Day in the life of a PG politics student at Durham


Not a morning person

Wake up around 8:30-9am, I am not a morning person, so I prefer to have a slow morning. Normally I get ready and make myself breakfast and pack my lunch for the day before heading out to my lecture. It’s about a 20-minute walk from my accommodation to the Lower Mountjoy where I have most of my lecturers and seminars. I enjoy the walk in the morning as it gives me a chance to clear my head and think about my plan for the day.

Lecture time

My lecture of the day is for my Politics of East Asia module, this only lasts an hour between 11am-12am. For most of my modules I tend to have lectures one week and then seminars the next, this is helpful as it allows me to schedule my seminar readings easily.

Coffee time

After my lecture I head to the business school to meet up with my friends. I find my friends and set out my things before heading to buy myself a coffee from the café. The business school café is just one of the many places to grab a coffee or some food within Durham University. I enjoy the coffee here because it is very reasonably priced and you get a huge mug, very helpful for assignment season!

Assignment season

I tend to split my time studying between here and the library as I find that variety helps my productivity. Durham has a variety of study spaces, each with their own unique atmosphere depending on how you’re feeling.

As its assignment season I am beginning to work on next terms assessments. I have 4 assignments all heavily weighted due at the end of next term. Now I am working on my assignment for my Political Thought and Ideologies. This is a 4,000-word assignment which is worth 100% of my grade. This is my first summative assignment for this module as most modules in this department you complete formatives in the first term which don’t count towards your overall grade but allow you to have feedback. Then in second and final term you complete summative assessments which count towards your final grade.

Ustinov College common room

Time to relax

Around 4:30/5pm I will walk back to my accommodation, when I get in, I like to unpack my bag and get unready from the day before calling my partner to catch up on day. I find it important for me to allow my home space to be a space of relaxation. So, I plug my computer in, write down what my plan is for tomorrow, I find it useful to have a clear outline of my tasks for the week ahead as this helps keep me focused and motivated, without becoming overwhelmed.  Then I relax normally by watching TV or reading, I have been reading the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and it has been great to get back into reading and away from screens.

I will then make myself some dinner, before heading out to meet my friends. Ustinov College has a nice common area which is great to relax in. I have found the college a great source of community in my time at Durham, which I have appreciated even more having moved from a non-collegiate university.

My advice

As a prospective masters student, I would recommend developing a routine and utilising the resources and spaces Durham has. As especially when on a course with limited contact hours I find this helpful for my productivity.

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Hi, I’m Jazmine and I am currently a masters student at Durham University. I moved to Durham for postgraduate studies having completed my undergrad at the University of Birmingham. I study Politics and International Relations and am a member of Ustinov College – Durham’s only postgraduate exclusive college!

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