Has anyone done a masters/second degree in a different subject from first degree?

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elle_xx
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Hi,

I have completed a degree (gained a 2:1) however i am really finding it difficult to find a job in it, due to the nature of the job. (Mainly council work, however due to cutbacks, there are very few jobs!- degree in Environmental Health)

I am looking to do an accelerated course in a different subject. I am really interested in the 'health' side and during my time on placement, i enjoyed doing public health projects. I really want to go down this route; however most public health jobs require a nursing degree (dammit!!) i have also considered doing an accelerated course in Occupational Therapy as i like the idea of helping to improve lives.

Has anyone had any experience switching directions? I believe i could get tutition funding for nursing or OT- however; how have others been able to afford to 'live' without the opportunity to apply for student finance?
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k3ro
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(Original post by elle_xx)
Hi,

I have completed a degree (gained a 2:1) however i am really finding it difficult to find a job in it, due to the nature of the job. (Mainly council work, however due to cutbacks, there are very few jobs!- degree in Environmental Health)

I am looking to do an accelerated course in a different subject. I am really interested in the 'health' side and during my time on placement, i enjoyed doing public health projects. I really want to go down this route; however most public health jobs require a nursing degree (dammit!!) i have also considered doing an accelerated course in Occupational Therapy as i like the idea of helping to improve lives.

Has anyone had any experience switching directions? I believe i could get tutition funding for nursing or OT- however; how have others been able to afford to 'live' without the opportunity to apply for student finance?
Yes, it's possible to have a change in career direction by doing a Masters. Have a look around at conversion courses and see what kind of career path you might want to take; if you're unsure, see if you can get work experience/shadowing/volunteer placements to see if you think the job is right for you (will also look good on CV if you decide to progress).

Most people fund their postgrad studies by working or by taking out a loan (the PCDL). Unis can also offer scholarships/bursaries. As you've said though, some degrees are funded by the government (e.g. the NHS bursaries, but I know 0 about this so you'll have to do some research). If they only provide you with tuition fees then I guess you have to fund your living costs yourself.

Something else to consider is the NHS STP. They recruit graduates from a number of backgrounds each year, to train in a variety of roles. I'm not sure that environmental health is one of the accepted degrees (you could always ask though) but if you did a master's in, say, life sciences, you could potentially apply for the STP. There are also NHS-funded postgrad diplomas in nursing (such as this one), so if nursing was something you wanted to get into it's a possibility (there are also ones in speech therapy, child nursing, mental health nursing and physical therapies, and I'm sure there are more).
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returnmigrant
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Just as long as you can show that you are building on either your first degree or work experience, and have enough background knowledge to cope with studying that subject at postgrad level, its usually okay.
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Jubz1
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(Original post by elle_xx)
i have also considered doing an accelerated course in Occupational Therapy as i like the idea of helping to improve lives.
Does this have a demand? No point in doing something else that has no demand in it.
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returnmigrant
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(Original post by Jubz1)
Does this have a demand? No point in doing something else that has no demand in it.

Do you actually understand what Occ Health actually is?


http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore...nal-therapist/
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Jubz1
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(Original post by returnmigrant)
Do you actually understand what Occ Health actually is?
Not a clue, which is why I asked. Thank you for taking the time to find the link

'Demand for occupational therapists in health and social services varies between regions and employment sectors. ' - that's why I ask. Don't want op to end up in a circle.
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Pretty please
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Hiya you are eligible for funding for tuition on fees and NHS bursary even if you have a degree previously. I am starting child nursing course and already have public health degree.


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elle_xx
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Thank you for all of your comments!!! Pretty please- are you doing the 2 year acceleration course? I think the maximum bursary is 1k per year if I am not mistaken?

I guess I would have to put some savings together to supplement this! I loved studying public health, I was gutted to find most of the jobs required another degree! I am definitely going to consider nursing or occupational therapy! Also; if you had to move away, does the bursary cover this? Or is it max £1k for the year?

