Experience of distance/online postgraduate courses

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SophieLJ21
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I'm currently working as a project manager and I am at the stage now where I'd like to back and do a master's but would prefer not to take time out of work in order to do so.

I'd really appreciate some feedback on the courses below, particularly if you have had some direct experience of them. I'd also be keen to hear about other courses elsewhere which may be suitable. I have looked at some other London Uni's and while I really like the look of some of the courses, they're just out of what I can realistically afford.

Birmingham - MPA - This along with SOAS is probably my top choice at the moment. The Birmingham distance learning programme seems to be quite broad which makes me hopeful that they are well versed in it and the support etc will be in place. Modules look good, although all compulsory, and there appears to be a proper application procedure. I believe I could also sign up to one module and use this towards credits before committing to the full course.

SOAS - Public Policy and Management - I really like the range of modules I can choose from and the flexibility in how long I have to complete it. As someone who doesn't test that well I am a bit concerned about each modules seeming to be 70% exam, especially with working FT as well.

York - MPA - Modules look OK and varied, again all compulsory. From my understanding York is well respected in this area (I may be wrong). I worry that they will basically accept everyone, making it harder to speak to tutors due to student numbers. Have heard very bad things about there Comp Sci MSC and worry this may be reflective across there online offering.

Keele University - MBA - Working in local gov and likely remaining in public sector doing an MBA wouldn't be my first choice, but I also know a lot of public sector have gone down this route. I really like the modules offered, especially the digital one. I would also get a 10% discount. I am concerned that the course is very new (2020) and not sure how recognised it would be/if it's even accredited.
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SOAS
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(Original post by SophieLJ21)
I'm currently working as a project manager and I am at the stage now where I'd like to back and do a master's but would prefer not to take time out of work in order to do so.

I'd really appreciate some feedback on the courses below, particularly if you have had some direct experience of them. I'd also be keen to hear about other courses elsewhere which may be suitable. I have looked at some other London Uni's and while I really like the look of some of the courses, they're just out of what I can realistically afford.

Birmingham - MPA - This along with SOAS is probably my top choice at the moment. The Birmingham distance learning programme seems to be quite broad which makes me hopeful that they are well versed in it and the support etc will be in place. Modules look good, although all compulsory, and there appears to be a proper application procedure. I believe I could also sign up to one module and use this towards credits before committing to the full course.

SOAS - Public Policy and Management - I really like the range of modules I can choose from and the flexibility in how long I have to complete it. As someone who doesn't test that well I am a bit concerned about each modules seeming to be 70% exam, especially with working FT as well.

York - MPA - Modules look OK and varied, again all compulsory. From my understanding York is well respected in this area (I may be wrong). I worry that they will basically accept everyone, making it harder to speak to tutors due to student numbers. Have heard very bad things about there Comp Sci MSC and worry this may be reflective across there online offering.

Keele University - MBA - Working in local gov and likely remaining in public sector doing an MBA wouldn't be my first choice, but I also know a lot of public sector have gone down this route. I really like the modules offered, especially the digital one. I would also get a 10% discount. I am concerned that the course is very new (2020) and not sure how recognised it would be/if it's even accredited.
Hi Sophie,

Thank you for your thoughts about the MSc Public Policy and Management at SOAS University of London. As you correctly notice, the programme includes several modules that students can select, which cover subjects on public policy, public management and public financial management. The programme does not have core modules and students can select any six modules they like among 16 on offer at present. The dissertation is optional, as students may rather prefer to take six taught modules rather than four taught modules, the Research Methods module and the Dissertation. You are correct to notice that assessment is largely based on exam, which carries 70% of the marks (the rest consisting of two 2,500-word essays which carry 15% of the total marks each). Exams consist of a 3-hour examination where students are required to answer 3 out of a set of 8 questions. Examinations are a traditional form of assessment which may look challenging because of the time pressure, but they allow most students to demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and some of them to perform exceptionally well.

Best wishes,
Alberto

Dr Alberto Asquer, programme convenor
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SophieLJ21
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(Original post by SOAS)
Hi Sophie,

Thank you for your thoughts about the MSc Public Policy and Management at SOAS University of London. As you correctly notice, the programme includes several modules that students can select, which cover subjects on public policy, public management and public financial management. The programme does not have core modules and students can select any six modules they like among 16 on offer at present. The dissertation is optional, as students may rather prefer to take six taught modules rather than four taught modules, the Research Methods module and the Dissertation. You are correct to notice that assessment is largely based on exam, which carries 70% of the marks (the rest consisting of two 2,500-word essays which carry 15% of the total marks each). Exams consist of a 3-hour examination where students are required to answer 3 out of a set of 8 questions. Examinations are a traditional form of assessment which may look challenging because of the time pressure, but they allow most students to demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and some of them to perform exceptionally well.

Best wishes,
Alberto

Dr Alberto Asquer, programme convenor
Thank you for the response. In regards to the exams are they in person or online?
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SOAS
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(Original post by SophieLJ21)
Thank you for the response. In regards to the exams are they in person or online?
Hi Sophie,

Apologies for the delay. Exams are ordinarily carried out in person. The University of London Worldwide administers the exams for CeFiMS in September-October in about 300+ exam centres over the world.

In 2020 and 2021, however, the exams were replaced by an online assessment (exam questions were downloaded by students, who had a 3-hour time window to upload the answers) because of the pandemic.

We do not know when exams are resumed in person or carried on in some form of online assessment in the future yet but will be keeping in touch with students regularly to keep them updated.

Best wishes,

Alberto
Last edited by SOAS; 6 days ago
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