Luke’s Postgraduate Taught Scholarship was the icing on the cake: an opportunity in an affordable, cool city where he could gain skills necessary to pursue his other career ambitions. He is currently studying the MSc Social Science Research Methods and looking forward to finding doctoral study either in the UK or overseas.
Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“My Social Science Research Methods program focuses on developing the skills necessary to undertake further study (at PhD level) or to begin a career in social science research – from the soft vocational skills in dealing with supervisors and delivering oral presentations; through to the harder statistical analyses via the philosophical roots of social science. The study environment is very positive – we are encouraged to work with students from other disciplines to understand what the challenges and benefits can be of different pathways to our own. Everyone is extremely friendly and down to earth – it’s a pleasure to work alongside people who are dedicated to their field of study.”
What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?
“Being awarded the postgraduate taught scholarship was a fantastic opportunity and one I’m extremely grateful for – without it I would be forced to undertake part time work outside of the SSRM course in order to support my living. With it, I am able to concentrate fully on my studies – which will be even more of a benefit when it comes to the actual data collection phase of my thesis.”
Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?
“Thankfully I have been able to use my own personal savings to pay for rent and food/living so far, although I am considering applying for the Santander University Scholarship to supplement this money to get me through the summer.”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“I had previously applied to several PhD schemes (including Cardiff’s own) in Psychology, but had been told by several institutions that I should come back in a year with a Masters if I could. This is my main motivation – to secure a place on a PhD scheme, either in the US/Canada or in the UK, and I hope that the SSRM is an ideal path towards this goal.”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“Having previously studied for my undergraduate degree in Cardiff, I was familiar with the department, the city, and the way of working. I felt that this would make the process an easier one to undertake. The cost of living in Cardiff is really affordable, it’s a cool place with stuff going on outside of the Uni, and the lure of the available funding was the icing on the cake.”
Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?
“So far I’ve enjoyed meeting people with different research interests to my own, putting my research skills to use in a ‘research in practice’ extra module, and outside of uni, furthering my amateur journalistic skills writing about live music around the city.”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“Cardiff is, and has been, a fantastic place to live for the last four years. It caters to my own personal interests greatly – the arts are well represented, be it in gallery showings of photography, live music (I’ve seen everything from punk to piano concertos), and arthouse cinema over at the Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff’s independent cinema, theatre and arts space), which is an amazing facility).”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“I hope that the SSRM course in particular will provide me with the core set of skills that will make me an attractive proposition as a potential PhD candidate – from the more tangible research skills to the deeper philosophical understanding of the research process. Further down the line, the MA Social Science Research Methods has prepared me for the trials and tribulations of publishing research, presenting at conferences, and postdoc work in general.”
Has studying for a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University lived up to your expectations?
“So far I’ve had an excellent first semester both academically and socially, and I’m sure the next semester will follow suit. The strong support structure I found as an undergraduate is reflected at postgrad level, and I’m pleased with my choice to continue studying in Cardiff.”
What are your biggest achievements as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University so far?
“So far I’ve had an excellent first semester both academically and socially, and I’m sure the next semester will follow suit. The strong support structure I found at undergraduate level is reflected at postgrad, and I’m pleased with my choice to continue studying in Cardiff.”
Got a question about studying a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University? Contact us »