6 questions to ask before deciding to do an online Master’s Degree programme

Deciding whether to do a master’s degree is a tough decision, and in some cases, it might even be an inevitable decision.

It is a tough decision if you have been out of the school environment for a few years – getting back to school can be challenging. You might have a family of your own, and from experience, I know it is a significant financial and time commitment. Then there are the pressures and deadlines you have to meet at your job, and I am sure there are many other personal obstacles unique to the individual. And the decision becomes inevitable as it is one of the options available to help you continue to grow – as a person and in your career.

Photo by Joan Kwamboka on Unsplash.

So, when is the right time to do a master’s degree programme? I can’t answer that for you, but the following are six points to consider that might help you make an informed decision.

1. Passion for the subject

With so many distractions and commitments vying for your attention, if you choose to do a programme that you have little interest in studying, chances are, it will be pushed right to the bottom of the list of your priorities. You will end up taking very little away from the programme and might end up performing poorly in your evaluations and even failing the course.

Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash.

I suggest you choose a subject you are passionate about, something you want to learn. Your interest will naturally result in you putting in the effort to learn and will result in better overall performance in your evaluations.

2. Relevance of the subject

For most working professionals, time is precious. So, there has to be a reason for every extra calicular thing you plan on doing. If you intend to do a master’s degree and are not passionate about the subject, then the next best option (or even the primary option) is choosing a programme that will benefit you professionally. Something that adds knowledge to what you are already doing professionally or, at the very least, helps your growth in your career.

3. Are you a self-starter?

Unlike an on-campus programme where you are physically present in class on a daily basis, guided every step of the way by a professor and closely interact with other students. In an online programme, you are in the driver’s seat; the onus is up to you to complete assignments on time, put time aside to study regularly, and take the initiative to do all you can to complete the programme successfully.  

But this does not mean you will not have any support. At least in the case of Robert Kennedy College, with our online campus and library, online forums, live classroom sessions, student care and last but not least, the online residency, you will have lots of support in completing the programme!

4. Accreditation and Recognition

If you are going to do an online master’s degree, then make sure the degree you earn has value. Find out:

  • Which university will award the degree?
  • What is the reputation of the university?
  • How is the university accredited?

These are just three questions to help you get started. Think of more relevant questions, and don’t be afraid to ask.

Want to know more about the universities we have an exclusive partnership with? Click here to learn more!

5. Is it all a façade?

You have to know what you are signing up for? Is the college just going to give you some online study material and then wash their hands off you? Ask:

  • Who are going to be your teachers?
  • Is there trial access you can have to get a feel of how the programme is run?
  • Can you talk with current students or alumni to get feedback?
  • How are the evaluations done?
  • What are the modules involved in the programme?

Again, these are just a few questions to help you get started.

At Robert Kennedy College, you can Chat Live on WhatsApp with our Education Advisors and ask all your questions, ask them about our programmes and our key faculty members, open a trial account to access our OnlineCampus or request to connect with our alumni.

6. Fees

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

Finally, the fees – is the programme something that you can financially handle? What are the payment terms? Does the company you are employed with have a sponsorship programme?


These points are just six simple tips to help you ask the right questions before joining an online master’s degree programme. Please share any other questions you deemed necessary to help you make an informed decision.

If you are ready to apply for one of our programmes, click here.

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

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!

Be disciplined and prepared to devote time and energy to the course.

Tahera Sultana

An Introduction

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash.

Who are you?

Hi, my name is Tahera Sultana (it means pure). I am female, married with no children. I am also a Compliance Officer and have worked for different financial institutions for more than 20 years.

Which programme did you choose and why?

I am studying the Master of Laws (LLM) programme. I have been working in the compliance field for over twenty years, and I find more of my colleagues and subordinates are law graduates. I thought to myself, if I pursue a law degree, I could enhance my knowledge grow beyond being a Compliance Officer.

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?

I am a full-time employee and a part-time student. Before starting a module, I will understand the module requirement that I am about to enrol. Each week, I print out all presentation material and listen to the recorded lecture; I make my notes and review the lecture a few times until I can digest the topic. I spent approximately one hour per week on lectures and 2-3 hours reading time for the required chapter in the module.

I spent most of the time working on my given assignment. The research process takes up to 10 hours. After reading the related material, I will start writing the paper. As I have done three modules so far in the programme, writing time takes up to 5-6 hours per 1,000 words. As a full-time employee, I work on my assignment in the evening and during the weekend. Assignment time is not an easy task for me, but a very fruitful experience. I enjoy writing on meaningful and interesting topics.

