In this blog, our MSc ambassador, Leena, describes her reasons for applying for an MSc course and the differences between undergraduate and postgraduate study.
The differences between an undergraduate and postgraduate degree lie in the duration of the courses and the qualification level as well as the difficulty level of the courses. Undergraduate courses are longer in duration and are typically completed over a period of three years in the UK. On the other hand, postgraduate courses are shorter in comparison and take around a period of twelve months to complete.
Upon completion of an undergraduate course, a student is eligible to apply for a postgraduate course. Due to the longer duration of an undergraduate course a wider range of modules are taught compared to a postgraduate course. The wider range of modules provide students with a foundation of knowledge preparing them for a postgraduate course. Even though a postgraduate course does not cover as many modules, it does provide students with more specialised knowledge compared to an undergraduate course. In addition to this, a postgraduate course enables students to develop a higher level of understanding of the topic. Some postgraduate courses also provide students with an opportunity to work with an external client/ company. My course, MSc Management of Information Systems & Digital Innovation, has provided me with an opportunity to work on my external dissertation project which is affiliated to an external firm and by doing this I have been able to gain empirical industrial knowledge.
Coming from a background with a BSc (Hons) degree in Marketing and Management I decided to do a postgraduate degree in pursuit of building a strong foundation that I could draw upon for the rest of my life. My goal was to complete my higher education, widen my knowledge and gain outstanding skills to build an enhanced and well-rounded portfolio which would make me more appealing to prospective employers. Coming from a non-technical background I wanted to study a postgraduate degree which would provide me with the skills and knowledge of technologies. My goal in the future is to develop my own platform organisation and I undertook an MSc course in my chosen field to secure my future as a digital thinker and a business leader.
In terms of the structure of my postgraduate course, it is substantially different from my undergraduate course. During my undergraduate course, I had lectures almost every day and these lectures were shorter in duration and usually lasted for 1-2 hours. I also attended several seminars and workshops which were held simultaneously almost daily. For my MSc course, the study schedule is somewhat different as it is based around independent study as well as group-work. I have longer lectures for every module which typically last 3 hours and are spread out over 2 days a week. During the entire year, I only had a few seminars to attend however it was crucial to carefully apportion time between lectures, independent-study as well as group work.
My advice to current students who are considering whether to do a postgraduate degree would be if you are passionate about a topic and you would like to deepen your understanding and widen your knowledge then undertaking a postgraduate course in this area would be beneficial to you. A postgraduate degree would certainly enhance your capabilities and make you more appealing to employers. However, be prepared to do more independent study and do not let the duration of the course delude you into thinking there will be less work as it is a more rigorous and intense course compared to an undergraduate degree.
Discover more about postgraduate study at Warwick Business School.