Tips on balancing post graduate study with other commitments

Written by Lydia Soon, Graduate of the UTS Master of Public Health

Hello everyone, welcome to an important topic of postgraduate study: time management.

A question that I get commonly asked is: how do I balance postgraduate study with commitments such as full-time / part time work to family and personal commitments?  In order to do well in postgraduate study, time management is crucial in order to succeed in your course.

Here are some useful tips that helped me throughout my studies:

  • Lock those key important dates in from assessments due dates and exams at the start of every semester. This could also mean writing in your planner, monthly or weekly (Please find below an example).  I found this tactic is useful as it gives me an overview of the semester and allows be to schedule time out on weekends or a day off during the working week to complete or prepare for my assessments.
Image by Alexdobysh sourced via Canva.com
  • Plan-ahead! Give yourself plenty of time to complete your assessments! This is crucial, especially for those who are working full time where your time is limited to weekends to complete your assessments. Postgraduate course-work requires much more independent study and research and by completing those in small amounts will save you the stress leading up to the due date!
  • Assess how you are going each semester in terms of subject workload and adjust accordingly i.e if you feel like you need to take more or less subjects the following semester then adjust. The last thing you want is to be burned out and having to retake subjects.
  • Identify your weekly priorities such as family time, working hours and days (important if you’re doing shift work), commitments that you may have like internship, sporting clubs and activities. This way it allows you to identify the hours per day each week that you’ll need to start, revise, research and complete your assessments throughout every semester on time.
Image by Laura Crkovski sourced via Canva.com
  • Don’t forget to schedule down time. Staying focused is good however you can find yourself burned out easily. Keep on top of your physical and mental health by exercising, doing yoga or medication to even spending time with friends and family. Even eating well and having a good night’s sleep makes a difference.

Overall enjoy the process of studying and learning but don’t forget to look after yourself!! I hope these tips will help for those considering postgraduate study!

Find out more about studying Public Health at UTS

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