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    I started a distance based course at a UK university and I am shell-shocked at just how badly it is run. The materials we are given to learn from have spelling errors throughout, the material is sometimes out-dated and doesn't work when you try to apply it. Lectures have been recorded without sound/video so we had to resort to pdf's and last years lectures. The course advertised itself as a 'no rush course' where you could work when you've got time (because the distance learning students work full time), but when we all started the course, it turns out it's actually a full time course where we're expecting to keep up with students on-site. It is just simply shocking.

    I'm very strongly considering leaving with a PGCert. Is a PGCert going to look ok on my CV? Would an employer understand why I chosen to leave? It's not that i'm getting bad grades, i'm hitting 60+ and 70+ on assignments - I just think there are too many issues with the course for me to continue.
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    (Original post by smc2010)
    I started a distance based course at a UK university and I am shell-shocked at just how badly it is run. The materials we are given to learn from have spelling errors throughout, the material is sometimes out-dated and doesn't work when you try to apply it. Lectures have been recorded without sound/video so we had to resort to pdf's and last years lectures. The course advertised itself as a 'no rush course' where you could work when you've got time (because the distance learning students work full time), but when we all started the course, it turns out it's actually a full time course where we're expecting to keep up with students on-site. It is just simply shocking.

    I'm very strongly considering leaving with a PGCert. Is a PGCert going to look ok on my CV? Would an employer understand why I chosen to leave? It's not that i'm getting bad grades, i'm hitting 60+ and 70+ on assignments - I just think there are too many issues with the course for me to continue.
    I'm doing distance postgraduate study. I hope to leave with a PgDip but only because I can't afford the full masters and the PgDip will suit my needs.

    It's ok to have PgCert on your CV. It is an achievement in it's own right and shows that younhave achieved sixty credits of postgraduate study. There's loads on this through a Google search.

    One thing I would say is that of you're performing well in the assessed elements of your course, does it really matter that there are some organisational issues at play here? It doesn't sound like they will cost you a good grade and at the end of the day that's important.

    With the course I am doing, some people seem dissatisfied at how it is being ran but at the end of the day if you're comfortable with self study then there's everything to play for. I like the fact that self study is encouraged on my course because I'm enjoying the flexibility in terms of readings and hopefully assessment too.

    To answer your question a PgCert is worthwhile in it's own right (that said you would benefit from the full masters for funded PhD applications). Are you sure you need to quit the course though?
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    (Original post by smc2010)
    .

    I'm very strongly considering leaving with a PGCert. Is a PGCert going to look ok on my CV? Would an employer understand why I chosen to leave? It's not that i'm getting bad grades, i'm hitting 60+ and 70+ on assignments - I just think there are too many issues with the course for me to continue.
    Tricky question. Except in certain careers where a PGCert is usual, it's often (not always, but often) the case that potential employers will look at that and think "couldn't finish a master's". You could explain why you left early on the CV, but that might come across as clumsy and defensive. Agree with above that it might be worth sticking it out, especially as your grades are good so far.
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    I would present a pgcert on my cv as follows:

    Having enjoyed studying at undergraduate level, I embraced the opportunity to further this interest by undertaking some taught postgraduate units in (subject). This was a worthwhile experience in how the units I did were x and they facilitated y skills.

    .......

    I'm not saying you should quit OP but I think it's important to highlight that pgcert and pgdip are valuable in their own right. I am sure that potential employers are aware of the cost of postgraduate study and the life adjusting responsibilities they come with in order to be able to respect some extent of it even if it is not a full masters, especially when currently, an undergraduate degree and a pgcert is perhaps more than many job applicants would hold.
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    (Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
    I would present a pgcert on my cv as follows:

    Having enjoyed studying at undergraduate level, I embraced the opportunity to further this interest by undertaking some taught postgraduate units in (subject). This was a worthwhile experience in how the units I did were x and they facilitated y skills.

    .......

    .


