Specialist Masters student insight - choosing electives

19 May 2017

In this month’s postgraduate student insight blog, our Specialist Masters students discuss how they chose their elective modules for the term, and their dissertation topics.

Swabra Mutwafy
MSc Information Systems Management & Innovation

MSc Information System Management & Innovation is a specialist course, hence the elective modules on offer are limited to around four (this will vary) and you choose two. The electives are taught in the second term. Near the end of Term 1, lecturers of all elective modules each have a 45-minute presentation, telling us all about the module, what it covers, their expectations, and provide the reading list. Attending these sessions and skimming through the syllabus of each elective is worthwhile before coming to a decision.

When choosing electives, the two things I considered were interest and my future aspirations. I have always been intrigued by how IT has revolutionized the concept of money, hence my choice for choosing the Global Finance and IT module. Since I aspire to be a consultant, choosing the IT Consultancy module, for me, was a no-brainer.

 

Amalia Smpokou
MSc Marketing & Strategy

Now it is your turn! You can choose from a great variety of elective modules, but how you can ensure that you are making the most suitable choice? I will give you some tips and I hope that are going to be helpful for you.

1) Choose a topic that excites you and you find interesting! Before your final decision you can search a little bit on the internet to extract useful information in order to understand the module better.

2) When the professors will present their modules during the term, keep notes and ask them questions to clarify the topics that will be covered in the elective.

3) My final tip is to consider which module will give you the knowledge and the skills in your ideal future career, capabilities that will boost not only your CV but also your skill-set !

 

Ivan MarkusekIvan Markusek
MSc Business Analytics

Every choice of elective modules or projects is one of the most exciting times of the year. It is the factor that will decide how enjoyable/overwhelming the next few months are going to be.

If I had a chance to select modules again, I would advise myself to focus on these 3 factors (in the order of importance):

  1. Interest - Although a module or a project may sound theoretical, if you are interested, go for it. You are more motivated/productive when you are interested. And do not worry, every analytics area is broad and has specialisations that are practical.
  2. Schedule - Do not overwork yourself. Sometimes it is better to sacrifice one module in the second term, or  an extra difficult project, even if it is very interesting. Have that extra time for other activities and modules. Trust me, you may need it.
  3. References - Ask the graduates. They know the lecturers, the content, and the requirements and provide the best insight into how to ace the modules or what projects to pick.

 

Angel ChanAngel Chan
MSc Information Systems Management & Innovation

My interest in the module content is the main reason why I selected Global IT & Finance and Information Systems Consultancy as my elective modules.

For Global IT & Finance, Fintech is digitally disrupting the financial industry nowadays and WBS is the first to introduce such course.

For Information Systems Consultancy, Deloitte was invited to jointly run the module and therefore students were able to get insider insights from senior consultants. Other than academic theories, industry leaders were invited to give presentations for both of the modules, which offered me great networking opportunities. 

 

Andrew Mak
MSc Business Analytics

How I selected my elective modules was primarily based on my background and my aspired career path.

For my undergraduate degree, I studied Mathematics, and for this reason I selected quantitative modules as I had relevant transferable skills and knowledge, which could benefit me in the elective modules. Furthermore, my aspired career path is to become an Actuarial Analyst and they’re known for building models after analysing large volumes of historical data, and using these models to forecast risk and uncertainty.

Taking all of the above into consideration, I selected Forecasting, Pricing and Revenue Management, Strategy Analytics and Advanced Data Analytics.

My hint is to choose modules based on the career path you aspire to take! 

 

Meenakshi Elango
MSc Human Resource Management & Employment Relations

Choosing a dissertation topic and carrying out the proposed study can seem to be a daunting task if you choose a topic without any academic interest. Hence, it is important that you pick a topic of interest, where you will be motivated to do further research, as this will make the process much simpler. Find the aspect of research study that adds substantially to the existing academic literature and try not to be repetitive, adding a new dimension to the topic via your research will probably interest readers and add meaning to your research.

To be sure of your decision and avoid going back and forth around different choices, it is essential to do some reading prior to the topic selection itself. This will allow you to narrow your focus of study and provide a better direction. It is always good to discuss the topic you have in mind with a lecturer who has expertise on the subject to gain some further insight on the topic and better structure your research proposal. The methodology of research is another important aspect you will need to fix in the very beginning. As a starting step, it is good to read the book by Bryman and Bell, as it gives detailed coverage of conducting business research. Try to develop your theory and methods together and you’ll have a much easier time of it!

 

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