At this stage in your academic career, it is important to develop your own ideas and opinions. This can be daunting for some students, who may have reservations about trusting their own perspectives.

While you are studying, you will have the opportunity to practice your communication and hone your own individual voice. You will also be able to learn from feedback from peers and tutors, which will help you make a more distinctive contribution to your field.

You will also be encouraged to offer your thoughts on your course and your experiences, in order to make the experience better for everyone. There are formal and informal ways to do this, from one-to-one sessions with your tutor, meetings with Programme Managers, course committee meetings, online feedback surveys and other activities promoted through the Graduate School.

Interacting with academic staff

Staff member explaining scienceOne of the most valuable skills you will learn as a postgraduate student will be to communicate and interact effectively with academics, staff and fellow students. You will have support from our staff, and will be expected to reach out to them if you experience any academic or personal issues.

It is important to be aware that academics and researchers have busy schedules and have many competing demands on their time, including other students. To contact your lecturer, you could ask in person or send a brief, focused email. If you don't hear within a working day, don't be afraid to send a polite follow up - your lecturer will appreciate being reminded. Keep in mind that understandably, staff cannot be constantly available for advice, clarifications or feedback.

While you will be expected to demonstrate independence and initiative, postgraduate study is an excellent opportunity to connect with world-renowned experts and explore your professional development. If you need help determining which channels of communication are appropriate, talk to your course organiser or personal tutor.