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A giant leap to honours

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Michael Pedro
March11/ 2017

The jump from undergraduate to honours and how students cope with the changes.

AS much as first-year students struggle to adjust to the university environment, postgraduate students face various challenges as they make the transition to their respective honours programmes.
Anthony Teixeira, a postgraduate student studying anthropology, says that his undergraduate degree lacked variety in the prescribed readings. “The undergraduate courses never really gave me the opportunity to engage with other authors, which is something that I would need later on when sourcing and using my own material.”

Wits university where students struggle with the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate.
Wits university where students struggle with the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate.

Psychology student, Nadine da Silva has had a similar experience. She said she had definitely noticed a change in the course material and that it felt more practical because of the fact that there were more group discussions and opportunities to discuss the course content.
This is not by accident, according to Doctor Iginio Gagliardone, a media studies lecturer at Wits. He says there is a conscious effort to move towards practical work, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, but that it is more emphasised at postgraduate level in order to prepare students for the real world.
Students are also encouraged to engage with the lecturers on a more intellectual level and should begin to “develop the characteristics of critical thinkers,” said Gagliardone.

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Michael Pedro