The main differences between Undergraduate and Postgraduate study
17 September 2021
Having studied at WBS for both her Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees, MSc ambassador Megan shares the key differences between Undergraduate and Postgraduate study.
Hi everyone, my name is Megan and I am currently studying MSc Marketing & Strategy here at Warwick Business School (WBS). I also completed my undergraduate studies in BSc Management within WBS. Within this blog I will discuss the main differences that I have identified between studying at postgraduate versus an undergraduate level. I will also identify some hints and tips that may help other students as they begin their own transition into postgraduate studies.
I decided to pursue a masters within WBS as I wanted to learn more around marketing specifically. Within my undergraduate degree I was able to choose to focus on marketing for some of the elective options. However, choosing to study MSc Marketing & Strategy (MSMS) has provided me with an opportunity to learn much more and go into more depth into various aspects of marketing and strategy. The MSMS course is also ranked 6th in the world in the QS Masters in Marketing rankings for 2021. Having also studied at WBS prior to my masters, I was confident that I would receive a high level of teaching and support.
Increased focus on your own learning
One of the main differences I have found between undergraduate and postgraduate studies is the workload, most specifically the increase and focus placed on your own learning. Most lecturers at Warwick help students with this aspect by providing us with additional recommended readings, ensuring that we know which readings will benefit our learning and help our understanding of the module content. One piece of advice I have regarding own learning is to keep on top of the recommended readings, and to read the additional readings that interest you. It is much easier to learn from readings you have an interest in as you will be fully engaged in reading the content.
Contribution in seminars
Another big difference I have noticed is the importance of contributing in seminars, especially if the seminar is online. Of course contribution at undergraduate level is required, but at postgraduate level lots of the seminars are fully structured around in-class contributions and discussions. It is of particular importance during online sessions. I would fully encourage all students to really try and get involved, providing their thoughts and comments in seminars and online sessions. Engagement will not only hugely benefit your own learning but it will also help create discussions with those around you.
Two-week intensive modules
Another contrast at postgraduate level in WBS is the two-week intensive modules which take place in Term 3. This is where we have ‘intense’ teaching of modules over the course of two weeks, compared to a normal module spanning over ten weeks in Terms 1 and 2. For the modules I chose, the 2 week module structure also included group work. This was a good experience as it allowed us to work under more intense time pressures than we had been used to. The biggest piece of advice I have for these intense modules is to ensure attendance at all lectures and seminars over the 2 weeks, due to the structure it can be difficult to catch up on any missed content.
On some postgraduate courses at Warwick students can get the choice between a dissertation and the Business in Practice (BiP) simulation. I opted for the BiP route as I saw the benefits of being involved in an immersive business simulation, where we were able to bring theory and practice together. The dissertation route is also a great option and students have the opportunity to be involved in an external dissertation, where they are able to work on behalf of an external company such as IBM.
I would definitely recommend postgraduate study to anyone who is considering it. As identified there are some key differences when transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate, but they are entirely manageable and students are supported throughout the process.