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So Orientation is over and studying has begun. Here’s 8 answers to 8 questions you probably still have! Ask me anything else you need. Hope this helps! Much love from your LSESU Education Officer
1. How am I supposed to read everything on this reading list?!
Many of you studying essay subjects will have noticed by now that the reading lists get very very long. Don’t panic. They don’t expect you to read all of the books on that list! That would probably be impossible, especially those lists with +50 books a week (yes that happened to me - good luck IR203!). Many Professors will have highlighted the most important ones (whether that’s with bold, an asterisk, or into different sections) - if they haven’t, drop them an email - or go to office hours and ask! Don’t plod along in silence, it will only get worse!
2. Who’s this Michael guy?
So it’s finally September! It’s finally time to prepare for the big move to London. Its finally time to start LSE!
I’m the LSE Student Union Education Officer, your main representative on all academic issues and I’m so excited to welcome you to your new university and your new programme, whether that’s an undergraduate, postgraduate or research course! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow my blog at LseEducation on Tumblr for more LSE education information throughout orientation and the year.
Here’s a few things to guide you on your academic preparation for the big move and the new start - some words of advice and some fears quashed. LSE is a little, but quite scary, place and my job to guide you through all things Education starts now!
Congratulations to everyone finishing their dissertation this weekend!
It’s been a long, hard road but you’ve made it!
If you’ve just received your exam results and want to find out your options with LSE appeals procedures then contact our Advice and Support Service.
During the summer holidays the LSESU Advice and Support Service will be open for drop-in sessions: Monday-Friday 12-2pm. Pre-bookable appointments are available outside of these times, and the team are happy to be flexible with times. If you would like to book an appointment, please email email@example.com.
The Advice and Support Service is located on the Ground Floor of the East Building, Houghton Street. Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an appointment we can advise via email and over the phone.
If you would like an adviser to call you, please email us with a contact number and one of the team will arrange a convenient time to call you.
You can book an appointment to discuss your options by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info head to the Advice and Support pages.
The sun is shining, exams are over and the undergraduates have left so normality has resumed in the library. All in all, compared to 6 weeks ago, life is generally a lot more rosier, isn’t it?
Whilst you don’t need to put in the average 13 hour day that you did for exam-season, it can become a bit dangerous totally taking your foot off the gas and meandering along- after all, there still is a dissertation to be done- procrastination needs to still be kept to a minimum. Here’s some great apps to use to ensure the time you spend doing ‘dissertation work’ is actually spent doing dissertation work, and not checking twitter trends…
Focus Writer. The aim of this writing programme is strip down microsoft Word so you are left with just a blank page and no annoying distractions and “create a quiet atmosphere”. If you need complex formatting, or spell check, this isn’t the tool for you, but it can be a good place to write first drafts. Another bonus is that no installation is required.
There are some great benefits of no more classes- for instance, you can write your dissertation in your PJs, should you wish. But, all that freedom can become a bit too much of a good thing and you can end up feeling a tad isolated and not knowing where to start. Have you thought about setting up a dissertation study group with classmates? This blog will provide you with the loose structure you need for setting up a group…
Benefits of being in a dissertation support group:
- To receive and provide support in what can be a time of isolation
- To take courage from the fact that most people writing their dissertation face similar kinds of problems
- To hold yourself and others accountable for pushing yourself to move ahead
- To be part of a research community which forms a base for creating networks and contacts, as well as referring information and resources of relevance to each other.
How to get started:
Ideally, you want around 5 people in your study group, any more and it gets too busy, and not everyone can really contribute.
In your first meeting, first things first is to think about the logistics of setting up a dissertation group, as a group think about:
- What you want the group goals to be?
- Will you have an official leader? Or will you rotate chair responsibilities?- this job involves also maintaining and sending out e-mails for the next meeting- or perhaps set up a Facebook group?
- How often will you meet? For how long? Where?- ideally you should set a time limit on meetings as otherwise they risk dragging on and tend to drift off on a tangent and become a social.
- What meeting preparation will you expect of each other?
Ascertaining where everyone is:
This should be the second set of questions to work through in your first meeting, ask yourself…
- What’s your dissertation topic and how do you feel about it at this point in time?
- Where are you in the dissertation process?
- What’s your timeframe for finishing?
- What have been and/or are likely to be your biggest obstacles in completing the dissertation?
- What do you need to get from this group to help you clear those challenges?
- What else do you hope to get from group?
- What style of giving feedback is most helpful to you?
For future meetings you can often revisit many of the questions in the previous section, and reflect on what a person said in the meeting before , where they are now, and if their expectations are being met in terms of meeting deadlines or achieving goals. By working in this manner, you may in the first or second meeting wish to give each member a longer block by themselves in which to describe their research in greater detail. This exercise will help to ground the group and increase the chances that you’ll be able to refer information and resources to each other.
Have you used GetPocket.com?
It’s a great little tool that can transform your phone into a pocket library. When you find something on the web that you want to view later, put it in Pocket. It automatically syncs to your phone, tablet or computer so you can view it at any time, even without an internet connection. Thinking about your dissertation, it’s a handy way to compile a list of ‘things that need to be read’ which you can start to chip away at whilst on the bus or the tube- a great way to use ‘wasted’ journey time productively. Cool, huh?!
Had your final exam and not feeling they went as well as you had hoped?
If you have been ill or experienced circumstances beyond your control, you may want to consider submitting a Mitigating Circumstances Form to tell the School about it. Mitigating Circumstances can include, but is not limited to illness, injury or bereavement. You can also submit the form for ‘Procedural Defect’, which may cover things such as the fire alarm sounding during an exam or if you feel that your specific exam arrangements did not fully compensate for your condition.
What happens if I submit a Mitigating Circumstances Form?
If the Sub-Board of Examiners believes that because of mitigating circumstances, you have fallen marginally short of a higher degree classification, they may recommend to the School Board of Examiners that the higher degree classification be awarded. Or, if the Sub-Board believes that a your mitigating circumstances have resulted in you exhausting all attempts at an assessment which is yet to be passed, it may recommend to the School Board of Examiners that a further attempt is granted.
Please note that individual marks are never changed as a result of mitigating circumstances.
The deadline to submit Mitigating Circumstances is 7 calendar days from your last exam and it needs to be submitted to the Student Services Centre (Old Building). It is really important to keep to this deadline as late submissions may not be considered.
The Students’ Union Advice and Support Service are able to advise students on submitting the form and writing the statement. Please email email@example.com.