A day in the life of a Corruption and Governance MA (online) student | Sam Parrett-Jung

Meet Sam Parrett-Jung, a part-time online Masters student studying Corruption and Governance at the University of Sussex, currently living in Bristol. In this blog, he walks us through a typical day in his life.

Morning routine

Depending on whether I am required to work my part-time barista job, my waking hours vary. On a working day I would normally wake up early between 5.00am and 8.00am within which time I begin working at my part time job. On my days off barista work, I normally take it quite easy getting up, normally, around 8.00am. I spend the morning getting ready, having a coffee and breakfast with my housemates. When I am ready to work, I sit at the desk space in my room and crack on.

Study

The great thing about studying part-time and online is the flexibility of study hours. On days where I am not working as a barista, I would normally allocate 3 to 4 hours each day to working on my Masters degree and balancing this with other commitments. For example, some days I feel like putting more time into my wellbeing through exercise and I go to the gym.

Gym showing weights, benches and equipment in he background.

Visit to the gym.

 

On days like this, I would normally head to the gym around 9am, travelling down and up St Michael’s Hill, which is a long, but relaxing and scenic walk. After the gym, I cool down a bit then get on with my studies. However, as the study hours are entirely self-dependent, I can choose to do this when I feel most alert. I can also choose to work in either the morning or evening depending on the nature of my commitments. This makes studying online a very adaptable and stress-free experience.

On my course, modules are released on a step-by-step basis, allowing you to complete one and then continue onto the other. This never feels overwhelming, as you are only ever working on one assignment or exploring one topic at a time. I can always plan out my working day as a consequence of this.

The nature of online study

 

Screenshot of Canvas - Sussex's virtual learning environment

Canvas – Sussex’s virtual learning environment.

 

Online study relies heavily on the use of Canvas, a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) that has a range of tools. Each module is set out very comprehensively and is split into virtual ‘weeks’ that you click on.

There is a different topic each week, but the manner in which it is presented makes it very easy to work through. The modules I have completed had three online zoom calls with the class per module. This gives me time to ask any questions, explore the work we have covered, while also meeting my fellow classmates and module leader.

The online calls are a great way of building rapport with other students and after my first call, myself and two others agreed to meet weekly in our own time to discuss our thoughts and ideas about the current topic. This means that if I was working in the café on a day where the scheduled zoom call was, I could make up this time by talking with other students face to face in a very similar fashion. Recordings of the call are also posted if you are unable to attend; you can then view these at any time that suits you. I often look over the recording in the evening if I had other commitments that day.

Evening routine

Once the working day is over, I like to unwind with my housemates, by watching a film or cooking and eating a nice meal. I never feel as if I am unable to do this with my Masters course – there is always time to unwind in the evening if the week has been planned out properly. Once it hits 11.00pm, I head to bed.

Interested in studying an online Masters in Corruption and Governance with the University of Sussex? Visit the course page to learn more about the course modules, entry requirements and typical study-time commitment per week and see if it’s right for you.

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