Pursuing a postgraduate degree opens many opportunities, and it prepares you for the best and the worst. Trust me, I graduated with my Masters during the pandemic, and I have a full-time job in the UK now.
Deciding to do a Masters is a significant choice. And for an international student, it could be one of the most crucial decisions they have ever made. Study abroad not only involves ACTUAL STUDYING (emphasised to a greater extent) but also consists of a lot of future planning.
Don't rush into decisions. You are investing your time, money and, more importantly, your effort. You deserve to get only the best. The more time you put into your research, the more you are Master's ready.
Before we jump into the detailed 2-year plan. Ask yourself why you want to do a Master's degree?
The reasons can be peer pressure or genuine interest; the required effort to complete the Master's degree is the same. Do not underestimate the effort that goes through your Master's.
To join MiM at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), I researched for 2 full years. Summarising all of my research, LUMS felt suitable for me. I knew all of the available facilities within the University so, it was effortless for me to adapt to the course. I know a few people from the same cohort who had comparatively less knowledge of the facilities initially, so they could not make use of it to its 100%.
For example, at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), there is an Academic Writing Zone to guide us with the coursework (assignments) and dissertation. There are LUMS Career hub and BASE Career Hub for career-related queries, where they conduct a lot of events for interview preparation and Psychometric tests. LUMS also have an Employment and Recruitment Services wing at the BASE, where all the part-time jobs and internships are listed.
The facilities are available for you to exploit. So, make use of it.
Your intentions to do your masters may be different. but in the end, you want
→ A Good job
→ A Happy life
My aim here is to give all the possible information that I know and have followed.
I knew that I wanted to do my Masters in Management in the year 2017 and relentlessly started aiming for that. I dreamt of pursuing MiM in England. There wasn't much information that was available back then. At least the information that I will give you, I have never heard anyone sharing that with me.
In the UK, international students can apply for Masters either for the September or January intake. The applications for the intake will be open 10 - 12 months before the date of intake. And the applications, scholarships and accommodations will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. So, you must be ready to apply for universities at-least 11 months before your intake.
Considering that you are applying for the September 2023 intake, here is my proposed plan.
September 2021 - November 2021
→ Research on what you want to do?
→ In the UK, there are a lot of MSc specialisations that are available. So first, just look at different universities, try to understand the course.
→ Google course topics and see if anything interests you
→ If you find one topic you are really interested in, then just again GOOGLE.
For example, if you want to do Human Resources.
GOOGLE → Best MSc in HR universities in the UK
→ List down all the universities and the courses that interest you.
December 2021 - February 2022
→ Before you jump into picking your University, there are 10 things to consider. 10 things to consider before you choose your Master's University
You can duplicate the notion template I have created exclusively for you to compare all the Universities. MY RIGHT UNIVERSITY.
→ Pick your top 20 universities
You should be confident enough that you should be happy with the choice even if you get the 20th University. So select wisely.
Note: You need not have 20 but try to have at least 15
→ Follow all 20 on social media <linkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter>
March 2022 - May 2022
→ List down the entry-level requirements and exam criteria
→ Set your exam goals and start preparation
If you are applying only to UK universities, 3 months of preparation for the IELTS exam is more than enough. For other exams like GMAT, you need a minimum of 6 months of preparation. So adjust your plan accordingly.
→ Connect with a study abroad agency.
Why do you need an agency now and not before? An agent will generally want you to make a more effective choice for them and not you.
For my applications, I approached a few different agencies. One of them literally forced me to pay a university deposit when I was not sure about that. When I was not sure about the University, I didn't want to accept the offer. That is when I spoke to Study in UK (SiUK). They took care of all the processes from the start till the end. I was aware of what I wanted, so the agents did complement my research and helped me get to my right University.
In the later part of the year, you will be held up with other important work. So, picking your agent around this time would be the best. You can attend then open days and meet all the universities in your home states as well. I participated in a couple of SiUK open days before my application process. I would highly recommend the SiUK for you as well.
June 2022 - August 2022
→ Your first draft of Statement Of Purpose (SOP) should be written and sent to the agent. Your agents will help you tailor it to specific universities.
→ You will need two reference letters. So, speak to your referees and request them for a hard copy of the reference letter.
→ Prepare and complete your entry-level exams, and let the agents take care of the application process.
September 2022 - December 2022
You should have applied to all the universities from the top 20 on your list. Wait for the results. Your agent will be able to track everything for you. All you have to do for the rest of the year is the following.
→ If you continue your studies after a gap year, you must get ready for what is about to come. Here are some tips for those who are going to do Masters after a gap year. 5 tips to prepare you for a Masters degree after a break from University.
→ Think as if you have already started studying, research on when the applications will start and the different job portals and also research on the Careers team
I had around 5 offer letters by the end of December 2018 for September 2019 intake. So, I was relaxed for the rest of the year, and I had to prepare myself for my Masters.
As and when you receive any offer letter, this is what you will have to do for the rest of the year.
January 2023 - March 2023
→ Compare all the scholarships.
→ Follow the University's career hub on all social channel's
→ Follow student hubs and societies
→ Speak to Alumni
→ List down the support wings available from your University
→ Judge if you want to take on-campus or off-campus accommodation. Ideally, all good options will close before March. On-Campus or Off-Campus accommodation? A guide for International Students.
Depending on the University, you must accept your offer letter by the end of June or July.
Okay, now, you have read everything. Don't you think this 2-year plan will get you Master's ready?
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