As all Postgraduate students will know, research is extremely important in dissertation planning – so why is there no standardised training scheme here at UEA? At the moment, the Masters dissertation experience is extremely varied across courses, with some students getting little or no research training at all. This consequently discourages people from collecting primary data, something which is a vital part of any dissertation and which every student should feel confident in carrying out.
In addition to this, a lot of students are unsatisfied with the way timelines are managed. PTES statistics are showing a decrease in student satisfaction regarding timetabling, and I have also spoken to Postgraduate students here at UEA who have been dismissed by their supervisors for approaching them too early with plans for dissertations. This is a hindrance to students' research and planning, and gives off all the wrong signals to Postgraduates as they should be receiving support and encouragement throughout the entire process.
Every dissertation or research student should have access to training, and I believe that we need to give Postgraduates more support and encouragement in the conducting of their own research. In my second term as uea|su’s Postgraduate Officer, I’ll be pushing to see the development of research training packs across all faculties here at UEA, as well as the expansion of peer-support workshops for PhD students.