IQ Inside Queen's – A Student's Perspective


POSTGRADUATE WEEK 30 APRIL- 4 MAY: Life as a Postgraduate Student

In the coming weeks, Queen’s University Belfast’s International and Postgraduate Student Centre (IPSC) will be dedicating a Postgraduate week to help postgraduate students from all disciplines get a chance to communicate their experiences of both their academic and university life, with their fellow peers and to celebrate life a postgraduate student.

The week will consist of a range of social events for postgraduate students to get to know their peers and also a chance to demonstrate the skills postgraduate students have acquired throughout their time with Queen’s through academic competitions. 

For full information on what will be happening during the postgraduate week and how to enter the various competitions please check out their website

Life as a postgraduate student myself has been a challenging yet exciting opportunity. I graduated from the University of Ulster from my undergraduate degree in Accounting in 2010 and while it was never my career plan, I decided to study a Masters in Accounting and Finance at Queen’s University. Looking back at my decision, I was extremely scared at the thought of coming to a new university, meeting new people from different backgrounds and studying at a higher level. Comparing it to the University of Ulster, I was shocked when arriving to Queen’s because even though all schools and academic services are located in different areas as opposed to having all faculties and services within one building, I instantly felt a warm and welcoming community feeling at Queen’s and so I quickly adapted to my new surroundings.

Having completed my Masters in December 2011 and currently pursuing my PhD, I would without a doubt recommend doing a postgraduate course at Queen’s University. The quality of the course material and teaching exceeded beyond my expectations and whilst, as a postgraduate taught student, there is that little bit more independence and expectation of being more disciplined at a higher level of study, the help and guidance offered by the course lecturers was amazing. Undoubtedly, the masters would be the most difficult year of my life; however the challenge of pushing the boundaries of my capability was my drive for succeeding. And it was the help of my friends, my lecturers and the areas of support Queen’s offered; specifically the Mc Clay Library for their unlimited amount of comfortable space and learning resources, the Student Guidance Centre for their kind assistance with almost every aspect of university life and the IPSC for its friendly atmosphere of a postgraduate setting that helped me to enjoy my time at Queen’s and to get the grades to embark on my PhD with the University.

The best part of being a postgraduate student at Queen’s is the support you receive from all aspects of university life, not just academic related. Whether it may be concerns with career opportunities, to personal doubts about yourself and your capability levels, Queen’s University has something to offer for everyone.

Life as a postgraduate student at Queen’s helps you to mature not just in your academic setting but also as a person. You feel much more comfortable asking for help and guidance and building a relationship with peers and lecturers at your school. Looking back at undergraduate level, this was something I was never really comfortable with but being a postgraduate student boosts your confidence and especially here at Queen’s, the environment in which you work in only adds to it even more. It helps you to enhance your communication, interpersonal and communication skills and gives you that little bit more leverage when it comes to applying for jobs with a postgraduate qualification under your belt.

The decision to become a postgraduate student at Queen’s is one I will cherish forever as it changed my life. Queen’s have helped me beyond words to excel to a level of academia I was told would never be possible. The encouragement, kindness and guidance I have received from the University has been over whelming and so I say to Queen’s, thank you and to all undergraduates interest in pursuing further education, life as a postgraduate student at Queen’s really is worth every penny.

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Summer Graduation schedule now available

As most of you know, summer graduation is fast approaching. The schedule for the summer graduation is now available and can be found by clicking on the following link. Registering for graduation will not become available until your final classification has been awarded to you via QSIS however details of how to register can be found here.

We have had a large amount of calls and emails at the Student Guidance Centre about how students who have deferred graduation or already have their final classification can register for graduation. At present, nobody can register for graduation until the registration wizard opens (date yet to be confirmed). Students will be contacted via their Queen’s email account in due course so please keep checking and we will update you as and when the information becomes available.

If anybody has any queries with regards to summer graduations (gowns, photography, ceremonies) all of the information is available on the Student Records website. Alternatively if you would like to contact the Graduation Helpline please call 02890 973223 or call and speak with the Information Assistants working on the Information Desk in the Student Guidance Centre.

For those of you that are due to graduate this summer, these last weeks will be crucial towards your final classification. The Learning and Development Service continue to offer a range of services either on a one to one basis or through workshops that can help you to achieve your true academic potential and aid in getting those final assignments finished. For further information, you can check out their website or call into Level one of the Student Guidance Centre to collect some free information leaflets and other useful resources from the Learning Development Zone. Alternatively if you would like to speak to a member of staff about booking an appointment or attending a workshop, please go to the Information Desk on Level one and speak to the Information Assistants.


For all postgraduate students- Due to student demand, the International and Postgraduate Student Centre will now open at 08.00 and close at 22.00 Monday – Friday.

The Mc Clay Library will also resume Twenty-Four-Hour Opening on Sunday 22nd April and run until 5.30pm on Saturday 2nd June 2012.

During these dates The Mc Clay Library will remain open overnight every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening. Students will have access to study facilities but service points will not be staffed during the extended hours.

On Sundays the doors open at 12 noon and the building remains open all week until 1.00am on Saturday mornings. It then re-opens at 6.00am on Saturdays and closes on Sunday mornings at 1.00am before reopening at midday.

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Learning Development Services

Struggling with your Maths skills? Finding it hard to structure your essays?

Queen’s Learning Development Service is on hand to help.

They offer academic support to assist students through their individual university pathways.  This service is available for all students, regardless of stage or level of study.

They also know know the pressures of university education and are there to support your academic potential.

Upcoming Workshops

Tuesdays @ The Library

Tue 24th April 6-7pm Reflective Writing & Learning Journals

Brief Outline

This session covers the basics of how to write reflectively for an academic course.  It will offer techniques students can use to help them compose reflective essays, reports, and learning journals.  Participants will get the opportunity to have a short piece of writing critiqued during the workshop.

Target Audience

Students who wish to learn more about how to write in a reflective style for an academic course.  Particularly relevant for undergraduate and master’s level students.

Tue 1st May 6-7pm Exam Preparation

Tue 8th May 6-7pm Managing Exam Stress

Brief Outline

This session covers the symptoms of stress and the impact stress has on thinking and behaviour. You will get an opportunity to try out a number of techniques to help deal with stress effectively. Discussion and interaction will part of the session. Participants will be encouraged to learn from each other and to apply learning from the session to their daily routine.

Target Audience

Any student who wants to learn how to deal with stress, examples of situations that can cause stress will be particularly relevant to undergraduate study.

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