of us are set in our ways and have a routine that we are used to, and as human beings, we do not like change.

But you decided to do a master’s degree for a reason. Either you are not happy with the job that you are doing and want to change to a career that gives you fulfilment, or you are among the lucky few that have found a career that gives you job satisfaction and are looking for a leg up either in terms of academic knowledge or padding your resume to provide you with an edge in your next appraisal cycle.

So, keep this in mind the next time you feel down and stressed. Yes, it will be hard, and you will have to make changes to your schedule to work in a daily study time. You will have the challenges of completing assignments on time and doing research. But you will learn from everything you do, and things will improve.

Family

Family time. Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

Family is another aspect of your life that will be impacted by your decision of going back to school. And for those of you who are single, with minimum family responsibilities, family for you here means your social life (friends). You will have to make sacrifices; you are working towards earning your master’s degree! Keep in mind, a little hardship and sacrifice can result in great rewards in the future.

Work with your family, explain why you have decided to get back to studying and how you plan to change your schedule. Don’t sugarcoat it, tell them it will be hard, and your time will not be your own, but it will be only for a short time and will be worth it in the long run. It might surprise you how supportive your family can be, and you will require their strength and support when you get stressed.

The other challenges

Finance

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Time to tighten your belt and cut down on frivolous expenses. Doing a master’s degree can be an expensive prospect, especially if it is from an accredited, globally recognised university. Noting is free, and anything worth getting will cost. You get what you paid for! Budgeting for the additional expense of a master’s degree will have an impact on your lifestyle and family. It also brings into focus the importance of having and keeping your job. But if you plan and start budgeting early, it can be done comfortably. 

Check with the college about the payment terms. You might find the down payment to start the programme reasonable with multiple easy monthly instalment plans options. Check and see what works best within your budget. And don’t forget, a little hardship now can lead to greater rewards in the future.

Time

Time management is the key. Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Time is the one thing that waits for no one. There are multiple challenges when it comes to managing time. Can time be managed? First, you must decide if this is the right time to go back to school. Can you wait any further? Are you losing out if you delay? How are you going to manage your work, family, and study at the same time?

The answer is to plan and schedule everything. People who use a calendar know how useful it can be to increase efficiency. The organiser/calendar is a tool that can be far more useful than to remind you of your next meeting. Create a calendar that contains every minutia of your daily activities for the week/month/quarter (however long you can go), from household chores to study/work deadlines. Then populate the calendar with your family’s schedule; this will give you a good idea of your schedule, inform you when to expect distractions from your family, and help you plan for it.

Time management is the key! IT. CAN. BE. DONE.


Now, if you don’t want to delay anymore and are ready to start a master’s degree programme, chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors today.

#DILO (A day in the life of) a master’s student – Pascal

Through the #DILO series of blog posts, we have been bringing you insights into the life of our master’s students, sharing their thoughts and opinions, ups and downs, and key learning points during their online studies. The whole idea behind this series is to make you aware of the realities of online studies and aid you in decision making.   

This week we take a look at a day in the life of one of our master’s degree student, Pascal. Here are a few insights and some words of wisdom that Pascal had to share from his own experience:  

An Introduction  

Who are you, really?  

Pascal S, a journalist for more than 25 years  

Which Uni are you studying with?  

University of Cumbria  

Which programme did you choose and why?  

MBA Media Leadership, to get even better in my job as a journalist/editor/redactor in chief. And another challenging part was to study the programme in a foreign language.  

  

The Study Plan  

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week?  

I studied between one and two hours per day during weekdays and at least two hours per day during the weekends, sometimes more.  

What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)  

Because of the family and the job, the only suitable time to study was the evenings during the weekdays rather than in the afternoons & evenings during the weekends.  

How much time did you devote for each assignment?  

ItI took me around 10 days for the interim assignment and a little more than two weeks for the final assignment. Coordination for the final assignment is quite delicate as I wanted to end it at least a week before the due date, in order to check, read, correct, Turnitin Test, etc.  

  

Travelling and Communication  

How did travelling impact your ability to study?  

It did not, as I did not travel a lot—only a daily commute.  

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?  

I consider interaction as satisfying, although I prefer chatting directly with people. But I enjoy reading contributions and experiences all around the world, which is a bonus for online teaching.  

  

A typical day as a master’s student  

What does a typical day as an Online Master’s student look like for you?  

After the daily chores and home duties, I read the assignment documents, trying to find out what is the most relevant or, at least, the general picture. I take notes, references and try to see if there are other sources to complete the assignment. Sources I will use for my final assignment.  

  

Any advice?  

Study a bit each day (one to two hours in a day), prepare yourself a work schedule, take notes, write down your ideas and start your assignment(s) early; otherwise, the time pressure will kill you.  

