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M-Skills

This development programme has been specifically designed for Taught Postgraduates (PGTs), and comprises a number of workshops, lectures, online resources, mentoring schemes and networking events. You can keep up to date with the very latest via the M-Skills facebook page: www.facebook.com/MSkills

M-Skills programme: 
To see current M-Skills workshops click onto PDMS and chose 'Taught Postgraduate' from the drop down menu on the right.  

 M-Skills concentrates on four different areas, and some particular events and resources have been highlighted below:


1. Making the most of St Andrews

This strand helps you connect with other Masters students and get the most from your limited time in St Andrews. From the welcome events running in Orientation Week through to on-going opportunities for networking throughout the year, this strand helps you plug in and connect to the University community. 

In particular look out for the ‘kick-starter’ sessions on offer at the beginning of Semester 1 to help you set some goals for your year ahead, pick up some self-coaching and resilience techniques, and formulate a strategy for staying on top of your intensive workload.

You can engage with the research postgraduate students, and have the opportunity to present your own research at a number of Postgraduate X-change seminars throughout the year. It's especially interesting for Masters students who are thinking about going on to PhD study in the future.

Towards the end of your studies you may be invited to take part in a School mentoring scheme, to become an online mentor to incoming Masters students in order to help them make the most of St Andrews. This year History, Management and Computer Science all took part, and it's hoped the scheme will be rolled out further in the coming months.

Finally, you can apply for access to some excellent online workshops on how to network, a skill useful for your time in St Andrews and beyond.


2. Getting through your course

This strand aims to equip you with the key academic and study skills that will make your academic life easier. CAPOD offers 1:1 appointments to any Masters student who needs some help with academic and study skills. For example, time management, essay writing, citation and referencing or academic reading. We also offer 1:1 appointments for any Masters students who need support with the maths and statistics element of their course.

Masters students can also develop their IT skills during their year in St Andrews by studying online for their Microsoft Office Specialist qualification. There's a MOS information session early in semester 1 to find out more.  

Towards summer, a number of workshops are on offer to help you hone your dissertation writing skills, as well as regular opportunities to  join in with a number of established writers' groups. You can also sign up for the Dissertation Boot Camp- brand new this year!  For more information see the MSkills Writing Programme.

You can also request to be set up with a free, external coach. This is an amazing opportunity to help you set and achieve goals this year.


3. What comes next?

This strand will support you in your career aspirations, whether they include continuing in academia, finding a job or becoming an entrepreneur. Masters students have access to the Careers Centre resources, including support for enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Finally, there will also be events for Masters students interested in going on to study for a PhD in future, including ‘A St Andrews PhD’ event in semester 1.

If you weren't able to attend the 'St Andrews PhD' events in November, you can find the collated slides here. For the Arts event: PhD Arts slides (PDF, 4,285 KB). For the Science event: A St Andrews PhD - Science (PDF, 5,593 KB)


4. Getting set for the workplace

This strand helps you learn about the kinds of workplace skills employers value. A series of 30 skills topics are presented through a scheme called the Professional Skills Curriculum, which Masters students can tap into. Find out more at the PSC webpage.

Additionally, Masters students in the School of Management have their own 'MX' programme, that runs on Wednesday afternoons and features a number of Management-skills workshops and Management speakers. 


What is 'mastersness'?

The Scottish Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency undertook a project to develop a framework to help make sense of some of the different dimensions of ‘Mastersness’, adapted from Susan Warring's analysis of learning levels between qualifications.

The project team based their framework on seven ‘facets’ designed to help Universities conceptualise, develop, and enhance their Master’s level provision.  Each facet is an aspect or characteristic of the learning process that underpins the concept of ‘Mastersness’.

 Mastersness model

The seven facets of 'mastersness'

  • Abstraction – Extracting knowledge or meanings from sources, and then using these to construct new knowledge or meanings
  • Depth (of Learning) – Acquiring more knowledge and using knowledge differently.  For example, engaging in a narrow topic in depth, engaging in up-to-date research, or taking a multidisciplinary approach and examining something familiar and presenting it in a new innovative way
  • Research and enquiry – Developing critical research and enquiry skills and attributes
  • Complexity – Recognising and dealing with complexity of knowledge (including the integration of knowledge and skills, application of knowledge in practice), conceptual complexity, and the complexity of the learning process
  • Autonomy – Taking responsibility for own learning in terms of self-organisation, motivation, location and acquisition of knowledge
  • Unpredictability – Dealing with unpredictability in operational contexts – recognising that 'real world' problems are by their nature 'messy' and complex, and being creative with the use of knowledge and experience to solve these problems
  • Professionalism – Displaying appropriate professional attitudes, behaviour and values in whatever discipline/occupational area chosen (from academic to occupational subjects), including learning ethical behaviours, developing academic integrity, dealing with challenges to professionalism, recognising the need to reflect on practice and becoming part of a discipline/occupational community.

You can view more details about each of the dimensions here.

Image of the MSkills image.

Contact

Catriona Wilson
MSkills Coordinator

CAPOD

T: (01334) 462558
E: cat.wilson@st-andrews.ac.uk

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Additional links

- PG Society
- CAPOD students
- Students' Association
- Careers