    But you wouldn't feel the need to explain why you took a bachelors or master's degree, right? That's what I meant by the mere fact of having to explain why you only have a PGCert looks defensive, and it looks clumsy on a CV unless each qualification similarly has 4 lines explaining why you did it...which is definitely not the norm.
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    (Original post by sj27)
    But you wouldn't feel the need to explain why you took a bachelors or master's degree, right? That's what I meant by the mere fact of having to explain why you only have a PGCert looks defensive, and it looks clumsy on a CV unless each qualification similarly has 4 lines explaining why you did it...which is definitely not the norm.
    It could be evened out by discussing briefly elements of your other degrees. Even just a sentence about the dissertation you did for each.

    Failing that, there is also the question of whether a pgcert needs to be explained or justified. After finishing the pgcert and then job hunting, it could be mentioned on a covering letter. Then when applying for the next job, the need to justify and explain your choice of education (no matter what that may be) will be less because the candidate will have more to talk about regarding their last job anyway.
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    Yeah, you could do all of that. But as someone who's seen plenty CVs and done countless interviews, I've never seen anyone try explain reasons for any of their academic qualifications in either CV or covering letter. So if someone suddenly starts explaining reasons for everything, it just looks...odd. It looks defensive. It raises questions. In fact, I can only recall a couple of pg dips (one a Cambridge one that I think is no longer offered) and another where the applicant got as far as interview and said she didn't want to do a dissertation. Possibly whatever field you're following is more amenable to pg certs or pg dips than what I worked in, of course.
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    OP - what do you want the PGCert to do for your CV? I suspect that unless it is the norm in a field you hope to get into plenty of people doing the recruiting won't really know what one is.

    Personally, if I see one I'll probably assume that you failed your Masters dissertation, and if you put in a defensive sounding justification I'll be sure that you did. But unless I'm recruiting for a post which specifically requires a postgraduate DEGREE I don't really care and am more interested in how you meet the other requirements of the job/person spec and the PGCert might or might not help with that.
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    Have you considered transferring your credits to the Open University or another distance learning provider or a brick university to finish it off?

    Depending on the employer, they either won't know what it is (low paid jobs) won't care either way (entry level non-grad jobs) or will view it as a failed/quit masters (grad jobs).

    If you have a very strong interest in the subject and you're considering academia/research later on, then I would transfer.

    If not and the non-research jobs you intend on applying to don't ask for a masters then if you have a good amount of experience and a creative tongue I would leave it off your CV and cut your losses, or stick it out for the sake of not blighting your CV and wasting money etc. You'll have to pick which is the lesser of two evils for you personally.
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    (Original post by smc2010)
    I'm very strongly considering leaving with a PGCert. Is a PGCert going to look ok on my CV? Would an employer understand why I chosen to leave? It's not that i'm getting bad grades, i'm hitting 60+ and 70+ on assignments - I just think there are too many issues with the course for me to continue.
    If you leave, don't mention it on a CV at all, it's not worth it, either as a qualification, or as a piece of life experience (as far as a future job application is concerned).

    No employer will understand why you chose to leave, truthful as it might be, your whole explanation above sounds like a story of self-justification, and putting in long-winded explanations, as suggested above, in a job application, are immediate warning flags to an employer.

    The recruitment process tells an employer about 10, maybe 20% about a person. If even 2% of that first story is justification of problems, then the employer will multiply that up and look at an employee with 10-20% defensive/self-justificatory behaviour - that is way too much risk to take on. So even though that 2% might really reflect just 2%, don't mention it.

    If the course is not relevant to your future career, don't mention it.

    If the course is relevant to your future career, leave, and don't mention it in your application, just use the knowledge you have to date, or complete it and get a good grade, regardless of the administration.
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    PgCert and PgDip are valid in their own right.

    If you have just an undergraduate degree then it shows you've done something thereafter.

    If you have a masters already then you've already shown that you can complete a full masters but doing a PgCert and or PgDip thereafter can build on your versatility (or indeed specialism) where you've already shown that you can handle a masters level research project but want to take on more taught credits as part of being able to communicate to a potential employer, "hey I know about this too".
 
 
 
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