Tag Archives: postgraduate

Academic Skills Centre – supporting postgrad students

Kara is a PhD student in English at UC. She is also a Peer Learning Advisor at the Academic Skills Centre where she helps her peers with their writing assignments. This week she writes about the range of ways Academic Skills Centre can help postgrads with their studies.

If you’re a postgraduate student, you’ll know that the research and writing process can sometimes be daunting. Fortunately, you can access the free advisory services of the UC Academic Skills Centre (ASC) to help support you during your studies. You want your writing to be the best it can be, and ASC has a team of Learning Advisors to help you with everything from literature reviews to thesis planning. Advisors offer workshops and seminars each term, and they are also available for individual consultations.

Workshops and seminars are listed on the ASC webpage and some are targeted specifically for postgraduates. If you’re just starting out, you might be interested in attending a seminar on Academic Skills for Thesis Writers. If you are concerned about how you will plan out your time so you can balance everything in your life, you might want to take the seminar on Time Management. For those in Science, there is a three-part course on Postgraduate Science Writing that will help you write a laboratory report.

If you have specific questions about your writing, you can speak with someone one-on-one at ASC, which is located on level 3 of the Central Library. If you just have a quick question, such as a referencing question, you can stop by the on-call desk for a quick query (max 10 minutes) between 11:00am and 2:00pm, Monday to Friday. If you would like to review a portion of your writing with a Learning Advisor, you can book a 40-minute consultation at the reception desk, by phone or by email.

Another valuable programme is GradFest, a week-long series of seminars and workshops designed specifically for postgraduates. This is a good opportunity to learn about topics such as ethics approval, thesis proposals, publication, and networking. Guest speakers from across UC share their expertise and help you navigate your postgraduate journey. GradFest is also a great opportunity to meet other students and share your own stories about being a postgraduate. The next GradFest will be 11-15 June 2018, so stay tuned for more information.

Support services are for postgrad students too

Not many postgrad students know about every single service they have access to at UC. So I’m here to share a few goodies with you to help you on your journey.

I promise this is all really useful and even if you don’t read it all, take note of these services. These services will be highly useful to you at different points in your postgrad journey and absolutely worthwhile taking advantage of.

Academic Skills Centre (ASC): This is probably the top of my list of recommendations for all students. I stress it to all the undergrads I tutor, but the service is also just as relevant to postgrad students. Remember you don’t have to be struggling to get academic skill support. The Centre can help you improve and explore new methods of learning, teaching, researching and writing. Some of the great postgrad specific courses include those on: EndNote, nVivo, critical reading and note taking, applying for ethics, oral presentations, proposal writing, literature reviews, your thesis and much more! Aside from the courses, ASC also do one-on-one consultations where you can sit down with a learning advisor for up to 40 minutes, and cover any question or questions related to writing, critical thinking or study.
Pro tip: ASC has really nice FREE yearly wall planners. Take advantage of that too!

UCSA Advocacy and Welfare: The UCSA has a dedicated advocacy and welfare team on site to help you with a range of issues. The Student Advocate’s role is to give you advice, explain or outline your options, and also help you navigate the university system.  The Student Advocate is able to assist you with a number of matters here at UC, such as, academic appeals, grievances, complaints and concerns, special consideration applications or late withdrawals, dispute resolution, and disciplinary issues.
Pro tip: The Student Advocate is able to act on behalf of you. They are an employee of the UCSA, which is independent of the Uni.

Many of you may not be aware that the team offers heavily subsidised dental and optometry schemes too. Head into the UCSA office in the Undercroft or go online to find out more about these!

RecCentre and Health Centre: Nothing is more important than maintaining a good level of physical and mental wellbeing. Get out of the office or lab and do something physical. The RecCentre is free to sign up to, and Health Centre appointments are also free for postgrad students who have enroled. Remember, health is wealth! Your study and thesis writing will fall into place easier if you’re healthy and focussed. The Health Centre offers free counselling if you’re struggling with mental health issues, or even just having a bad week. I can’t stress enough how important it is to reach out and use these support services if you’re in need.

Student Care: The Student Care team are the loveliest people on this planet! No, honestly, they are so friendly and approachable I cannot highly enough of what they do. Student Care is a team of professional advisors to help you settle in and gain a sense of belonging in the UC community. They can act as your support team throughout your postgrad journey so you can gain confidence and reach your potential.

Clubs: It’s important to have interests outside your postgrad studies, and luckily UC has a thriving club scene. There’s well over 100 clubs now and they cover almost every faculty, hobby or interest you could think of! Hit up the UCSA Clubs page to find clubs that interest you, and if you managed to sign up to clubs already at clubs days, get involved with their events! It’s the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people and make friends!
Pro tip: Did you know we have a dedicated postgrad club? Check out PGSA on Facebook and sign up for free on the website.

There is lots of support on campus for postgrad students, check out  the UC support page and UCSA support page for more info.

Emma McCone
UCSA Postgrad Rep

Peer support for postgrads

 Suvo is a PhD student from India studying Media and Communication at UC. Read on about how SOAR Advisors help postgraduate students. 

Hi there.

 ­As an international student, it took me a while to get used to UC and the new Kiwi environment, but the Postgraduate Office, along with a range of UC services like the Academic Skills Centre, Rec Centre, a variety of student support services and the Library really helped me to settle in. My department and initial supervisor also played a big part in helping me to feel at home in Christchurch and at UC.

I have also learned so much from my fellow students and friends from around the world.  But still, there was something missing: formal peer support. To fill this gap, the Postgraduate Office has created the SOAR Advisors, a group of peer advisors I’m now proud to be part of. SOAR Advisors help new postgrad students settle comfortably at UC during the initial months of their study, and can also provide assistance with skills including academic writing, literature reviews and a variety of data analysis tools.

We help students from across the campus, and work with the Academic Skills Centre and the Postgraduate Office to organise events like GradFest. As a SOAR Advisor I’ve learnt a lot both from my colleagues and from the students I’ve worked with; it’s also a great opportunity for all of us to make new friends along the postgrad journey. For more information about the current SOAR Advisors and how they can help you, please join our Facebook page or find us on the UC website.