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

I had no choice in choosing my study time. For me, after work is the most suitable time to study. If I had a choice, I would have chosen early mornings to do my studies. For the most part, weekends are not good for me because I work from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm (normal office hours is 9 to 6, but in Hong Kong, we have unofficial long working hours). Over the weekend, I go hiking and spend time with my family. If I have to complete an assignment, I will work extra hours during the week to meet the deadline. I will also skip hiking and family time to achieve the goal.

How much time did you devote to each assignment?

Every 1000 words will take me approximately 5-6 hours of writing time. I devote approximately 20 to 22 hours to each assignment (excluding research & reading material).

Travelling and Communication

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

How did travelling impact your ability to study?

I find it very hard to study if I have to travel. I may skip one weeks’ lecture and catch up in the coming weeks, i.e., after my business travel. If I have to submit an assignment during my travel, I carry all my research material onto the aircraft and work during the flight. I remember, it was late Jan 2020, I had to fly from Hong Kong to London; I worked 10 hours on the flight. Fortunately, I had three hours of sleep during that trip.

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

Interacting with peers and professors is no big deal in these modules. We have once or twice zoom / Blue Jean meetings in each module. I am not concerned about the time difference, as I am in Asia; 3:00 pm London/Swiss time is 9:00 pm Hong Kong time. That suits me, for I can join after office hours. However, when I am travelling, there will be a problem with the change in the time difference, and I might end up missing the meeting. At one time I remember I used my computer in the hotel during my business trip to interact with the whole class; I could not hear clearly what they were discussing due to hotel Wi-Fi.

A typical day as a master’s student

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

I find myself glad that there is an online course that I can take advantage of. I can still work as a full-time employee and study during my off-hours, although it is not an easy task when there is travelling involved. I take pride in my decision to gain a Master’s degree; I understand that hard work is needed, and I know this will help me progress and enhance to the next level.

Any advice?

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

Be disciplined and prepared to devote time and energy to the course. Know that all classmates are your partners, and the professors are very experienced and are there to help you succeed. I am glad that I made a good choice to achieve my Master’s degree.


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 the programme that is right for you, the application process, and for details on discounts we might be offering at this time.

5 ways to get over E-Learning Fatigue

There is no denying that the coronavirus has hugely impacted our lives. For the most part, the impact on our lives have been negative, and, in some cases, it has even been tragic. And it does not seem there is any end at sight.

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash.

But not everything has been negative; there are a few silver linings. We have been forced to streamline and automate our processes and expedite our evolution to the cloud with increased online transactions. Even the way we learn has evolved.

Online learning has been around for several years now; we, Robert Kennedy College (RKC), have been around since 1998. While there are many benefits to online education, I recommend it to work/business professionals looking to earn a master’s degree/add subject knowledge, etc., while continuing to work. But we will soon have a whole generation of new workers who have only ever known online education or whose entire career has been mainly online.

For those of us who spend all day working in front of a computer and are simultaneously doing an online degree programme, e-learning fatigue is real. The sooner we identify the symptoms and counter them, the more successful we will be at achieving our goals.

Spending all day in front of the computer. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.

Here are five ways that might help you in combating e-learning fatigue:

1. Reward yourself. 

Start by setting small achievable goals and when you complete a task, realise that you have, and acknowledge this fact! Stand up and dance like nobody’s watching! Have a couple of squares from that bar of chocolate. You will find that celebrating your success will lift a weight from your shoulders that you did not even know you carried, which will help you focus better and remain motivated.

2. Don’t get stuck in front of your screen.

I think this point is self-explanatory; as the saying goes, too much of anything is bad. Because of COVID-19, most of us already spend several hours in front of our computers, and now if you are doing an online programme, then it will be an additional few hours a day in front of the laptop. So, don’t forget to take regular breaks from the screen – go for a walk, play with the kids/pets, eat food with the family.

Not getting stuck in front of the screen is especially true for children. Most of the younger kids these days have gotten used to online classes, and they tend to spend more time on the screen watching something. Please encourage them to go out and play. It may be a good idea to go out and play with them; it will help both of you.

3. Try innovative learning methods.

This point is a continuation of the last point. When you take a break from your screen time, no one says you must stop studying. Let’s say you decide to go for a walk, or to the gym, or even for a drive – if you have an audio recording of your lesson, then take it with you and listen to it while you do these other activities. If you do not have an audio recording, then make a recording when you read the study material the first time around; you have your phone; how difficult is it to read aloud and press record?

I am sure there are a lot of other learning methods out there; this is just the one I have seen my nephew use. If you have used different methods, please share them with us in the comments below.

4. Power nap.

Photo by No Revisions on Unsplash.

