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Applying for a Masters

(5 Posts)
beardedladydragon Thu 26-May-16 23:23:57

I am in the process of writing my application for a taught Masters course. I graduated in 2000 and then worked in a related field until the birth of my first child in 2005. During that time I undertook some vocational courses. I then had a bit of a career break until 2008 when I set up my own business in a field related to my original degree. I also did a number of "professional" qualifications. In 2010 my 3rd child was born and I haven't worked in that field since. I set up another business but it was more of a hobby. My 4th dc is now 3 and I feel ready to go back to the subject I love.
Within the application I need to list other qualifications. Do I need to put them all down? Some of them seem fairly insignificant i.e. sports specific coaching awards but they were very relevant to my job at the time.
I also have to provide a referee. I no longer know of anyone who knows me in an academic or professional capacity. Certainly not in relation to the subject matter. I am however a school governor and was thinking of asking our HT to provide my reference. Do you think this would suffice?
Any help would be gratefully received thanks.

TheWordOfBagheera Fri 27-May-16 11:24:45

I'd only put qualifications relevant to this course I think. If you need to explain the gaps you could write a couple of lines which included the sports stuff perhaps.

Your old university may provide a stock reference; I've certainly had a reference from an old tutor from years ago who I have no doubt didn't remember me. They get those sort of requests all the time and may be happy to send out a standard reference.

Equally you could email the course organiser and ask them if the HT reference would be ok, or if they'd prefer you to try to get hold of something from your old university.

NeverInDoubt Fri 27-May-16 11:28:01

I have never heard of anyone getting turned down for a Masters course. Your HT would be a great reference but on the whole don't worry about it too much. Masters are cash cows for universities so as long as you've put together a coherent application form you'll be fine smile

FoggyBottom Fri 27-May-16 12:25:00

You need a referee who can comment on your capacity & preparedness for a Masters. But as it's just a taught Masters that doesn't need to be hugely rigorous.

impostersyndrome Sun 29-May-16 14:13:28

NeverinDoubt you may be being tongue-in-cheek, but as an MSc course director at a research-intensive university, I can assure you that we are very selective on our intake. There's nothing worse than having to either fail someone who's not up to it, or disappoint someone who's shelled out thousands of pounds only to find the course doesn't suit them.

To answer the OP question: you need someone from your undergrad course staff to at the very least comment on your academic record. It would make sense to have another from a recent employer who can comment on your more generic skills. If you've had a career break, then don't worry - I would hope that the HT writing a letter regarding your role as a governor sounds fine. Any decent university will let you know if the references don't suit.

Only put down qualifications that are relevant.

And I'd take a lot of care with the statement to ensure it is specific to the course and the people teaching on the course - e.g. I want to study geomatic engineering in order to take a career change from geography. I particularly am attracted to this course as it has an emphasis on... and the course team's track record in... matches my own interests in...

Good luck!

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