The best way to visualise what your life would be like as a King’s master’s student is to get an idea of what happens in a typical week. In this post, I’ll be sharing an overview of the main things that I spend my time on during the term.
Firstly, there’s lecture material to learn from for each subject. In the 2020-21 academic year, this has been available as prerecorded videos, complete with subtitles and playback speed control. Per module, there tend to be between 30-90 minutes to watch per week, in which lecturers walk you through new concepts to learn. I like to sit down with a cup of tea in the morning to watch them, pausing as I need to take notes.
Secondly, there are tutorial classes. These are live sessions where you interact with teaching staff and fellow classmates to consolidate the week’s material. Tutorials are a great chance to ask any questions you have, and teaching staff usually prepare revision exercises and group discussions to keep everyone engaged. Some subjects also have practical classes, which is your chance to put what you’ve learned into practice. For informatics, this often means using new code libraries or approaches to solve problems – much better than just watching your lecturer do it!
Thirdly, there’s background reading and research. Each week of material often comes with extra recommended reading, and one of the best things about being a student is having the time to spend expanding your knowledge in areas you find interesting. And if you have nothing to research, there’s always a seminar to attend, or a discussion board post to chime in on.
Fourthly, things start getting busier when coursework is assigned. These are tasks which require in-depth understanding and implementation of course material, which you generally get a few weeks to work on. Coursework definitely tests your ability to work to deadlines – you need to be organised and motivated so as not to leave too much work to the last minute! Also, some courseworks involve group tasks, which means meeting with your teammates to plan work. There are lots of opportunities like these to grow rapport with your classmates, so it’s likely you’ll have a coffee and a chat alongside your work!
And finally, there are of course the fun parts of student life! King’s Students’ Union (KCLSU) affiliates almost 300 student groups which run regular activities for all students. There’s something for everyone – you could be singing in a choir, baking cakes, playing video games or anything inbetween! And if you’re ahead on your studies, why not catch a bus or train to a new area of London to explore? Even just walking around the city reveals so many old and new parts of London to see, right around the corner from King’s.
The best part of being a student is you get to plan your day however you like. Work in the morning or the afternoon, at home or at the library – as long as you meet those coursework deadlines!