Your first session experience: what to expect, how to prepare

Lydia Soon_HEA

Written by Lydia Soon, UTS Master of Public Health graduate

Ever wondered what the first session of a postgraduate degree would be like?

For those who have received an offer, or are about to commence postgraduate study, congratulations! Or, maybe you’re interested in reading about a graduate’s first-hand experience before you apply to study a postgraduate degree in the future.

In this blog, I will describe my first session during my Master of Public Health degree.

What to expect

I started my postgraduate degree in 2016. I was one of the first students to enrol in the newly created Master of Public Health at UTS. I came in with an open mind during the first session; I was really looking forward to learning new things!

Lydia - Blog 1You’ll meet new students each session who are studying the same course or subjects. In the first class of any subject, you’ll go through the subject outline and have the chance to get to know your classmates.

Once session starts, you’ll be learning new material each week!


How to prepare

About a week or two before session starts, a subject outline will be provided online, which lists all the assessments (including what type and when it’s due), weekly learning activities and the key contacts for the subject. The subject outline will also provide a list of key readings.

Lydia blog -2This is a chance to familiarise yourself with how the session will run; make sure to plan out your weekly schedule based on the activities and readings and be sure to note down any important dates!

Once you’ve looked over the subject outline, come to the first class prepared with questions so that you can get answers straightaway.

Looking back on my first session

My first class in my postgraduate degree was for a subject called Introduction to Public Health. I even remember the first assessment I did for this subject – it was on the Zika virus outbreak, which was heavily discussed in the media at the time. It was such an interesting assessment, as it was based on a prominent health issue at the time.

Other assessments included a social media project to promote health messages on platforms like Twitter, as well as a blog post.

Honestly, the first session flew by very quickly because I was very interested in what I was studying in the degree. Also, I wanted to see how I would progress in the first session of my postgraduate degree before attempting to take on a second subject. Looking back, I would have preferred to do two subjects from the start of my postgraduate degree.

Blog 3I hope this gives you an insight to the first session of postgraduate study. At first, it might take time to adjust to studying again but once you have a structure in place to plan and complete assessments, everything will fall into place. Once you get started, the semesters will fly by very quickly!


Find out more about studying Health at UTS

Read more: Your questions answered – Public Health

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