Case study

Reshaping
my future

Jill Baker had a plan. She was going to finish her Education Studies BA (Hons) degree at Derby then head abroad to live and teach. But plans change. Jill has stayed in Derby to develop her depth of knowledge by studying for an MA in Education.

Making a change

Jill decided the progression to postgraduate study was a good choice for her after a long-term illness in her third year knocked her confidence. She explains: “I opted to do another year at university to review, revise and reshape my future plans.”

With advice and support from her lecturers, Jill has chosen the Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring pathway for her masters after studying her Education Studies BA (Hons) with a Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) pathway.

She says: “This will complement my teaching skills and knowledge of education. It’s a way to link with my previous studies, supporting me to retain what I already learned and to develop new knowledge.”

Jill Baker studying

Extra dimension

Postgraduate study, says Jill, is about developing a deeper subject knowledge and awareness. She explains: “The lecturers teach us in pretty much the same way as on undergraduate study but, when we do our research, presentations and assignments, we are expected to add an extra dimension to our work.

“It’s all about ‘going to the source’, as one of my masters lecturers puts it – not relying on secondary information from books or articles but going to the person that the information came from.”

Jill feels there have been lots of benefits to continuing to postgraduate study at the same institution. She says: “If it suits you being an undergraduate here then it will more than likely suit you as a postgraduate. It’s a benefit to not have to go through a second transitional phase. You know how things work around here.”

MA student Jill Baker

A big decision

Whatever your progression route, Jill says it’s crucial to do the footwork. “It is a big decision and not one to go into lightly,” she says.

“But you can save yourself a lot of time and effort if you talk to your current lecturers. They are likely to give you their honest opinion as they want to see students doing well. They are also aware of the pitfalls and advantages that we as students may not always think of, so you get a different view than you would from your fellow students.”

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