Charlotte, MSc International Economics, Banking and Finance24 April 2017
Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University?
I chose Cardiff University for two reasons, the first being the great reputation of the business school and the second being its amazing location! After doing my undergraduate degree at Cardiff Business School, I knew that Cardiff University is well respected by employers for delivering well-rounded and able graduates. The business school also has lots of employer events and a dedicated careers centre to support students, which was something I was really looking for during my master’s degree. Cardiff as a city has a diverse range of activities and there’s always something going on! I especially love the green spaces so close to the University, like Bute and Roath park.
How was your experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff University, in terms of the programme?
The course gets stuck in from the very beginning! Before the timetabled modules kicked in we had pre-sessional maths and statistics to get everyone up to speed and this is a great opportunity to refresh your knowledge or get some help on techniques you might not have covered in your undergraduate degree.
During the first term, we settled in to cover the traditional modules like microeconomics and macroeconomics. We didn’t have any coursework during this time, so there was some extra time for us to do reading and really learn core principles. The second term was more challenging in terms of time management, with quite a few essays in a short space of time, although lecturers and tutors are always on hand in case you have a quick question.
Overall, it’s been challenging and fast-paced but there are lots of staff and practices available to help and I’ve felt like I’ve gained valuable economic knowledge as well as skills, such as teamwork through group projects.
How was your experience of living in Cardiff, in terms of the city, social life and accommodation, again specifically as a Postgraduate?
I’ve loved living in Cardiff, as I was a returning student I was lucky to rent a student house with a couple of friends who were undertaking postgraduate qualifications. We are really lucky to have the student area, and university halls, so close to the University, and it’s all within walking distance of the city centre.
There is so much to do in Cardiff, there are great restaurants and bars, large green spaces in the parks and a vibrant art scene. There are lots of attractions, like beaches and walking spots, only a short train ride away. It really is a lively city with some sort of event or activity for everyone.
What was different about your postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to your previous degree?
One of the major differences between my undergraduate degree and this master’s was the amount of independent learning and reading we are expected to do, often we are told to read over the subject and learn at home and then come back with questions rather than my undergraduate degree where the lecturers went through everything. This is beneficial though because it speeds up the learning process and makes your really understand the topic.
My master’s degree is also made up nearly entirely of international students, this has given me interesting and diverse friends that have been really fun to work with on group projects. During this year, I have completed my first group project and presentation of my entire university career and I believe this are vital experiences for students to have that really prepare you for employment!
How did you fund your postgraduate degree?
I was lucky enough to get the Cardiff University Master’s Excellence Scholarship which pays for a large chunk of my degree. I also receive a portion of the government postgraduate loan which helps to pay my rent as well as having a part-time job at the Student Union to help fund my social life!
How do you think that your postgraduate degree is helping prepare you for the future – job aspirations, career development, future study, etc?
My undergraduate degree was in Economics which follows on naturally to banking sectors as well as the business consultation industry and these are incredible competitive employment areas. I believe my master’s will help me stand out from the crowd and give me an extra edge compared to other candidates.
There are many areas of my master’s that have very real life applications, for example, Cardiff Business School has a fully functional trading room with just a ten minute delay from the real stock exchange.