Preparing for university

by Justus Nam

Before coming to Lancaster University to commence my PhD studies I had to prepare for my studies as well as building up my professional resume for the future.

Having undertaken my undergraduate and master's degree courses in the UK, I had an advantage and knew what to expect. An average week of a PhD researcher includes study hours and may include some teaching and administrative duties if the researcher takes on employment with the university. The daily routine depends on different factors that may depend on a student’s supervisors and learning style.

Producing academic written work in English can be demanding and requires careful management of time. There may be differences from how this is done in different countries. Therefore, one can prepare better for writing academic work in English if one knows what differences to expect. If you’re unsure, try contacting a current PhD student working in your academic field. They might be willing to advise you.

For any student who may desire to pursue a postgraduate course, it is vital not to wait until you graduate before commencing to seek employment. Once the university year begins, you can expand your horizons by:


Attending conferences, workshops and events are great for meeting new people. Also, social media are great tools like Twitter and LinkedIn are great tools to meet like-minded professionals.

Sending prospective applications

Organisations are always on the search for graduate students and the university conducts numerous career events which are worth attending.

Developing employability skills

The most important skill is to be curious and to be able to connect what one studies with the world: politically, socially, economically, technologically, environmentally and legally.

Preparing for a new course may seem daunting at first, but be assured that many others have taken the same path and found success.


Justus is a PhD student in the Department of Languages and Cultures at Lancaster University.

Lancaster University employs students to create authentic content from a student perspective. All views expressed in this article are those of the students, and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Lancaster University.