This post is on a masters student’s typical week at Surrey Uni. It is definitely quite different from the time-tables that is usually followed in most universities in India. I study 4 modules in the first semester- which is now coming to an end, 4 more in the second and Dissertation in the summer.
To tell you a bit more about my modules, I study Social change and influence, Qualitative research methods, Key questions in environmental psychology, and Inquiry and Design this semester. I share all of my modules with other psychology masters students doing health psychology, social psychology and research methods. While, my course has around 17 students registered, my classes usually have a count of 20 to 30 students. It also sees a mix of Full-time and part-time students and students living in and outside Guildford. For the same reason, the university makes sure, wherever possible, to arrange our lectures on two consecutive days in a week. If you are studying part-time you would be attending two modules a semester, and would usually come in once a week. I would suggest you write to the uni before you book your stay for the year, outside of Guildford. It is bound to depend on your timetables.
Currently, I have lectures on Mondays and Tuesdays. That is 10 hours of contact hours – lecture hours. It might seem like that’s quite less an interaction between students and lecturers. But, what I would like you to be aware of is that, it is expected of us to spend 20 to 40 hours doing self-study on the lecture topics. The Surrey-Learn website has essential and recommended reading materials uploaded for every week’s lectures, without reading which you wouldn’t be able to follow lectures as well. To quote one of our lecturers from the first day – ‘University is like a Gym. You can pay for access but if you don’t use the machines (resources) or take the classes you won’t get fit (knowledgeable)!‘
The rest of the week is technically free but you would be quite preoccupied I’d say with your assignments and reading. My course does not require me to give exams at the end of the semester. This means that I would be assessed based on my coursework – assignments I submit throughout the semester. We have had a bunch of group works this semester to help learn our concepts collectively. Although the rest of my week is free from lectures, I spend enough time on assignments, group-works and reading for my dissertation. Dissertation is something you work on in the summer yes, but it’s required of us to have in place our initial ideas for now. On Fridays, we have an optional dissertation class to help us understand the process of dissertation better.
In between all the assignments and reading, we have other activities we could get involved in. On the academic side, we have an Environmental Psychology group that meets up every Monday to bring together few research and projects that’s being undertaken by people in the university or those practicing in the field. My Qual module required me to conduct an interview; my Key Questions, a small scale project on problem-solving on campus areas. These are the other academic-fun work you’d also see yourself doing! The Student’s union also addresses some interesting and important topics and have activities built around it which you can attend. This week is Inter-Faith week – there are talks, volunteering events and so on.
Of course, other than this there is extra-curricular activities! I do training in Bollywood dance for Battle of Bollywood Competition (look it up!) with Riddhish and the rest of the team, on Mondays and Wednesdays! Half of my Sunday is dedicated to small-sided hockey and Archery at the Surrey Sports Park (SSP – It’s amazing!). And of course, Wednesdays we do not have classes post-noon. It’s the day the sports teams and clubs go out! My Wednesday, Friday or Saturday nights are for socializing, clubbing and sometimes just enjoying a glass of wine at home; and to grab some good food in the town!
That’s me in a week, to give you a clue. It’s a given, but the amount of time you spend on studies and extras really depends on your course and your interests! More to tell you soon. Until next time! xx