Well, indeed, incredibly helpful advice from Pascal. A proactive early start not only saves you from an unpredictable situation but also helps you follow your study plan with confidence. To get you through the master’s studies, we have an excellent faculty team of subject-matter experts, who guide and encourage students to achieve their potential.   

If you have been dreaming of joining a master’s programme or have had this personal goal to gain a higher education, now is the time! Take the valuable advice from our current students, gain from their experience, add your own unique study strategy, and make your own success stories! I would love to feature you one ce day on our college blog.  

Chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, the application process, and for information on discounts we might be offering at this time. 

Want to study for long hours? Here are 7 tips to get you started!

University, for me at least, was a blast. I had loads of friends and every day was a party. I wish I were a better student than I was, but at the same time, I don’t think I would change any of my experiences. The friends I made then are pretty much the same friends I have today. Someone wiser than me once said that a good friend is the one who comes to bails you out of prison, but your best friend/brother is the one sitting next to you in jail saying, “dang! we are now in trouble”. These are the kind of friends I have today.

But in having this amazing experience in university I pushed studies to the background and would try and cram as much learning as I could a week (or a day) before the exams. But that never worked; I would get easily distracted, and what I did learn would slip right out of my mind the second I closed the book. Last-minute cramming sessions hardly ever work. Studying long hours, like everything else, is a skill that needs to be developed and fostered.

Learning to study long hours is especially important for mature students doing an online programme. Apart from the usual work pressures, there are also many other things around that demand our attention and can be an unavoidable distraction from studies. So, putting in the time when the opportunity arises, even if it is a marathon study session, can be very important, and learning to learn and retain during this time is critical.

But how does one go about studying for long periods? Here are 7 tips to get you started.

1. Break it down

Don’t feel intimidated by the amount you have to study. Break it down! Photo by Teslariu Mihai on Unsplash

Some of the study material you have to go through can get quite intimidating; there is just so much. This intimidation could lead to anxiety, which in turn could lead to your getting distracted, and finally, you will just end up procrastinating. Take a pen and paper and write down what you intend to achieve by the end of your study session, and then break it down to smaller targets that can be achieved. This list of achievable targets will be your guiding star; this will help you focus your efforts and concentrate on the micro picture, reducing overall stress.

2. Changing your frame of mind

Let’s face it; you will not come back from the office or a football game and get right into studying. Your mind is still at the office or at the game or whatever you were doing before getting to your studies. Give yourself some time to get into the right frame of mind, say 30 minutes. First, get rid of all distractions – tv, phone, tablets, etc., then use these 30 minutes to transition into a learning frame of mind – get your study set up, ensure all stationery required is on hand, eat something and keep drinking water close. Once everything is set up, just relax your mind – do some breathing exercises, listen to some calming music, or take a hot bath. And once the 30 minutes are done, get to studying!

3. Think positive

Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

I know there are a thousand different things you’d rather be doing than studying. But this is what you must do to get ahead in your career, improve your knowledge, and earn that degree you always dreamt of having. So, keep thinking positive as you work towards your dreams, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories. 

4. Unscheduled breaks

Schedule and time all your breaks. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

AVOID unscheduled breaks! I get it; you have to take breaks but ensure that they are timed and scheduled. Don’t be tempted to check your phone or watch that match on tv in the middle of your study session. Once you get that ball rolling, it will just pick up speed, and the next thing you will be doing is studying during commercial breaks. Take the break when you schedule it and only for the duration it was planned for!

5. Study actively

Be engaged with what you are studying. Start reading the study material actively, making notes, asking questions about what you are reading, and answering them to better understand the subject. Don’t just read for the sake of reading; understand and learn by getting engaged with what you read.

6. Mix it up

Get a few extra hours of learning done by changing your location. Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

While it is essential for you to have your own study space devoid of distractions, during an extended study session where studying can get physically tiring, you might get a few extra hours of learning done by changing your location. Try to keep distractions to a minimum, so maybe go out to a park or sit in your backyard, but if you end up in a café, make sure you take your noise-cancelling headphones with you.  

7. End it

Once you are done with your marathon study session, end it. Close your books and maybe go right to bed, don’t think about studying anymore, this way you will be fresh and rested for your study session the next day.


These study habits, like everything else, must be cultivated and developed; it is not something that will work right off the bat. You get into a habit of long study sessions by repeating regularly. Start with one full day of studying every alternate week. If you have the time, do it weekly, and before you know it, this one day a week study session will help you get ahead of your class. But please do not neglect your regular study sessions; this is just a boost to give you an edge in class and help you cement what you learnt. 

We would love to hear from you about what helped you with your long study sessions. Is an all-day-long study session something you would do?

If you are ready to start your online studies, chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the 100% online master’s degree programmes we offer and the application process.