5 Things You Need To Know About Successful Postgraduate Study

Dr Jill Collis from Brunel Business School provides advice on how to be successful and what to expect from a postgraduate study experience in a UK university. Follow her advice if you are about to start your MSc or MBA degree.

Jill Collis is Director of the Accounting and Auditing Research Centre at Brunel University and the Programme Director for Accounting and Business Management MSc . In addition to her research publications, she has published text books on accounting and research methods. Her accessible writing style and active-learning approach reflects her experience as a mature student and her understanding of lecturers’ needs.

1. Make the most of your investment

  • Prepare for lectures/seminars
  • Take notes and ask questions
  • Read and conduct independent study
  • Make use of lecturers’ access hours
  • Take advantage of Library, ASK and Business Life
  • Take formative feedback to heart
  • Excel at coursework and exams

2. Explore available knowledge and gain better understanding

  • You’ll be exposed to knowledge and critical understanding of theoretical and applied perspectives on a range of business and management topics
  • Develop the capacity to understand historical and current developments in response to changes in the business environment

3. Get your cognitive thinking hat on

  • The ability to think critically and independently is key: question and critique to arrive at your own perspective
  • Master the ability to solve complex business problems and make decisions in the face of uncertainty: typically includes establishing criteria, using appropriate decision-making techniques, identifying and evaluating options and making recommendations

4. Gain practical, transferable skills for life

  • Train how to use information and knowledge effectively: typically includes scanning and organising data, synthesising and analysing in order to abstract meaning from information and share knowledge
  • Develop  numeracy and quantitative skills
  • Develop effective written communication of complex ideas and arguments
  • Develop sustainable independent learning skills

5. Don’t mistake UG and PG research

Criteria to be satisfied by a Bachelor’s dissertation:

  • A well-structured and convincing account of a study
  • The resolution of a problem or the outcome of an experiment
  • Evidence of awareness of the literature

Criteria to be satisfied by a taught Master’s dissertation:

  • An ordered, critical and reasoned exposition of knowledge gained through the student’s efforts
  • A comprehensive review of the literature


Find our more about our range of taught Master’s, an AMBA-accredited MBA programme and the chance to undertake doctoral research leading to a PhD here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s