A student guide to welcome week

Written By

Think Postgrad

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is welcome week?
  • What happens during welcome week?

Your masters student guide to welcome week

As a new academic year gets under way, it can be an exciting but also daunting time for new postgraduates, especially if starting at a different university or having been out of education for a while. We asked four Postgraduate Societies to offer a student guide on what to look out for. What happens at their institution’s welcome week in the first few weeks for new postgraduate students?

Tania, Students’ Association St Andrews

The Orientation Week for new postgraduates is twofold. There are induction events run by the University and different departments to give them the chance to meet relevant staff. Additionally, the Postgraduate Society hosts a variety of activities throughout the week ranging from a drinks reception, town safari, beach picnics and a bonfire!

These events that are open to both Masters and PhD students. We strive to bring both together to build a stronger community whose members benefit from each other. We work closely with other units of the University such as Careers and professional development. For example, we piloted a very successful event last year where current Masters students had the opportunity to speak to current PhD students about their life as a research student to explore the different options.

James, PhD candidate and PG Representative, University of Leeds

Search out your university’s Postgraduate Society – and if they don’t have one, find someone who can help you set one up. It is a great way to meet new people outside of your department. It's a place for Masters and PhD students to discuss work, as well as offering opportunities to get away from the books and computers for a while.

There are opportunities to join various other union societies, to take part in sports, political activity and other pursuits. Some societies are often dependent on PG participation to run smoothly, so don’t think they’re only for undergraduates.

So join a society, explore your union, become a PG representative. If these opportunities don’t exist at your university and its union, don’t be afraid to do something about it!

Emma and Ameila, Little France Postgrad Society, University of Edinburgh

In the Postgraduate Society, we're really keen to make the newcomers feel welcome. It gives them the chance to meet other postgraduates on campus. We contribute to official inductions but we also host a more informal welcome a couple of weeks into the course.

Aaron, Postgraduate Students Chair, Union of Brunel Students

We work with the University to provide a comprehensive induction for all new Postgrads. This year we worked with the international team to ensure that there were four induction talks about facilities and services for those students who did not have a standardised start date. Every Tuesday our Graduate School holds a coffee morning, in which all Masters and PhD students can come, talk, socialise and get to know the PG community – this event is generally the first that most attend.

PhD students should also be sure to listen to our weekly radio show called academic Brunel in which we invite students to discuss their research on the radio show!

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