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    Hi, I'm a mature student of theoretical physics at Leeds university and am interested in the Computational Fluid Dynamics masters offered by Cranfield University. I have a few questions about that and Cranfield campus life in general.

    Firstly, I see that the masters is 50% taught, 50% research project. The information page for the course gives a good amount of details on the taught aspect but nothing about the research project. How are these done? How are they assessed? What does it involve?

    Is there any info about course structure in general? Any timetables I could see as a reference to figure out what weekly life might be like?

    Secondly, being 28 years old makes me a mature student right now for my undergrad, surrounded by people almost ten years younger than me. It's not the biggest issue but I do like the thought of being among people nearer my age. Would I be right in thinking that Cranfield, being a postgrad only university, has a more 'adult' mix of students, including in the campus accommodation?

    And finally, a bit of an odd one - my current degree is an integrated masters, meaning my university expect me to stay on to the end and do a masters there. At the time of signing up I was happy with this, but nearly 3 years down the line I've realised a pure physics masters is really not my thing. The CFD masters at Cranfield is much more up my street. If I end up going to Cranfield instead, I'll have to cut ties early after completing only the BSc portion of my course, which may result in Leeds not being willing to award a degree certificate (even if I pass all exams - which I am set to do with a likely 2:1 outcome). I doubt things will go this way but if they do, how would Cranfield university look upon such a thing? I would surely be able to at least provide an official transcript of exam results. Would that suffice? (In the unlikely event where things were to go that way).

    Oh and one more question - how well recognised globally are the PGDip awards? This is another thing I'm considering, purely because it's a bit cheaper and I don't have a huge interest in a career involving research anyway.

    Thanks for any advice.
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    (Original post by Pessimisterious)
    Hi, I'm a mature student of theoretical physics at Leeds university and am interested in the Computational Fluid Dynamics masters offered by Cranfield University. I have a few questions about that and Cranfield campus life in general.

    Firstly, I see that the masters is 50% taught, 50% research project. The information page for the course gives a good amount of details on the taught aspect but nothing about the research project. How are these done? How are they assessed? What does it involve?

    Is there any info about course structure in general? Any timetables I could see as a reference to figure out what weekly life might be like?

    Secondly, being 28 years old makes me a mature student right now for my undergrad, surrounded by people almost ten years younger than me. It's not the biggest issue but I do like the thought of being among people nearer my age. Would I be right in thinking that Cranfield, being a postgrad only university, has a more 'adult' mix of students, including in the campus accommodation?

    And finally, a bit of an odd one - my current degree is an integrated masters, meaning my university expect me to stay on to the end and do a masters there. At the time of signing up I was happy with this, but nearly 3 years down the line I've realised a pure physics masters is really not my thing. The CFD masters at Cranfield is much more up my street. If I end up going to Cranfield instead, I'll have to cut ties early after completing only the BSc portion of my course, which may result in Leeds not being willing to award a degree certificate (even if I pass all exams - which I am set to do with a likely 2:1 outcome). I doubt things will go this way but if they do, how would Cranfield university look upon such a thing? I would surely be able to at least provide an official transcript of exam results. Would that suffice? (In the unlikely event where things were to go that way).

    Oh and one more question - how well recognised globally are the PGDip awards? This is another thing I'm considering, purely because it's a bit cheaper and I don't have a huge interest in a career involving research anyway.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Hi Pessimisterious,

    Firstly, I must apologise for the late reply to your email- this is not usually the case. The "inbox" method which you used in communicating appears to be more effective in alerting us. However, subsequent replies here will be sufficient to alert us.

    The MSc degree comprises of a research and taught sub-sections; for most it is in this order, Taught Modules 40%; Group Project 20%; Individual Research Project 40%. Your "Individual Research project" will be your own dissertation or Masters thesis which is a prerequisite for any MSc/ MA course. You will be able to select your own research topic and have supervisors to support you develop your aim, objectives, set methodologies, all the way to results and conclusions. The Group Project would likely be a project from the industry, likely a live project from a company. Depending on circumstances, you may be able to select your own choice amongst group project topics, work in a team of 3-5 students and industry partners + Cranfield academia in pursing the objectives of the topic you are assigned to. At the end of the research, the results will be assessed by the supervising academia from Cranfield and the company (if it is provided by the company). This is a basic description of the research project. It carries 20% of your entire MSc work, hence its importance.

    As you require specific information about Computational Fluid Dynamics, I will suggest that you contact the Course Director directly; he will be able to give you a detailed response on current course structure and, if possible, timetables. However, the first few weeks are quite intense, as these are the taught courses; then there would be a period for revision and practicals, if applicable, then exams and then preparation for the 40% and 20% part of your MSc work- your research projects. Weekly life will be intense, however, you will be able to combine study life and social activities/ activities outside school effectively, as most of our students do so effectively.

