My first year at SOAS: Part-time distance learning

Computer on a desk, working from home

My first year at SOAS, University of London has been an exciting learning experience. To give you some context, I graduated from my undergraduate degree in Summer 2020, before joining a graduate scheme at a global FMCG company. After just over a year of getting to grips with my new role, I decided to embark on my next challenge – a part-time, distance-learning Master’s degree.  Here’s a look back at some of the things I’ve learned in my first at SOAS.

Juggling working and studying

I remember when I got my offer from SOAS, and it was pretty soon followed by worry and dread that I wouldn’t be able to manage everything on my plate – work, study, housework, a social life, exercise, etc. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned this past year, it’s that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and manage my time well!

Tailoring my studies

My course is MSc Global Corporations and Policy. The thing I’ve most enjoyed about the course is how I’ve been able to tailor it to my personal interests. In the vast majority of cases, I’ve been able to choose the topics I wish to analyse for my assignments. For example, for my final submission, there was a choice of eight different essay questions which I could answer. It goes without saying that I was able to find something I was interested in and was excited to research and write about it.

Advice I’d give to students joining SOAS

If there are any pieces of advice I would give to students starting at SOAS in September, I’d tell them the following:

Perfect your time management skills

Make sure you schedule study time when you know where and when you’re at your most effective. For me, I’ve found that to be early in the morning, before I start my 9-5 job (I’m far too exhausted after work!).

Use the resources around you

Whether that’s asking your tutor for some further reading for your next assignment or taking some time out and asking your friends to meet for coffee. Build a support network around you, and use it!

Know that you can do it

Everything will all be OK in the end. You’re inevitably going to face obstacles during your course… But make sure you stay motivated, work hard, and focus on the end goal, and you’ll get there!

Rachael Woodroffe is a SOAS Digital Ambassador currently studying a distant learning online Masters in Global Corporations and Policy. Rachael lives in the South West of England and works full-time in Corporate Affairs alongside her studies. 

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