The benefits of power naps have been known for ages; almost every civilisation in the world have followed some form of a power nap. I am not asking you to go to sleep; I am saying to take a nap for maybe thirty to forty-five minutes. According to an article in the Business Insider, “NASA’s research showed that naps really can fully restore cognitive function at the same rate as a full night’s sleep. The space agency found that pilots who slept in the cockpit for 26 minutes showed alertness improvements of up to 54% and job-performance improvements by 34%, compared to pilots who didn’t nap.”

5. Participate in class.

Human beings are social animals. One of the most significant benefits of doing an on-campus programme is the social interaction you can have with your peers, whether it is building long-lasting relationships, group studies, or just hanging out to relieve stress. Most online programmes have some form of live online classes, group chats or online forums, so please use these platforms to interact with your fellow students and the faculty actively. You might learn more and even make a few new friends.

In our programmes, we use online forums, live classroom sessions, and online week-long workshops (we call them residencies) to mitigate the impact of the missing face to face social interaction and keep everyone engaged. The residency is indeed one of the most appreciated parts of the programme, attesting to its value.


These are just five ways by which you could combat e-learning fatigue; I am sure there are many other methods to fighting e-learning fatigue out there that are more effective. Share which techniques worked best for you?

If you have been thinking about doing a master’s degree, and are ready to challenge yourself, look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme that is right for you, the application process, and for details on discounts we might be offering at this time.

6 reasons to do a second Master’s degree

How much does one person have to study to get ahead in life?! You studied hard and completed your bachelor’s degree(unless either learning came easy to you or you spent your college days in a haze :)). Then, you realised that a bachelor’s degree just isn’t enough and did a master’s degree. And now I am here giving you reasons to do a second master’s degree!

When does the learning end?!

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash.

The answer to this question is – NEVER. You may not need to do a second master’s degree, but you always need to keep learning or you will be left behind. One of my professors used to say – “learning is growing”. Thinking back, everything this professor said was for our benefit, and most of us were too naive to recognise it. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, and today, I look back and appreciate all the staff who put in the effort to impart knowledge to us.   

I apologise for going off on a tangent, but I wanted all of us to think back and appreciate the teachers who gave a damn!

Back to the blog topic – When I first did my degrees, I barely knew what my interests were, let alone where life would take me. There are, of course, some of us here who have everything worked out, mapped and dated; that is surely not me, and I am guessing, not most people.

So, here are SIX reasons why you should consider getting a second master’s degree:

Get yourself that 2nd Master’s degree. Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash.

Aligning your qualifications with life

Let’s say you have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s in accounting but somehow ended up with a career in marketing. No idea how it happened, but it happened to you. So, now you have a successful career in marketing but don’t have a formal qualification to back you up. What impact will it have on your career, maybe nothing, or perhaps you will miss out on your next promotion? Besides, it is nice to understand the theories behind what you do every day. It might lead you to enlightenment and make you a marketing guru.

Adding value to what you are doing

So, you have been a nurse for more than 20 years. You did your BSc in general nursing, and then a master’s in critical care. You have worked hard and now you are a nursing manager. While you are still a nurse, your job description has changed. Now you are less a nurse and more a manager. Getting a master’s degree that aligns with your current job profile adds knowledge to what you are doing and adds value to your organisation and yourself.

Change is the only constant

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

Business is so dynamic. The way we do things can change overnight and multiple times a year. Technology is constantly evolving. Marketing strategies are constantly changing. You need to stay current, or you will become obsolete. While it is beneficial and even required to do short courses to keep your knowledge updated, a master’s degree from a reputed college is still a MASTER’S DEGREE! Not only will a degree add knowledge, but it will also keep your qualifications updated.  

Staying competitive

Every year hundreds of thousands of students graduate with a master’s degree. I am sure many of these bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youngsters have also joined your organisations. In addition, there is an increasing number of experienced and highly qualified professionals, constantly on the lookout for greener pastures. They are your competition, the people looking to cut the line in front of you. A new master’s degree will keep your knowledge up to date and your qualification current and relevant. And when it’s time for that new job or promotion, it will make all the difference.

Career change

What you are doing is not what you wanted to do, and you are not happy at all. No job satisfaction! A second master’s degree will make you a more desirable prospect to hire. Not only will it add a more current qualification to your resume, thereby adding value to your work experience, but it will also showcase your work ethos. It shows that you are dedicated to your career and are willing to work on developing it.

Networking

Networking Online. Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash.