    You are right -at 28, you will be amongst the right mix of people, age-wise and everyone brings in an interesting experience which will benefit you- either career-wise or academic-wise. Most of our students are in their 20's and 30's, as expected, as we are a post-graduate only University. This include the persons you will meet at the Cranfield accommodation or off-campus, if you that is applicable to you.

    I would imagine that an official transcript result will suffice. As you know, we are a University that is somewhat more "internationalised" than many University. People come from all over the world and the UK as well, and there are instances where the UK-equivalent results are accepted (after the appropriate interpretation and conversion) has been made. The standards, are across board, similar; high standards. You could send in this as part of a discussion to the Course Director and I am sure this should not be a problem. [You can send the email to [email protected], and request for the information + Course Director's contact, or simply fill this form https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/forms/enquiry-form]

    As for your last statement - I had to do a research on that! If you can afford an MSc, by all means, go for it. At least you are certain of being recognised globally. This is what https://www.findamasters.com/advice/...mas-guide.aspx says about the question.

    "The answer to this question really depends on what you want from postgraduate study. If you’re preparing for a specific job and know that a shorter course will do, there’s little point committing to a full Masters. But if you want to carry out your own independent scholarship, a PGDip or PGCert may not satisfy you."

    Personally, I would advise a full MSc as future employers or, if you go for a PhD much later, would inquire about the research part of your post graduate program as the research essentially tells them how effective you are in working on your own and achieving objectives. I am running my PhD at Cranfield now and, although unrelated to my current research, my MSc research was critiqued as part of the PhD-interview process. And this happened at the industries I have worked!

    I hope I have been able to offer you useful answers. Any more questions, please pose them here.

    Cheers. Oke.
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    (Original post by Cranfield University)
    Hi Pessimisterious,

    Firstly, I must apologise for the late reply to your email- this is not usually the case. The "inbox" method which you used in communicating appears to be more effective in alerting us. However, subsequent replies here will be sufficient to alert us.

    The MSc degree comprises of a research and taught sub-sections; for most it is in this order, Taught Modules 40%; Group Project 20%; Individual Research Project 40%. Your "Individual Research project" will be your own dissertation or Masters thesis which is a prerequisite for any MSc/ MA course. You will be able to select your own research topic and have supervisors to support you develop your aim, objectives, set methodologies, all the way to results and conclusions. The Group Project would likely be a project from the industry, likely a live project from a company. Depending on circumstances, you may be able to select your own choice amongst group project topics, work in a team of 3-5 students and industry partners + Cranfield academia in pursing the objectives of the topic you are assigned to. At the end of the research, the results will be assessed by the supervising academia from Cranfield and the company (if it is provided by the company). This is a basic description of the research project. It carries 20% of your entire MSc work, hence its importance.

    As you require specific information about Computational Fluid Dynamics, I will suggest that you contact the Course Director directly; he will be able to give you a detailed response on current course structure and, if possible, timetables. However, the first few weeks are quite intense, as these are the taught courses; then there would be a period for revision and practicals, if applicable, then exams and then preparation for the 40% and 20% part of your MSc work- your research projects. Weekly life will be intense, however, you will be able to combine study life and social activities/ activities outside school effectively, as most of our students do so effectively.

    You are right -at 28, you will be amongst the right mix of people, age-wise and everyone brings in an interesting experience which will benefit you- either career-wise or academic-wise. Most of our students are in their 20's and 30's, as expected, as we are a post-graduate only University. This includes the persons you will meet at the Cranfield accommodation or off-campus, if you that is applicable to you.

    I would imagine that an official transcript result will suffice. As you know, we are a University that is somewhat more "internationalised" than many University. People come from all over the world and the UK as well, and there are instances where the UK-equivalent results are accepted (after the appropriate interpretation and conversion) has been made. The standards, are across board, similar; high standards. You could send in this as part of a discussion to the Course Director and I am sure this should not be a problem. [You can send the email to [email protected], and request for the information + Course Director's contact, or simply fill this form https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/forms/enquiry-form]

    As for your last statement - I had to do a research on that! If you can afford an MSc, by all means, go for it. At least you are certain of being recognised globally. This is what https://www.findamasters.com/advice/...mas-guide.aspx says about the question.

    "The answer to this question really depends on what you want from postgraduate study. If you’re preparing for a specific job and know that a shorter course will do, there’s little point committing to a full Masters. But if you want to carry out your own independent scholarship, a PGDip or PGCert may not satisfy you."

    Personally, I would advise a full MSc as future employers or, if you go for a PhD much later, would inquire about the research part of your post graduate program as the research essentially tells them how effective you are in working on your own and achieving objectives. I am running my PhD at Cranfield now and, although unrelated to my current research, my MSc research was critiqued as part of the PhD-interview process. And this happened at the industries I have worked!

