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Studying postgrad as a mature student

5 March 2020

We’ve asked some of our current mature postgraduate students about their experiences at Cardiff University. See below what Mike has shared with us

What are you enjoying the most about your postgraduate studies?

I’m currently studying on the MSc Postgraduate programme Education, Policy and Society and I’m really enjoying being back at university again after 30 years. I have studied at Cardiff before having completed a Masters in Business Administration, MBA, at Cardiff Business School in 1990 which I found immensely beneficial.

I am finding the entire course fascinating. Having the opportunity to delve deeply into a new subject is a real pleasure. In addition, taking part in the discussions and debates in lectures and seminars, with people far more knowledgeable in the subject is very illuminating. An education in itself in fact.

What was your main motivation to study a postgraduate programme?

I retired from a long career in the business industrial world with a background in organisational leadership and international quality management systems and standards. I was then privileged to be offered a position as a board member of the National Academy for Educational Leadership, where my experience of leadership in the international business world and quality assurance were seen as valuable skills.

Therefore, my main motivation for embarking on the programme was to enhance my understanding of Education Policy in its widest sense to inform my work as a Board Member.

I’m pleased to say it is already paying dividends.


However, I’m not just completing the programme for professional reasons. I view education as a life long process and will probably complete further studies in future. As our societies age and the economy becomes more knowledge intensive I think it’s important universities are seen as a continuing part of everyone’s personal development not just a single event in early life.


Have you benefited from the Welsh Government over sixties bursary?

The bursary for Postgraduate studies after the age of 60 has been very beneficial as I’m no longer in full time employment. However, it wasn’t the main factor in deciding to pursue a programme in post graduate study as there were other professional and personal reasons as I have indicated earlier.

What advice would you give to any other students over 60 years old considering postgraduate study?

For any students over the age of 60 considering postgraduate study I would encourage them to do so. However, studying a subject at this level can be hard work and intellectually challenging as well enjoyable. Therefore it’s important to choose an area of study in which you’re really interested. In addition, it’s possible to study many subjects part time, thereby extending the period of study.

I have found this option very beneficial because it gives you time to get into the discipline of academic study, more opportunities to read around the subject and also allows time for other activities in your life.