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Going from irrelevant BA from to an MSc or similar?! Watch

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    Hello all,
    Does anyone know of a possible route I could take?
    Here's my situation:
    After leaving school I did a BA in Photography gaining a 2:1 grade. I'm now in my 30's and considering returning to study. However, in the 15 years since I wanted to be an artist I have become a keen natural historian with some relevant experience and would like to study a natural science for example zoology or botany. I have a good level of knowledge in these subjects but lack experience of scientific academia and research.
    There is no financial support for people doing a second degree (that's not a complaint but it does remove that option from my list). Is there anything I could do to make myself eligible for an MSc that doesn't involve doing a second bachelors? For example I was considering completing a couple of OU modules in scientific research methods etc to prepare me for scientific post-grad study. (I looked at an OU MSc but unfortunately it's too generalised for what I want.) All the other MSc's I have looked at require a related BSc (which is understandable) but I wondered if there is any kind of bridging course for mature students and those wishing to change direction?
    Sorry for the long post! Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!
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    You may want to email unis you're interested in doing your MSc at and see how they'd view your profile and what advice they have for you. OU modules are a good way to go either way because they will help you get back into academia and give you a foundation in the subject you're wanting to pursue.
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    In my mid 40s I was able to get onto, and do well in, a conservation MSc after a History degree, some history/politics postgrad study and 10+ years practising as a solicitor. As you suggested, I did a couple of maths/science OU modules (S104, M123 and M140 would be good) to show I was still capable of study and to get used to maths/science. Sadly OU modules are much more expensive now than they were then. I also had a fair amount of relevant volunteering experience. Once I was on the course I found that I had much more natural history interest/knowledge than most of my cohort.

    As a specific example of a bridging course, UEA do a postgrad diploma in ecology that feeds into its Applied Ecology MSc

    I agree that you should contact some unis/course leaders to see what they say.
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    Thanks Alleycat. You're right, I need to get in contact with course providers and test the waters.
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    (Original post by Pariah)
    In my mid 40s I was able to get onto, and do well in, a conservation MSc after a History degree, some history/politics postgrad study and 10+ years practising as a solicitor. As you suggested, I did a couple of maths/science OU modules (S104, M123 and M140 would be good) to show I was still capable of study and to get used to maths/science. Sadly OU modules are much more expensive now than they were then. I also had a fair amount of relevant volunteering experience. Once I was on the course I found that I had much more natural history interest/knowledge than most of my cohort.

    As a specific example of a bridging course, UEA do a postgrad diploma in ecology that feeds into its Applied Ecology MSc

    I agree that you should contact some unis/course leaders to see what they say.
    Hello Pariah, It's good to hear that other people have successfully made similar transitions. I was wondering about post grad certs and diplomas, the choice seemed more limited in terms of subject but if I can find a relevant one then it could well be an option.
    I can well imagine that you were more knowledgeable/enthusiastic than many of your younger classmates. I really feel I was too immature and unsure of what I wanted when I went to uni at 18/19. Still, I hope to rectify that now! Can I ask if you are now working in conservation?
    Thanks for your input.
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    (Original post by Naturenerd)
    Hello Pariah, It's good to hear that other people have successfully made similar transitions. I was wondering about post grad certs and diplomas, the choice seemed more limited in terms of subject but if I can find a relevant one then it could well be an option.
    I can well imagine that you were more knowledgeable/enthusiastic than many of your younger classmates. I really feel I was too immature and unsure of what I wanted when I went to uni at 18/19. Still, I hope to rectify that now! Can I ask if you are now working in conservation?
    Thanks for your input.
    yes, i am, although i am (partly by choice, partly because it was what i could get) doing seasonal work at the moment and additional OU study (maths/stats) the other six months of the year since i'd really like to go on to a PhD

    getting in to paid conservation work is tough - much tougher than i thought it would be - especially if, like me, you aren't interested in consultancy. i'm sure that you've researched it, but be ready to have to volunteer for 6 - 18 months to build experience and make contacts, to do short term contracts and to move around. your mileage may vary, but that seems to be the normal experience.
 
 
 
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