Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“My MA Musicology course is a theory based course that focusses on historical and critical issues of musicology, combined with specific subject areas such as gender studies, opera and analysis. Two ongoing areas of the course that continue throughout the year are the John Bird lectures, in which we receive talks from visiting Music lecturers on their various research interests and the Postgraduate Forum, in which myself and my fellow postgraduate Music students critique the John Bird lecture, discuss the content and debate various issues. It also provides an opportunity to meet with students on other strands of the MA and MMus courses.
“The facilities and study environment are superb, with plenty of practise rooms, IT facilities and our own Music library. The lecturers are extremely helpful with al aspects of studying and student life and their varied research interests ensure that there is always someone to approach about your own research.”
What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?
“Receiving the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship was fantastic and extremely helpful as it has enabled me to focus better on my studies as I have not been under as much financial pressure as I would have been without it. The Postgraduate Taught Scholarship has allowed me to settle in well into my new course and environment without the added worry of having to immediately find employment to support myself.”
Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?
“I have yet to secure funding for other places, but have recently applied for the Santander Universities Scholarship. I am currently working as a Music teacher and private instrumental teacher in the Cardiff area to support my studies and have also worked for the university at various events. During my undergraduate degree, I was fortunate enough to have several jobs alongside private instrumental tuition which allowed me to save well and have provided support for living costs during my first semester.”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“The biggest motivation for undertaking a postgraduate degree was to enhance my career prospects and provide me with a platform for doctoral studies, which I plan to commence after I have completed my MA. I am also very dedicated to my area study and saw a postgraduate degree as an opportunity to continue studying something that really interests me and to continue developing my research interests.”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“I decided to do my postgraduate degree at Cardiff because it was the university that I felt was able to offer the most suitable course and accommodate and advance my research area. The excellent reputation that the Music department and the staff have also influenced my decision, and the opportunity to work with staff who are well-established in their research areas has proved invaluable.”
Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?
“The academic support from the staff has been a particularly beneficial part of the postgraduate course so far. It is has been very helpful to be able to approach staff for advice or support with work, easing the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study. Studying at postgraduate level has also enabled me to meet and socialise with fellow students who closely share similar interests and ambitions and I have found this particularly rewarding.”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“Cardiff has proved to be a fantastic place to live as a postgraduate student and has provided a welcome contrast to living in London, as I did during my undergraduate degree. The city is varied in the experiences it is able to offer and it is also well-presented and interesting. I have particularly enjoyed Cardiff Castle and St David’s Concert Hall which, as a Music student, has provided me with many opportunities to attend concerts and be exposed to new music and opportunities. I also like that the city is based on the river and is interspersed with parks and green areas which make the city feel more spacious and relaxing.”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“As well as gaining a qualification that will enable me to continue onto study for a PhD, enhancing my career prospects, I am also learning many transferrable skills which will serve me well on entering employment. Postgraduate study has particularly enhanced my critical thinking and research skills, and I am also developing a more efficient reading style, allowing me to study long texts quickly and pinpoint details. The Music department at the University has many links with organisations, institutions and individuals that have provided me with opportunities to network and being to forge contacts.”
Has studying for a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University lived up to your expectations?
“My postgraduate degree at Cardiff University has exceeded my expectations and I already feel that I have personally developed and broadened my knowledge over my first semester. The course is very varied and provides more opportunities for incorporating individual interests than I initially expected which has been enjoyable. I think the postgraduate experience I have had so far would be difficult to improve on.”
What are your biggest achievements as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University so far?
I feel that my biggest achievement as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University has been being shortlisted for the elections to become chair of the Student Committee for the Royal Music Association (RMA). This is most likely an opportunity that I would not have had, had I not decided to study at Cardiff and I have had excellent support and encouragement from my fellow students, despite my short time at the university.
I have yet to be informed of the result of the elections, but should I be awarded the position of chair, it will be a fantastic opportunity to represent the Music department at Cardiff University and to communicate with the student body, developing the RMA’s aims to benefit students.
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