Sophie is currently studying MA Musicology at the School of Music. Her Postgraduate Taught Scholarship has allowed her to focus on her studies.
Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“The MA Musicology course involves the academic study of music: musical texts are studied in various ways including analytical methodologies, interdisciplinary theories, both critical and cultural, and consideration of historical, political and social contexts. ”
What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?
“The Postgraduate Taught Scholarship was a huge relief. Without a student loan, undergoing further studies is expensive and balancing a part-time job with study is difficult. For me, the scholarship has significantly eased financial pressure, enabling me to minimise the hours I work, and leaving me more time to commit to my course.”
Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?
“I am very lucky to have supportive parents who help me to make ends meet on top of my savings and earnings from a part-time job.”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“I have a thirst for all knowledge, and so I was always motivated to pursue postgraduate study. I am a music lover, but also interested in other subjects, particularly humanities, and am keen to stretch myself as much as possible. The Musicology course overlaps with other disciplines, and is challenging, so it was the ideal option for me. ”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“After a thoroughly enjoyable and memorably undergraduate experience at Cardiff, I decided to stay here for postgraduate studies. The city is musically vibrant and there is always plenty to do. I have good relationships with lecturers and other students, and am familiar with the resources and ongoings within the Music Department. For a one-year course, it seemed silly to go anywhere else!”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“The university has great facilities for postgraduate students. The Graduate Centre in the Student Union hosts plenty of social events and trips which are great for new students. The study rooms are useful and it is nice to get away from the busier libraries! As a capital city, there are plenty of events that happen year-round so you are never short of anything to do. From a music student perspective, the Welsh National Opera and BBC National Orchestra of Wales are invaluable, and the Music Department has its own Postgraduate Suite.”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“Although I am unsure of my future plans, a postgraduate course equips you with many invaluable skills. I found that my standard of reading and writing has developed greatly from undergraduate level, and my knowledge base significantly grown. You have to learn to become even more independent when undertaking research and assignments, and you begin to attend conferences and visit educational institutes by your own initiative. Postgraduate study also teaches you to think critically at an even deeper level than undergraduate. These skills are invaluable to any job or career path.”
Has studying for a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University lived up to your expectations?
“Postgraduate study has been all I expected it to be: engaging, challenging, and yet still fun. I can’t imagine what I would have done instead!”
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