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I'm planning on undertaking a research masters in Earth Science or Geography within the UK.

During my undergraduate, there were many lectures, exams, courseworks/reports and workshops. I utilised my lecturers to ask questions about all of these things. Yet, my dissertation was very independent with minimal guidance or advice from lecturers (they mostly just nodded along).

My research masters will only have a single thesis/dissertation to hand in (no exams, lectures or reports). How should I use my university to help me in this? The obvious answer is lab equipment, but my thesis is most likely to be a desktop based study. Another answer is guidance from supervisors, but as I am required to come up with a thesis proposal before applying I will probably already have figured out much of what I need to do.

Summary

If you're applying for a research masters in which there is only one piece of assessed work (your independent thesis), there is unlikely to be lab work (no need for uni equipment) and I must pre-decide a thesis proposal before applying (staff not available for guidance), how do I utilise the university to best help me?

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Your thesis advisor should be your principal channel of support. You say you'll already have your topic worked out, but that is far from having produced a finished thesis. The advisor's suggestions and references are intended to support you in producing graduate-level work; that person will know all about the relevant resources that might be available. Without the guidance of a professor you would be flying blind.

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