Global Central Banking and Financial Regulations qualifications participant Kechewia Charles shares her experience of the programme so far, highlighting the flexibility, learning experience and support from staff.
When I started my online learning journey at Warwick Business School (WBS) for an MSc in Global Central Banking and Financial Regulations, I was sceptical for two reasons. Firstly, I had previously undertaken professional accounting studies while working full time and the demands on my time were strenuous and frustrating. Secondly, I thought there would be little to no live interactions or learning sessions with lecturers. However, I decided to give it a try, as I had the flexibility to complete a Postgraduate award instead of the MSc if needed, which would take less time to complete.
How do I feel two and a half years later? Interestingly, about halfway through the first module, the scepticism began to dissipate, as I realised that WBS offered a completely different learning experience from what I had experienced in the past. I was very pleased with the flexibility of the programme. The course structure is tailored to allow students like myself with demanding day-to-day jobs, to be able to pace their learning while achieving success, but it does require commitment, dedication and lots of motivation, as would be expected for self-study online learning.
Let’s talk about the course structure. Each module offers you 17 weeks to complete 10 lessons. This was very convenient for me, as I didn’t have to rush through or fear missing deadlines. During some modules, urgent work needs took priority and I had to miss up to 3 or 4 weeks of reading, including attending live sessions. However, the time given to complete lessons permitted me to catch up and still be prepared for the assessments.
There was lots of material available to bolster the learning experience – videos, lesson transcripts and recordings of live sessions, just to name a few. I particularly liked that the material included lectures and discussions from real players in the central banking and regulations landscape, such as the Bank of England professionals. This added insight and validation to some of the concepts we engaged with over the different modules.
At the end of the day, my goal was to successfully complete the programme, so the format and content of module assessments were very critical. I was so accustomed to rushing through modules and then preparing for long examinations that I was caught completely off-guard by the number of flexible and achievable options. All of the assessments were at the end of the module. For example, you got what would typically be a 3-hour exam and you were allowed 24–48 hours to complete it, whilst some modules afforded you a month to complete a research question.
Regarding the support given by the programme team, I would say that this has been the best part of my experience. The entire team, from the programme coordinator to the office staff, have been responsive, helpful and very resourceful. As a student staff liaison, the regularly scheduled meetings held to discuss student matters were refreshing. Although we are not on campus, we are still able to participate in sessions that are available to on-campus students relating to careers, and wellness, as well as utilising the library and networking opportunities.
I am enjoying my journey as an online student at WBS. I am currently working on my dissertation, which is my last module. While I am anxious to complete my degree, I must admit, I will miss the programme and my study buddies. I have built networks that are invaluable to my career and personal life. I recommend this programme to any finance, or central banking professional whose aim is to develop the real-life skills necessary to navigate the industry and take it to the next level.