What I found out about postgraduate study

It was after my graduation that I applied to study my Master’s at the University of Bradford. I knew I wanted to come back and continue my studies straight after my undergraduate degree.

Why I chose Bradford

When I decided I wanted to do a Master’s, I knew the course needed to be challenging and exciting – something which would grab my attention. Bradford’s MSc Cyber Security was the course I chose and I realised it really fits with my ambition of getting into the cyber-security field and progressing my career.

It was very exciting when I received an offer after my application- it took less than a week! As I previously studied at Bradford I was already well known among the lecturers which is great because I already have an established relationship with them.

Some of my friends and relatives thought it was bizarre move to do further study. They thought it would be an impossible task for me to pursue full-time study and work. But I thought why not give it a go!

The differences

The transition from undergraduate to postgraduate did seem little daunting at first. Here are some of the differences I’ve discovered so far:

  • All-nighters in the library and last-minute work on assignments have been replaced with planned periods of study, family time and socialising
  • I spend more time with the lecturers discussing how to solve problems which were never part of my undergraduate study routine
  • I have more freedom doing a Master’s compared to my Bachelor’s degree. I have access to more labs and more independent study time.

Being a little bit older (not much!), I have observed and have been made aware of my life style choices. Gone are the days where late-night socialising was a priority. I now focus on the importance of eating well and keeping energised and alert in order to make the most of my study time and function effectively. The fact the course is only one-year acts as motivation to study hard and get the most out of it.

I’m a little more serious and a little more studious now, but I’ve realised some things remain the same. Meeting new people, building friendship with classmates remain at the core of my university life.  The wide range of nationalities and ages of postgraduate students makes for an interesting and diverse social group.

My advice

Coming back and choosing to carry on with education is something you have to be passionate about. I feel more than ever that I’m working hard for my own benefit. I want to push myself even more than I did at undergraduate level.

Of course, postgraduate study is a step up, but I’ve found it to be both a challenging and thoroughly enjoyable experience.

It cannot be emphasised enough that studying a postgraduate course is a hugely rewarding experience, but if you go into postgraduate study thinking it’ll just be an extension of undergrad you’re in for a surprise.

Yes, it is challenging but the lecturers, research students, and management at the University of Bradford are encouraging, helpful and caring.

Author: Abrar Ahmed

MSc Cyber Security student Abrar is a cricket lover, a massive foodie and a coffee fanatic. Through his blog posts he will share his personal experiences of the University of Bradford, his course and importantly his dissertation.

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