Being a Postgrad Student – I have to actually think for myself! Really?

For some bizarre reason, I’m two weeks up front in my uni work, despite having been off gallivanting and enjoying sunnier climes. This is most excellent because it allows me a full fortnight to tackle my next assignment. Thankfully as it’s the opener TMA (tutor marked assignment) for my international law module, so it’s quite short – just 2,000 words and seemingly on the surface, pretty straightforward.
What no-one tells you about undertaking postgraduate study is that you are expected to do the research and hard work all by yourself, rather than having to stick to the textbooks and materials provided, indeed in the past I have tutors that have frowned upon exploring outside the set texts. For Open University students, both current and former, you know how important it is to read the ‘guidance on answering’, and then follow it to the word, well my guidelines are…..
“When writing this essay you will need to explore the concept of the right of self-determination, giving consideration to the cases of Palestine and Kosovo. It is crucial that you demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and use both primary and secondary sources in your essay.” – C’est tout, we’ve not even looked at either state, so it’s pretty much a blank canvas, with no right or wrong way to approach it.
Sadly, despite always being pretty up to date on world affairs, I do not have that much knowledge on either state, although I am aware that Kosovo gained independence from Serbia in 2008 and that Palestine is still struggling to be recognised by some nations, despite having proclaimed its independence back in 1988…..I guess my first job is to brush up on some basic history! 

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