Reflections for a Master’s Student at MEDIU

Advice by Abu Ibrahim, a master’s student at MEDIU. The original comment can be found here.

Having completed my first term at MEDIU on the master’s program I thought I would share some information for the benefit of prospective master’s students. The information provided on the university website unfortunately does not give a clear picture as to what the student should expect.

Firstly, the student has to choose either full-time or part-time mode of study. The full-time option involves enrollment on 4 or 5 units, whilst the part-time option means registering on 2 or 3 units. Each unit comprises a 5,000 word research paper, two short assignments (typically one or two pages in length) and the mid-term and final exams. In theory it is possible to complete the program within two years; however the constraining factor for most students will be the research paper which takes considerable time and effort to research and write. There are also four live lectures the student must attend to be eligible to enter the exams. The lectures essentially involve the instructor summarizing /reading verbatim one or more lessons and do not really have much impact on exam performance and attendance is more just an administrative requirement.

The master’s program differs from the bachelors program in a number of respects; there are no power-point style summaries of the course texts meaning that the onus is on the student to produce his own concise summary for revision purposes (with the exception of Manhjul Bahth). Each text consists of about 500 pages, so high level study skills are needed to sort the wheat from the chaff. Also another key difference is that both the mid-term and final exam includes written questions, alongside the usual multiple choice questions, which account for around 40% of the score. To score at the highest levels in the examinations a very detailed study of the text is needed (as some of the questions are looking for obscure detail), but for those wishing to gain the qualification with a good result, a solid, general understanding of each and every chapter (from my experience at least) should suffice.

My advice to prospective master’s students is to start the research papers as early in the term as possible, once the selected title(s) have been posted, to avoid unnecessary stress later on down the line. It is also advisable to use the period before term begins to start reading and summarizing the course texts; the texts are freely available on the university’s website. I believe that with a strategic approach it is possible to complete the masters in a short period of time with a good result inshallah.