UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Mina Stojanovic

Nationality: Serbian
Previous course at UCL CLIE: International Pre-Master's (2017)
Progressed to: Social Cognition MSc: Research and Applications at UCL

International Pre-Master's Student Mina Stojanovic

Where were you before coming to UCL?

I come from the lively and hip city of Belgrade, Serbia. After completing a BSc in Psychology at the University of Belgrade, I accepted an unconditional offer for an MSc in Social Cognition at UCL for 2017/18. However, I decided to attend the UCL International Pre-Master’s in order to improve my academic English and properly prepare for Master’s studies in the UK.

What skills have you developed on the International Pre-Master’s?

The Pre-Master’s not only critically enhanced my confidence and academic English, but had also equipped me with a way of thinking essential for successful studying at postgraduate level at the leading universities in the UK.

The Pre-Master’s has greatly exceeded my expectations. I not only improved my academic English, but also acquired a range of study skills which will be beneficial for my Master’s studies.

Apart from writing plenty of essays, reports, critiques, literature reviews and reflections, I was engaged in every part of a research process through the main project, which was good preparation for the future Master’s thesis. I learned how to develop an argument, use critical thinking in order to build my position, as well as to present these in a logical and coherent way in formal English language. In addition, through giving oral presentations and the participation in seminars and journal clubs, my public speaking and presentation skills were significantly enhanced.

What have been the highlights of the IPM course?

If I had to choose one feature of the course which I liked the most, I’d say that it is the overall structure of the course and the fact that it was organised and planned in detail: from lectures given by eminent professors every Monday, to the journal clubs and field trips that were organized, portfolio and poster presentations we made, all the way to the topics we dealt with. Everything was interconnected, making the Pre-Master’s a highly interesting and meaningful course which provides many insights and enables students to not only prepare for Master’s but also learn something new about themselves.

My favourite topic was the educational debate, because it provided new insights about higher education. Through the concept of “powerful knowledge”, which particularly inspired me, I have realised that one of the main purposes of education is to “train the mind to think”. In addition, I developed a poster with the group and this concept was a basis of our position. Developing a poster was a valuable activity, which I didn’t have the opportunity to perform in my previous education.

What do you do when you were not studying for the International Pre-Master's?

UCL and its exceptional location, London, offers something for everyone and there are plenty of opportunities for every student to get involved. Pre-Master’s social events, organized every Friday, are a great way to get to know London and get acquainted with other students as well.

I have volunteered in several events through UCL Students' Union and was a member of Bloomsbury fitness. In addition, I attended some of the events of the UCL Film Society and I plan on being more active in UCL societies in the following year.

Walking though London was also my daily habit and it never gets boring, since there is always some part of London which you haven’t yet explored. When it comes to the nightlife, UCL Students' Union organises karaoke every Saturday at Mully’s Bar and I was a regular guest!

How does student life at UCL compare to student life in your country?

It greatly differs. Student life at UCL is more interactive and dynamic, and what is expected from students is qualitatively different. By that, I mainly refer to seminars and debates, as well as essay writing, which exist as a main part of studies in almost any sphere. This is why I think the Pre-Master’s is a crucial step which facilitates transfer from a significantly different educational system.

What do you want to do once you’ve finished your course?

I will be studying MSc in Social Cognition from September and I plan on continuing the internship in UCL Psychology Labs. In addition, since the research proposal which I conducted during the Pre-Master’s evoked my interests in research, applying for a Ph.D. is a long-term option.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

My advice would be to be aware the International Pre-Master’s is an intensive course which requires hard work, but it pays off in every possible way. Also, get prepared to meet your new family and have a lifetime experience!