“My Postgraduate Taught Scholarship has given me more time to study”

Another of our Postgraduate Taught Scholars tells us about how her Scholarship has given her the opportunity to fully appreciate the opportunities – and placements – that Cardiff University’s MA Social Work offers.

Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?

“The MA Social Work is a vocational two year masters approved by the Care Council for Wales leading to Newly Qualified Social Work status.  I have enjoyed most of the lectures some which are guest lectures from various social care organisations.  The course is very intense as I must also attend placement with a local authority but despite the heavy workload it is very enjoyable and confirmed I am definitely following the right career.”

What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?

“The scholarship means I do not have to work as many shifts in my part time job as I initially thought so giving me more study time.  I am very pleased to win a scholarship as I am aware they are highly sought after.”

Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?

“I have a part-time job and have also made enquiries at the Jobshop about getting more work during the summer.  I had a really bad experience applying for a Career Development Loan. The bank managed to completely mess up my credit score so I have to do this without a loan. I thought it would be hard, but with part time work, my scholarship and Care Council for Wales funding for my fees it shows it is possible without a CDL.”

What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?

“I was working in care as a support worker for two years prior to beginning the course and knew social care was my calling but the shift pattern was exhausting so I knew I had to find something I would equally enjoy but more plausible long term.”

Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?

“Cardiff has an excellent reputation for my course and studying locally means I can stay near family and friends for moral support and also retain my part time job.  Friends and family have cooked me a lot of dinners in the past few months! ”

Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?

“The placement that Cardiff Uni has arranged as compulsory to my course was excellent and I can’t wait to begin another placement in February.”

What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?

“Cardiff is a great city but I’m biased as I’m local to the area anyway.  I grew up going into Cardiff for shopping, gigs and rugby matches and knowing the city well I feel is a massive bonus as I don’t have time to waste looking for places and finding my way around.”

How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?

“My placement means I have a good chance of getting a job even before graduating as I’ll have first-hand experience with an employer.”

Has studying for a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University lived up to your expectations?

“At first there was a lot of information to take in on the course, which took some getting used to.  I didn’t always know where I needed to be or what I was doing.  Since I’ve settled into the course it’s got easier and staff are always happy to provide information or help.  My course means I spend a lot of time away from university and on placement but even during these times tutors are still regularly in contact via email and ready to answer any queries.”

What are your biggest achievements as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University so far?

“Getting through the first semester. The second years tell us the first term is the hardest and if we could get through that we’d last the whole course. Right now, it’s so onwards and upwards to graduation and earning money again!”

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