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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > Masters Advice / Support


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Am I the only one at fault?


User: Kynaras - 20 May 2017 02:53

I know I hold 99% of the fault when it comes to lack of progress in my degree. So please do not see this at all as some sort of attempt to divert all blame onto my supervisor.

I was assigned a supervisor for my coursework Masters whose expertise matches my area of interest. The first 4 weeks of the semester I received no reply to any of my emails.Eventually I contacted the lecturer in charge of postgrad students who diplomatically nudged my supervisor to stop ignoring me. This led to her putting off meeting me for another 2 weeks. We met and had a brief meeting discussing potential topics.

That is all it ever amounted to. The past 3 months I have had no contact with her. -Nothing-. I have been able to research easily enough on my own and feel very comfortable with this area of law so I never had any particular issues or questions to ask my supervisor's help for. She herself has not once emailed me to see how my thesis has progressed or to see if my thesis is on the right track.

One of my courses (Research Methodology) requires I send in tasks to my supervisor for review/marking. These tasks are essentially parts of my thesis like a literature review. The first 4 tasks I sent in, I received no reply or feedback. After that I started falling behind and failed to submit tasks but my supervisor did not seem to care - She never once emailed to ask why I had not submitted a task. There was an oral presentation for marks which I failed to pitch up for. I was sent an email by her the day before telling me the venue/time but nothing else even after I failed to pitch.

It is now the end of the semester and the final draft of my research proposal was due 2 days ago. Still she has not emailed me. Due to missed tasks, I stand to fail the course and feel devastated. Am I the only one at fault?

User: TreeofLife - 22 May 2017 11:05

You knew the deadlines and you haven't adhered to them. I would contact your administration department if I were you and explain the situation and see what they suggest. You probably should have escalated her lack of response earlier. Get your stuff ready to submit asap.

User: Tudor_Queen - 22 May 2017 11:45

I agree with ToL.

User: Tudor_Queen - 22 May 2017 14:41

If it goes to appeal then I think it is really important to have evidence of your work and ability/capability. If it seems like you fell behind and you had adequate (or even slightly inadequate) support and yet were not able to finish, it is unlikely they'll give you another chance. If you have evidence that suggests you are able to complete it but things beyond your control went a bit pear shaped (try to avoid words like fault or blame), then I think it will be viewed more favourably. Whatever you do, try not to get (openly) emotional or attack your supervisor in any way.

This advice is based on a recent appeals panel I sat on. Maybe yours won't even get to that stage, but if it does, this is my advice for a favourable outcome.

User: Kynaras - 22 May 2017 20:16

Thank you for the replies.

As tough as it is to admit, the situation is my fault and I am sorry if I came across as trying to blame my supervisor for not having done my work. While I do feel that she has not performed her duties as a supervisor, my current situation is indeed of my own making.

I am finally putting in the hard work needed to finish my proposal and hope a late submission will be accepted, even if it means receiving a penalty.

Thank you for the honest opinion ToL and thank you Tudor Queen for the measured advice.

User: Tudor_Queen - 22 May 2017 21:47

I don't think you did come across that you were trying to blame them. I think they are to blame for getting you in that position (but then you have to take responsibility for not submitting). Good luck with it all.

User: pm133 - 25 May 2017 13:01

Quote From Kynaras:
Thank you for the replies.

As tough as it is to admit, the situation is my fault and I am sorry if I came across as trying to blame my supervisor for not having done my work. While I do feel that she has not performed her duties as a supervisor, my current situation is indeed of my own making.

I am finally putting in the hard work needed to finish my proposal and hope a late submission will be accepted, even if it means receiving a penalty.

Thank you for the honest opinion ToL and thank you Tudor Queen for the measured advice.

I am normally a very harsh critic of people as regards this sort of thing but in this case I think you deserve a lot of credit for appearing to immediately accept you were entirely to blame. The easier route would have been to blame the supervisor and you opted not to do this.
As others have said, if you had kept to your timescales then you would always have a case if things went against you because you contacted the right people early in the process. This has been a tough lesson for you but it sounds like you have genuinely learmed from it. You will almost certainly have to call on this experience again in your career and next time you will nail it. In my career it is the things which go wrong like this which build our experience and make us do special things when it really matters.
I made far worse mistakes as a young man. You will be fine.
What you need now, is to get everything submitted and pray for a slice of luck. Start working on your charm offensive.
Let us know how you get on and good luck.




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