Anyone know what the demand is like for OT? As mentioned above, I definitely don't want to make the same mistake!
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Pretty please
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Hiya I know hence why I'm back to uni! no I'm doing the full 3 years. I'm eligible for full bursary each persons diff amount dependant on circumstances plus a loan from student finance I think max £2000.


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librarygirl
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Hi,

Well I do. I have a 2:2 in Virology (viruses and general microbiology) and am currently completing an MSc in Drug Design and Biomedical Science. But it's made me even more confused about what I want to do. The drug design bit was not as exciting as I'd hoped, so don't think I'll go down that route.

Like yourself, healthcare has always appealed to me, so have considered the NHS STP programme. However, I don't know how relevant my qualifications are, whether they want specific clinical skills. I don't have top grades for all modules although I'm working towards a distinction. And all I hear is how competitive it is
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k3ro
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(Original post by librarygirl)
Hi,

Well I do. I have a 2:2 in Virology (viruses and general microbiology) and am currently completing an MSc in Drug Design and Biomedical Science. But it's made me even more confused about what I want to do. The drug design bit was not as exciting as I'd hoped, so don't think I'll go down that route.

Like yourself, healthcare has always appealed to me, so have considered the NHS STP programme. However, I don't know how relevant my qualifications are, whether they want specific clinical skills. I don't have top grades for all modules although I'm working towards a distinction. And all I hear is how competitive it is
Hey,

The NHS STP applications open in Jan. You may as well apply, even if it is competitive -- do you have any work experience etc? There's still time to get some done.

Also this page lists the degrees they usually look for. It says:

Life Sciences: biomedical sciences, biology, microbiology, genetics or biochemistry

Having an MSc in biomedical science seems relevant enough. You could always contact them and ask if you're unsure.
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librarygirl
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Hi,

Well I did a short placement for a month with the NHS microbiology department in Edinburgh but it was back in 2012. I remember being told then that I was the last student they would take on for work experience. I would like more experience outside of my uni department, just not sure what to go for.

Right now I am starting my dissertation (part time) investigating response of monocyte cell lines and C elegans to toxic zinc oxide nanoparticles, so I'm learning several different techniques. I have distinction grades in research skills in molecular analysis, and advanced immunology, also hopefully for chemotherapy and the research project.
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k3ro
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(Original post by librarygirl)
Hi,

Well I did a short placement for a month with the NHS microbiology department in Edinburgh but it was back in 2012. I remember being told then that I was the last student they would take on for work experience. I would like more experience outside of my uni department, just not sure what to go for.

Right now I am starting my dissertation (part time) investigating response of monocyte cell lines and C elegans to toxic zinc oxide nanoparticles, so I'm learning several different techniques. I have distinction grades in research skills in molecular analysis, and advanced immunology, also hopefully for chemotherapy and the research project.
I think it sounds like your application stands a decent chance, but tbh I'm also applying this year so have little experience with the application process.

In case you're unaware, there's a big nhs stp thread here that has a bunch of useful info.
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librarygirl
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(Original post by k3ro)
I think it sounds like your application stands a decent chance, but tbh I'm also applying this year so have little experience with the application process.

In case you're unaware, there's a big nhs stp thread here that has a bunch of useful info.
Do you have recent work experience and/or are you planning to ask whether you can get some at a hospital department of interest?
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k3ro
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(Original post by librarygirl)
Do you have recent work experience and/or are you planning to ask whether you can get some at a hospital department of interest?
I spent 3 months working within the radiotherapy dept of a hospital (work experience alongside research). I'm hoping to apply for the radiotherapy specialism, and since my 3 month placement is exactly the kind of job I'd be hoping to get, I'm hoping they'll overlook the fact that I only have 1 placement. Looool.
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librarygirl
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It seems like England has more disciplines to offer, obviously being larger. I'm interested in clinical immunology. I'm pretty sure I saw analytical toxicology as well but it doesn't seem included in all lists of specialisms.
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Yux
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sort of...my msc was partially linked to my bachelor degree but thats because I found one of the modules really interesting in my bachelor so my msc was on that specific module but in more depth and breadth.
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