Tag Archives: postgraduate

Myth-buster: Postgrad isn’t fun

Emma McCone is a postgraduate student studying towards a Master’s of Science, she shares her journey into postgrad study.

I finished the third and final year of my bachelors degree feeling like I wasn’t ready for a full-time job and the real deal adult life. I fell into postgraduate study and enrolled for a Master’s of Science. If you learn one thing from me and this blog, make it that postgraduate study can be for anyone who’s just passionate about what they’re learning and prepared to stay at uni a few years longer.

I learnt about postgrad after meeting some friends the year above me who’d just started their Masters. Second key message: postgrads aren’t scary, they’re not a different species and if you spend some time getting to know some in your department, you may find you have a lot more in common than you thought.

Once I’d met people and started the discussion about what postgrad is actually like, everything else fell into place. I talked to them more and more about the things they got to do during their Masters, I actually had conversations with lecturers and they knew my first name. All of a sudden everything seemed much more achievable and easy.

Just know that if you’re finding yourself towards the end of your degree and not sure what on earth to do with yourself, postgrad is not just for the straight A+ students. I am living proof of a student who just wasn’t ready to let go and move into the big scary world of full time work, smart casual dress and pretending to be an adult. I love what I study and I’m enjoying my Master’s degree so much. I’m so excited about having at least another two Tea Party costumes and memories to come. I love being a student and always meeting new and exciting people.

Maybe at the end of this degree, I’ll be grown up and ready! I guess there’s always a PhD if not….

Kia ora from your UCSA PG Rep

Kia ora all.

170615 Thomas Gillman-PGRepI am Thomas and I am the 2017 Postgraduate Rep on the UCSA Student Exec. Maybe not all of you have heard about the UCSA or the Student Exec or what its functions are. Not a problem though because the current Equity and Wellbeing Officer, Sam, wrote an excellent overview of the Exec in a recent blog post, which you can read here> 

Basically, we are the student voice to UC and advocate for student concerns on campus. We also offer support and guidance for students as well as run all the epic parties on campus and keep the café’s stocked so you don’t go hungry.

Last year the UCSA changed the constitution to add a designated role of Postgraduate Rep and to reserve the position for postgraduate students only. As the PG Rep on this Executive, I work hard to advocate for graduate student concerns at various committees and meetings. Further, we are working towards the creation of a postgraduate representation system that will enable a much stronger graduate voice on campus.

Given this is the inaugural year that this has run, I hope that we have been able to generate more awareness of postgraduate concerns on campus, but as we know there are a number of concerns still on-going. With this in mind and given the fact that UCSA Elections are coming up, I think that this is an excellent opportunity to promote the fact that the UCSA is also for PG’s. There may have been a stigma in the past that it did not deeply incorporate PG concerns, however this has changed and I hope that this year has portrayed that. Thus, if you feel like taking on a leadership role and want to make a difference to the postgraduate community on campus then this is your opportunity, and a fantastic opportunity at that. I would be more than happy to sit down with anyone who is interested in running and talk you through the role in more details.

I am also always keen to hear from you, so don’t be afraid to drop me a message: postgraduate@ucsa.org.nz.

Also don’t forget cheap coffee’s for PG’s at the Shilling Club on Tuesday mornings 9-10am. So get your office mates out and get along to sample some of the best coffee on campus.

Thank you all.


As we all know, however, there are on-going PG issues such as printing and space and these will not be resolved quickly. Thus we are attempting to implement Postgraduate representation system that will enable a stronger voice on campus and to further PG concerns within the university environment.

Thesis in Three – one slide, three minutes

Each year, the Dean of Postgraduate Research at UC sponsors and organises the Thesis in Three competition for postgraduate students. PhD and Masters students give a three-minute presentation to describe their thesis research with only a single presentation slide permitted. The top three students from each college round go on to compete in the UC final.

College competitions will be taking place until early August. Talk to your postgraduate coordinator to find out more.

Research Report, Thesis in Three UC winner, National NZ 2nd place getter, Geology graduate, from Florida, USA Kaylon Higginbottom, shot on the Port Hills, 27.1.17 Client, Fiona Clayton, Communications, SSAC.

Kay Higginbotham (Geological Sciences) was the UC Thesis in Three winner in 2016 and second in the Inter-University Masters 3MT.

What was it that encouraged you to enter?
I had been looking forward to competing in the Thesis in Three since I was an undergrad. I’m a big advocate for science communication to a nonscientific community in ways that entertain and engage. Engaging, informing, and entertaining an audience in under three minutes was a fun challenge. What really had me encouraged for the competition was that my project involves earthquakes, volcanoes, and 100 kilograms of silly putty. Who wouldn’t be interested? The prize money didn’t hurt either.

Why is your research important in the ‘real world’?
My field of research is important for hazard management in areas that have both earthquakes and volcanoes, like New Zealand. We understand that earthquakes can trigger volcanic eruptions, but we don’t yet understand the mechanics behind it. If we can better understand how these events interact, we can be better prepared for future events.

Thesis in Three fact file

  • Students have three minutes to describe what they are doing, as well as why and how they are doing it – the importance/impact of the research.
  • Only a single slide, no additional electronic media (for example sound and video files) and no additional props.
  • In addition to financial prizes for the winners of the UC Final, there is a national Three Minute Thesis (3MT) for Masters students.
  • Three judging criteria are used: communication style, comprehension and engagement.
  • The Thesis in Three format was first introduced by the University of Queensland.