Management student insight: Choosing your elective modules

23 May 2019

Student bloggers from our range of Management Masters courses share their advice on choosing your elective modules at Warwick Business School.

Lina Seidlitz, MSc Human Resource Management & Employment Relations

For my course, we were able to choose three elective modules in the second term. We were offered a list of five modules to choose from, some Human Resource related, others more focused on Employment Relations. With a non-business background, I was glad that we didn’t have to choose electives in the first-term, as my choice would have probably been quite uninformed.

The programme team helped us to make an informed choice and organised an elective module presentation session towards the end of the first term, where all the module leaders introduced the modules’ contents and assessments. This was a fantastic opportunity to get a glimpse into what you would learn if you were to choose that module and ask questions – very often names of modules are very broad and not very revealing.

You are then given approximately two weeks to decide on your electives. This is plenty of time and allows you to reflect on which topics you have enjoyed so far, your career goals, your interests in general, or even the topic you wish to research for your dissertation. In line with my interests and career goals, I chose the following electives: Equality and Diversity, Strategic Human Resource Management, and Employment Relations in Britain. Depending on your interest, you could always choose more Employment Relations related modules; this year there was a comparative employment relations module and a global one.

I was extremely surprised how well the modules from the first term linked to the modules in the second term – as soon as the term two lectures started I realised that what we were taught in term one was the backbone of everything we would learn throughout the rest of the course. So, whichever electives you choose, rest assured that you will have built a solid foundation of knowledge that helps you to successfully complete, and get the most out of any of them, regardless of whether you have studied Human Resources before or are a complete novice in the field.

Credo R. Duchess II, MSc Management of Information Systems & Digital Innovation

In my opinion, elective modules are the fun classes you get to choose. You have aced your core modules and hopefully celebrated your impressive achievements. Now, you can finally choose what aspect of your Master’s programme you want to focus on. However, this is a tougher decision than it sounds.

While it is liberating to choose the direction you want your studies to go, it is a serious decision that you should carefully consider. Elective modules provide you with the opportunity to select a module which is suited to your skill set and interests; a module which fits your future career path. This is not the time to choose a module simply because it seems fun, it is important that you can leverage the new knowledge that an elective module will provide you with, to specialise, and tailor your degree. Do you want to be a top-earning consultant at Deloitte? Then you should choose the Information Systems Consultancy elective module. Or do you want to be a manager at Google AdSense one day? Then you should select the Marketing elective module, the ball is squarely in your court at this stage of your educational experience at WBS.

During my time in England, I have found a new love for macarons, so I’ll use it as an analogy here. Think of all your core modules as the macaron ingredients; the almond flour, sugar, and eggs. With all these ingredients, you can create a macaron. With all your core modules, you can be a stellar graduate. However, your elective modules are the food colouring of the macarons. They provide the radiant spectrum of colours that draw people to the macaron, in a similar way that employers will be attracted to your unique attributes, from the knowledge you have gained by studying your elective modules. They will ensure that you are elevated above the crowd of competitive graduates, so picking the right elective module is key. Make sure you know the right elective module/macaron colour for your future goals, as it will be the jewel of your degree.

Sharon Wandili, MSc Management of Information Systems & Digital Innovation

Our cohort had three elective modules to choose from which were; Digital Marketing Technology and Management, Cyber Security in Business and Information Systems Consultancy.

Professors from the Information Systems and Management subject group gave brief overview presentations on the elective modules at the end of term one. It was really beneficial to attend these presentations, as I initially thought I would choose the Information Systems Consultancy elective module. After hearing the elective module presentations, I decided to choose Digital Marketing Technology and Management instead, along with Cyber Security in Business. My choice for both modules was heavily influenced by my career aspirations and dissertation interest. I want to pursue a career as a business analyst, and given that cyber security is currently one of the hottest topics in the industry, I wanted to gain further insight in the field to enable me to specialise as a cyber-security business analyst in the future.

Having previously worked in a consultancy firm, I decided to choose the Digital Marketing elective module. The module included a practical element of developing a digital marketing strategy for a start-up company, which I felt would be a great opportunity for me to learn something new. My advice to all students when choosing an elective module, is to select a module that you are interested in which will ensure you have a positive learning experience. Additionally you should consider choosing an elective that is in line with your career aspirations.

Ruiting Tang, MSc Marketing & Strategy

Selecting elective modules can be confusing, so it is important you consider a few vital factors before making your decision. To find out more about the elective modules, I would suggest you attend the presentation sessions. In these sessions, lecturers will provide information about the content, format, and forms of assessment for each elective module. During these sessions you will have the opportunity to ask questions, and gain further understanding of the subject area for each elective module.

It is also a good idea to seek advice from alumni, who have a clear understanding of the modules from a student perspective. They will be able to provide you with a concise summary of each module and how it has impacted their learning journey. A great way of reaching out to alumni is through the Warwick Business School LinkedIn group.

In my opinion, the two most important factors to consider when choosing your elective module are your personal interests and future career ambitions. By picking a module that interests you will stimulate your desire to learn, which will help you to learn more effectively. It is also a good idea to think about how your elective module will impact your future career path, and if there are any particular subject areas that you are required to be knowledgeable of, for your future employment. I decided to choose Marketing Analytics as my elective module, which has taught me the skills of analysing customer data, programming R languages, and has consequently enhanced my employability.

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