Planning for postgrad studies in uncertain times

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Photo of clock-tower and cherry blossoms at NUI Galway, by staff member Chaosheng Zhang.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all facing new challenges and increased uncertainty. In times of uncertainty, it can be difficult to know how to progress with career plans you have already made and how to adapt to ensure you are well placed to thrive in the workplace of the future.

According to international author and specialist in emotional intelligence, Dr Travis Bradberry, “Our brains are hardwired to make much of modern life difficult. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with uncertainty. On the bright side, if you know the right tricks, you can override your brain’s irrational tendencies and handle uncertainty effectively”. Dr Bradberry identifies that one of the ways to overcome these irrational tendencies is to gather facts and equip yourself with as much relevant and accurate information as possible. In this blog post we hope to provide you with access to key information and tools that will equip you to identify the relevant facts and move forward with your study and career plans in spite of the uncertain landscape. (Dr Bradberry’s full 11 steps to overcoming uncertainty through emotional intelligence are available here).

Answering your general postgrad questions
We’ve created a new FREE guide, The Postgraduate Handbook, pictured below, that covers all you need to know about postgrad study, and will hopefully help you navigate the options available in terms of postgrad course choice, employability, funding your studies, and more. This is a useful resource if you are new to considering postgraduate studies or if you are revisiting the idea. You can download the ebook here.

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We’re still processing applications as normal
COVID-19 has not disrupted the admissions process; we are accepting and processing postgrad applications as normal. You can continue to apply online; complete applications are being reviewed quickly, and offer-making is brisk. So apply now for an early decision.

We are still preparing for term starting in September
We hope to start our postgraduate studies in early September, as planned. However if anything changes due to COVID-19, we will notify you in good time, and will make alternate arrangements with you.

Flexible optionsflexible-learning (1)
Now more than ever you may be interested in flexible course options, rather than committing to a traditional full-time master’s programme. At NUI Galway we have you covered, and offer some of our postgrad courses part-time, online, via distance and blended learning. Each course will outline its mode on its website, and we have a specific Online Learning site as well, that you can check out here.

Funding your studies
Another concern right now may be how to pay for your course. Our blog post here covers various options, including scholarships and grants. At NUI Galway you can pay for your postgrad course in instalments, which is a handy option. It’s worth remembering too that banks and the Credit Union (Ireland) offer generous education loans, and some of these offer deferred payment terms: check your local branch for details.

New website for prospective students

We’ve created a FAQs website that covers some of your COVID-19-specific  queries. We’ll update it with new information as it presents— useful site to bookmark, as you consider all your options.

Finally, I’m available to answer your postgrad queries; you can email me at postgrad@nuigalway.ie. Remember Irish poet Seamus Heaney’s words: “If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere”. We hope you will “summer with us” in future as a postgrad student at NUI Galway.

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Above: cherry blossoms on NUI Galway campus on a summer’s day.

Keep well.

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VALERIE LEAHY
Postgraduate Recruitment Officer | Student Recruitment and Outreach Office


More information:
Postgraduate Studies at NUI Galway
Apply online here

NUI Galway is one of Ireland’s top universities for graduate employability. 96% of our undergraduates and 94% of postgraduate students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. Career prospects are excellent for NUI Galway graduates both in terms of an exceptionally high employment rate upon graduation and in terms of career progression.

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