It is said that your college friends are friends for life – Not relevant here, but the point I am making is the opportunity to network at university can seldom be matched anywhere else. You will have access to not only your coursemates but also to the alumni network of the college and the university. There is a loyalty that exists between the college/university alumni that are seldom found in professional circles.


So, which master’s programme is right for you? Not a question I can answer via a blog post, I’m afraid, but if you want to find out, you can get in touch with our team of admission advisers who can have a look at your profile and give you some advice.

Explore the number of specialised master’s degree programmes Robert Kennedy College offers through exclusive partnerships with top British universities. Or, if you have already made up your mind, click here to apply.

#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.

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.

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.

Unable to focus when studying? Here are 3 tips that may help you focus!

With age comes wisdom. By and large, the saying holds true, with a few exceptions – I am sure many of us know someone in our lives who hasn’t learnt from their mistakes. But this blog is not about introspection, or learning from one’s mistakes, or even about changing the past. It is about learning to focus when studying.

However, when I thought about writing this blog, it got me thinking about my childhood and the student I was; it got me introspecting. I remember sitting in my study and trying to focus on my textbook, and I remember all I needed was the slightest distraction to get completely distracted. Even when I read, I was just going through the motions and not really focusing or even trying to understand what I was trying to study.

It got so bad that even my parents realised I wasn’t focusing on what I was studying, and I remember the day before some exams, my mother would come to the study and offer to read the textbook for me. I don’t think I have ever thanked my parents for all the support they have given me, so thank you, mom and dad, for all you have done for me.

There goes my focus! Let’s get back on topic, shall we?

FOCUS! Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

What is focus?

In the simplest terms, focus is the ability to do a task without getting distracted.

Focus (or attention span), like most other human habits, can be trained and developed. The easiest things to develop are bad habits as it is usually fast and easy. But focus/concentration/attention span – whatever you want to call it, will take hard work and dedication.

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

Bruce Lee

Our mind is, after all, a muscle, and so is trainable. The following are 3 simple tips that should get you started on the path of training your focus.

1. Take responsibility

Don’t wait for a sign from heaven to take responsibility for your life! Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Human beings like to deflect responsibility. If we take on the responsibility of a particular task, like, let’s say, studying a particular subject at a specific time, then the responsibility of completing the said task is in our hands. There may have been several reasons that distracted you and prevented you from completing the task… wrong! You allowed yourself to be distracted, and you failed to complete the task. So, stop making excuses and get back in the driver’s seat of your life!

A good way to understand what I am trying to say here is by imagining yourself on a long road trip, and you find yourself in the backseat of the car. For most of us, it is just a matter of time before we fall asleep. Now, keeping all conditions the same, only you find yourself in the driver’s seat, you will find yourself more focused, alert, and determined to drive the car to the best of your ability.

So, take responsibility, get on the driver’s seat, and you will find yourself able to focus a lot better.

2. Practice

Attention is a muscle, and like every other muscle, it needs to be trained and worked out to develop. Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers, wrote that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. He said 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” are needed to become world-class in any field.

We have many distractions around us that prevent us from focusing on the task at hand, and more often than not, we give in to those distractions. We do it so often that in the end, we become experts in ‘getting distracted’.

So, how do you go about training attention?

Let’s start with a simple exercise. Let’s start with a 10-minute exercise. Go to your study, just with a notebook and a sheet of paper to note down all your distractions. Leave all distractions (mobile phones, storybooks, food, etc.) outside. To start with, choose your favourite subject and take study material only for that subject and only what you will be able to cover in 10-minutes.

Time yourself. 10-minutes, that all it takes. Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Start reading the study material actively, making notes and asking questions to better understand the subject. In the middle of this active study session, if anything distracting pops into your mind, make a note of it immediately in the distraction sheet, and return to your studies immediately. And once the 10-minutes is done, stop. Close your study material and leave the study.

Gradually try increasing the number of these 10-minute slots, rather than increasing the duration of study. If you find yourself unable to focus during these slots and cannot refocus, stop the session early and walk away. 

You will find you can cover as much in 10 minutes of focused effort as what you would usually have covered in an hour previously.

3. Health and rewards

We have covered most of this in detail in our earlier blogs, and I will link them here – eat healthily and exercise your body. To keep motivated, reward yourself, even in small ways. On completing tasks, realise that you have, and acknowledge this fact! Stand up and dance like nobody’s watching!


I hope these tips will help in getting you started on focusing on your tasks better. We would love to hear from you about what helped you with improving your focus.

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.

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

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 when you reach a certain age? But is age just a number?  

Antonio, an RKC student from Mozambique, is a shining example of how age is just a number when it comes to studying for your Masters. Let’s hear his story!  

Who you are, really?   

