Posted by: Gillian | June 4, 2009

Want a real Masters?

My main focus is inter-institutional programme design but helping individuals is one of those things that happens.  For everyone who needs to think through applying for a Masters degree, here is a collection of prompts:

  1. Why do you want an MSc/MA/M….?  Possible reasons include: academic interest; want to be a professor; want to be a Chartered/Accredited …; want a job where the US company says you need a masters; want a visa somewhere; want to impress your Dad.  There are plenty of other reasons and none of these is any better/worse than any others but it will help me refine the search.
  2. Have you a subject in mind already for a thesis or are you reasonably comfortable with the idea of the university giving some direction about the type of thesis you should do?
  3. Is it possible for you to do residentials at weekends or a week at a time?
  4. Is there any country you travel to a lot?  (I’m thinking that some great universities have campuses in a range of countries.)
  5. Can you charge the company for the degree or is it your own money?
  6. Any constraints on start/finish?

When you have thought through these questions, be aware that when you telephone universities for information, it is quite normal (!!) to find absolutely no-one at the end of the phone.  Leave a message and hope – and/or email and hope.

Always glad to hear.


  1. As I read question number 1 of your blog, I thought immediately to the reasons I pursued the degrees I did. My first degree was completed very late after high school (USA). The reason for the undergraduate degree was for other people more than for me. It was to secure a better paying job; it was to help make my mom and dad proud of me; and it was to quite the screams of people telling me that I really should do it and stop wasting my time.

    The master’s degree came soon after the undergraduate degree. This was to make myself just as competitive as everyone else that were scrambling for promotions at my place of business; it worked!

    Then came the doctorate degree. I fell in love with learning somewhere between the undergraduate degree and the completion of my master’s degree. Learning was fun and exciting! The doctorate was specifically for me. It was not going to garner another promotion; I was leaving my job for good. It was not to silence anyone saying I should do it; except for myself. There was absolutely no reason to set the goal. I wanted it for me and I jumped in with both feet; and have never stopped learning since. Every chance I get I have my nose in a book, the HBR (Harvard Business Review), some non-fiction how-to; it really does not matter, learning is still fun and I want more!

    Now I teach, train, speak, and advise and love every minute of it because all of those activities cause me to…you guessed it; continue to learn to bring current issues and examples to my audience, no matter the setting.

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond.


    • Wayne: thank you. 🙂

What are your views on this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: