5 reasons why I studied for my Master’s degree at Teesside University #AD

19 Jan 2021

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Teesside University*

Three years at Teesside University practically flew by right before my eyes. One minute I was enrolling on to my English Studies with Creative Writing undergraduate course, and the next, I was thinking about what to do after I’d done the whole “shake the Vice Chancellor’s hand without tripping over and throw my mortar board in the air” thing. It was pretty daunting to say the least!

Some students know the exact path that they want to take after graduating – maybe they’ll go straight into work or maybe their course provides them with a placement that turns into a career. Maybe they go on to complete a PGCE and have dreams of teaching the next generation of graduates. But for me, I wasn’t all that sure until I read up on Master’s degrees.

In short, a Master’s degree is a year (or two, if studied part time) of further education to focus on one specific area of a wider subject, giving you the chance to become a bit of a specialist. Fancy, eh? Holding a Master’s can give you a competitive edge when job hunting and can lead to even higher degrees, like a PhD.

It was basically a no brainer for me after reading all of the benefits that come with having a second degree, but there were specific reasons why I chose to continue my studying at Teesside University.

1. The facilities are fantastic

Having already studied for my undergraduate degree at Teesside University, I was already fully aware of how amazing the facilities are. From the fully equipped TV studios with gallery and editing suites for my multimedia pieces, to the reprographics department that would print and bind my work for that perfect presentation when submitting.

But the real crown jewel of the facilities list is the library, which was my favourite place to be on campus. With several floors of books, quiet spaces, computers that are free to use 24/7, a café, a dedicated space for Master’s students and so much more, this was basically where I lived throughout my whole degree. If I wasn’t hunting down books through the endless shelves, I was working on an essay or my final year project in the Master’s room. I loved it!

2. The Careers & Employability team were second to none

When you’re at university, sometimes you just need someone there to tell you that you’re heading in the right direction and show you some options of what you can work towards. That’s exactly what the Careers & Employability team are all about, and they’re a bunch of angels, I swear!

I used their services a couple of times in my undergraduate experience – when I was interviewing for the university’s BOOST scheme, and when I was thinking of a career change and needed some advice. They’re the most patient and helpful people I think I’ve ever met, and so I knew that they’d be there if I needed them during my Master’s degree.

3. The lecturers in my undergraduate school were supportive and inspiring

Once in a blue moon, you’ll meet people who leave a lasting impact on you and the way you think, and for me, one of those was Helen Davies in my undergraduate course. She inspired me and supported me in my work – in fact, she was one of the first lecturers to tell me I could get a First with my research – so she really made my time at Teesside University a joy.

With that experience already under my belt, I had such confidence in the staff in my new school and I was absolutely right to! I found them so easy to talk to if I had any issues, I loved having a joke with them now and then, and I ultimately felt really good about receiving feedback from them because of the supportive, friendly and professional relationships we’d formed. The undergraduate lecturers were a huge part of why I chose Teesside University, and my postgraduate lecturers contributed massively to the positive time I had whilst studying!

4. The modules sounded so interesting and creative

One thing that almost everyone will tell you about doing a Master’s is that it’s quite a “free rein” experience. I mean that you have a lot of free-thinking space within a topic or framework, and you can shape assignments to your liking. So with that in mind and looking at modules that Teesside University listed on their postgraduate prospectus, I felt so incredibly excited and ready to get stuck in.

I’m talking about modules that covered media communications, celebrity representation and how to analyse what we consume. There was a module all about niche news and building a website for our own niche news topic (mine was baking!). There was all sorts about writing for digital platforms, social media, specialised campaigns, and the final project was to build and run a news website, then analyse the performance. It all sounded so up my street and I couldn’t wait to put my own spin on everything.

5. The area is full of things to do, places to go and food to eat

There’s a common misconception about Middlesbrough and the surrounding areas – that they haven’t really got much going for them – and it’s a load of rubbish. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, Teesside has really got it going on, and it’s becoming a bit of a hotspot for arts, music, food and culture.

From the countless galleries in Middlesbrough, like MIMA and Pineapple Black, to the amazing festivals, like Middlesbrough Mela and Festival of Thrift, there is always something to see or do. There are tons of restaurants in the area, the coast is only a 15 minute drive away, there’s town and countryside to explore, and so many hidden gems that we’d be here all day talking about them. I knew that by not continuing to study at Teesside University, I’d be leaving all of these things that I love so much behind!

After a year of studying really hard and dedicating as much time as possible to my Master’s degree, I came away from Teesside University with an MA Multimedia Journalism (with Distinction – fancy!) degree and a real sense of pride. It felt so good to stick with Teesside, reaping all the benefits it offered, and furthering my love for all things digital media and writing with a specialist degree.

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