Antonio M, from Mozambique. A senior citizen still willing to learn and upgrade my skills in new areas associated with my country development.  

Which Uni are you studying at?   

University of Salford  

Which programme did you choose and why?  

Online MSc in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management  

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?  

Initially, I thought 2h a day would suffice, but I learned that I needed to spend at least an additional hour every day. Let me say, for someone with my slow thinking speed, you need an average 3h a day to be comfortable and do all the homework (forum discussions, contributions). Do this for 6 days a week, 1 day to rest if you can afford it.  

PC: Unsplash.com

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

In my case, evenings due to silence and more available bandwidth for Internet data.  

How did travelling impact your ability to study?    

Being an online course, travelling did not impact too much. When travelling, the main issue was Wi-Fi availability.  

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

Most of my peers were around the same or close time. Having a platform and forums eased the interaction. It was not immediate, but I would get the reaction soon enough. With those closer peer friends or people with closer affinity, we shared our mobile numbers, and if required, we would use the mobile phone and interact.  

How much time did you devote to each assignment?    

A lot of time. As soon as you get the assignment brief, start immediately and dedicate at least 3h a day for the assignment. Make sure you state an initial outline as soon as you understand the problem to be solved. Having the outline, Google Scholar all the required stuff, minimum of 15 peer-reviewed references per assignment (my opinion).  
  

PC: Unsplash.com

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

6-7h sleeping, 6-8h working and 3-4h studying, 3h solving family issues, 2h socialising with other people. My community, Rotary, and family would require more of my time and reschedule this time outline.  

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

Please make sure you do participate in the weekly activities since usually they prepare you for your assignments. If you do it right, you may have a considerable part of your assignment done, at least in terms of the referencing. Going straight to the assignments is the wrong strategy. I did learn with some pain later that if I had done the week activities it would have made my life easier and would have saved time for my assignments. Otherwise, while busy with the assignment, you understand that you still need to do the work you avoided.  

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. 

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

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

These are all questions that we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) get asked regularly by students who are 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, cross your T’s and dot your I’s before making your decision. 

Through this continuing series of blog posts, some of our past and current students have shared their 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. 

Learning from those who came before you is smart. I am not asking you to follow what they are saying blindly, but to take what they said worked for them and see if it will work for you, maybe make a few changes (or a lot). In the end, only you know what works best for you!

Anthony Cairns is one of our successful students who graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Leading Innovation and Change (This programme has been discontinued, we now offer a 100% Online MBA in Leading Innovation and Change in its stead). Anthony says that his experience in doing an MA via RKC resulted in his now doing a PhD. 

On the left Anthony Cairns – Graduation Picture – 18th November 2015, and on the right Anthony Cairns being awarded his master’s degree by the Archbishop of York in 2015 John Sentamu

Once you get the academia bug, there is no stopping the roller coaster! 😉

Anthony Cairns, RKC Graduate

An Introduction

Who you are, really?

I am a software test management consultant, specialising in software testing, governance, and ISO standards.

Which Uni are you studying with?

I studied with York St John University for my MA. 

Which programme did you choose and why?

MA in Leading Innovation and Change 

The Study Plan

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?

I decided to study 2 modules at the same time, the reality being that I achieved this, but with detriment to perhaps I could have gained higher marks had I studied one at a time. But the end result was I managed to gain my MA in less time than I would have otherwise taken. Although I was working full-time as a contract consultant test manager, I worked every evening from around 7pm until about midnight. I then got up early at around 6am to do a couple of more hours before going to the office.

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

I used to personally love the 8pm to midnight, as well as the 6am (if not earlier).

How much time did you devote for each assignment?

Hard to say when I did 2 at the same time, but perhaps I estimate about 20-30 hours each week across 2 modules.

Travelling and Communication

How did travelling impact your ability to study?

Not at all, as when I travelled it was via flight and it gave me extra time to work on my MA.

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

There was no real time difference as such as I worked whatever time I need to allocate to get the work done and delivered.

On the top we see Anthony Cairns sitting in the front row with his graduating class, and the bottom picture shows Anthony Cairns with his lovely family

A typical day as a master’s student

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

Get up early, do some University work. Go and perform my daily paid-for-work. Get back (to home or hotel), then do another couple of hours before dinner. Stop for an hour or so for dinner, then do another 3-5 hours after dinner in the evening.

Any advice?

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

Perhaps work on a single module at a time. Take all the advice you get from your supervisor, as they have been there many times before. Read, read, read, then read some more. Research is paramount. Give advice and guidance to fellow students who may need a little help and guidance. I did this all the time and found it also personally very rewarding.


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.