Ross’s Postgraduate Taught Scholarship has allowed him to remain in Cardiff University’s School of Planning and Geography. Having completed his undergraduate degree here, the reputation of academics within the School, as well as his connections with them, were the key motivations for studying MSc Urban and Regional Development.
Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“The Urban and Regional Development programme which I am studying focuses on a key research area which is especially pertinent in understanding global development. It is a new course which has been updated to suit contemporary socio-economic changes and to remain both relevant and at the forefront of research.
“This programme is predominately theoretically orientated; however it also includes vocational elements and provides opportunities to develop vocational skills. Assessments include essays, presentations and one current project includes producing a short video to assess the sustainability of a housing scheme.
“Our lecturers are well recognised in their individual fields and are complemented by guest lecturers, both from within the School and externally, who provide additional areas of expertise. Tuition is predominately in the form of lectures; however the small module sizes offer the option for group discussion and input. These small groups also mean that you get to know your fellow students very quickly and share their previous experience.”
What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?
“Having completed my undergraduate degree at Cardiff University, I knew what a great city and university Cardiff was to study at. The offer of a Postgraduate Taught Scholarship meant that I was able to stay in the city and at a university which is well renowned for planning, with lecturers and facilities that I knew well. This scholarship made returning to Cardiff to study an easy choice.”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“I decided to undertake a postgraduate degree to complete the academic requirements of my accredited professional body. I hope that this will advance my career.”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“I chose to continue my studies at Cardiff as, following my undergraduate degree, I knew both the high quality of teaching that I could expect and the reputation of the university in my field. Knowing the city and university facilities well also made my decision easier as I knew that Cardiff suited me.”
Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?
“The friendships that I have made so far through my postgraduate course have stood out to me. Going through your studies knowing that you have a great group of friends has made it really enjoyable, and being able to graduate together will be a real sense of achievement.”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“It is a struggle to think of anything that Cardiff cannot provide students. As a capital city it has everything you could need, from shops (e.g. the St. David’s Shopping Centre) and a great nightlife to international sports (from rugby to watersports). That said, it is small enough to walk almost everywhere. It’s definitely worth exploring the traditional arcades of the city centre, as they always seem to hide the more unique shops.”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“A Masters degree is important to me in progressing with my career and gaining chartered status, however the course has offered me more than just a qualification. Assessed presentations to lecturers and fellow students provide great practice for future jobs and interviews, whilst conducting independent research for a dissertation can be vital in demonstrating skills to potential employers. The School of Planning and Geography also provide weekly Innovation and Engagement events which provide lectures on a range of topics from international experts in their field and also the opportunity to network with local business partners.”
Has studying for a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University lived up to your expectations?
“Having studied at Cardiff previously my expectations of studying here again were high, and yet again they have been exceeded. The small size of the modules has meant that we have quickly formed close friendships with like-minded individuals studying similar disciplines. Lecturers are friendly and approachable, making the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate easy, whilst providing the independence that you would expect from this level of study.”
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