    I hope I have been able to offer you useful answers. Any more questions, please pose them here.

    Cheers. Oke.
    Great response, cheers.

    About PGDip vs Masters - I was asking about global recognition of PGDips because my end goal is to work in China, where they've recently opened the job market to postgraduates.

    Since "PGDip" is postgraduate by its very name, I wondered how this would class in the eyes of the world at large, mainly because of the fact that it doesn't have the more typical 'masters' tagline - even though it is a very firmly in the category of 'postgraduate'. Cranfield has a lot of Chinese students - are you aware of any on PGDip courses?

    The main bar for me doing the full masters is the extra cost of the course, along with the several months of extra accommodation expenses too. If I can 'get away' with just the PGDip, I'd be quite content. In the end, that's where the actual intellectual material is learned. There's also the fact that my end goal definitely isn't research - I know it's useful for employment prospects, but things may be a different if my end goal is China, where a lot of their institutions don't offer research masters anyway (their culture is often very much just about the certificate and nothing else, ha!).

    If I do join a PGDip course, is it easy to upgrade to a masters later on if I want to?

    Secondly, for my own curiosity - are course positions very competitive in the area I'm wanting to get into? I understand CFD is a relatively new subject, at least as a standalone course like this one at Cranfield.

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by Pessimisterious)
    Great response, cheers.

    About PGDip vs Masters - I was asking about global recognition of PGDips because my end goal is to work in China, where they've recently opened the job market to postgraduates.

    Since "PGDip" is postgraduate by its very name, I wondered how this would class in the eyes of the world at large, mainly because of the fact that it doesn't have the more typical 'masters' tagline - even though it is a very firmly in the category of 'postgraduate'. Cranfield has a lot of Chinese students - are you aware of any on PGDip courses?

    The main bar for me doing the full masters is the extra cost of the course, along with the several months of extra accommodation expenses too. If I can 'get away' with just the PGDip, I'd be quite content. In the end, that's where the actual intellectual material is learned. There's also the fact that my end goal definitely isn't research - I know it's useful for employment prospects, but things may be a different if my end goal is China, where a lot of their institutions don't offer research masters anyway (their culture is often very much just about the certificate and nothing else, ha!).

    If I do join a PGDip course, is it easy to upgrade to a masters later on if I want to?

    Secondly, for my own curiosity - are course positions very competitive in the area I'm wanting to get into? I understand CFD is a relatively new subject, at least as a standalone course like this one at Cranfield.

    Thanks.
    Oh! China! Cranfield has a good number of Chinese students/ China-origin student. It is safe to assume that they know what a Masters is and how different it is from a PGDip. But the core modules and optional modules are all treated in a PGDip CFD program and in a country as large as China, you are unlikely to struggle career-wise. As you know, PGDip is offered on the CFD course, so I would encourage you to go for it. And the CFD course has been a Cranfield MSc course for a while now- I applied for it in 2010 and got the admission- and it was there before 2010. It is safe to say that it is not relatively new, although like most courses at Cranfield, it is very competitive.

    Yes you can upgrade to a MSc if you want to, from the PGDip. You will need to mention it to the Course Director and it can be worked out.
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    (Original post by Cranfield University)
    Oh! China! Cranfield has a good number of Chinese students/ China-origin student. It is safe to assume that they know what a Masters is and how different it is from a PGDip. But the core modules and optional modules are all treated in a PGDip CFD program and in a country as large as China, you are unlikely to struggle career-wise. As you know, PGDip is offered on the CFD course, so I would encourage you to go for it. And the CFD course has been a Cranfield MSc course for a while now- I applied for it in 2010 and got the admission- and it was there before 2010. It is safe to say that it is not relatively new, although like most courses at Cranfield, it is very competitive.

    Yes you can upgrade to a MSc if you want to, from the PGDip. You will need to mention it to the Course Director and it can be worked out.
    Ah ok. Since the CFD course at Cranfield is the only one of its kind in the country, I thought it was more of a niche subject. Not that it changed my overall attitude - I was just curious.

    Thanks for the info - I'll go ahead and look into applying soon.
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    (Original post by Pessimisterious)
    Ah ok. Since the CFD course at Cranfield is the only one of its kind in the country, I thought it was more of a niche subject. Not that it changed my overall attitude - I was just curious.

    Thanks for the info - I'll go ahead and look into applying soon.
    You are welcome, Stuart. It's a special kind of professional MSc; one can not do a MSc in Mechanical Engineering and do all the modules in CFD, for instance. CFD is specialist (I'm sure you've seen the modules on the website.

    All the best with the application, give me a shout if you need any help!
 
 
 
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