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Can't decide on an MA!!! Help!!

(9 Posts)
DisneylandDreams Tue 24-Jan-17 13:38:04

I'm finishing my OU English Lit degree this year - module finishes in May, so graduation July-ish and ceremony in September. Am working part-time from home, but also caring for 2 SEN dc's, and need to be here especially when DH works away (which is quite frequent). SO, I'm thinking of doing an MA in Publishing through distance learning with Oxford Brookes, but I'm also tempted by the MA in Creative and Cultural Industries at a fairly local (30 miles) uni. I would ideally like to go into publishing, but also have a pie-in-the-sky dream of becoming a political speech writer (we have hopes to move either nearer or in a city in a few years when I've finished and get a job). Does anyone know if a general Creative and Cultural Industries would help with a speechwriter aspiration, or would it have to be something like Applied Linguistics. I guess I'm just trying to keep my options as open as possible, and while the Publishing MA would be the most convenient, I do feel the C&CI MA might be a bit too vague? Argh!!!

bassetmum Tue 24-Jan-17 13:45:07

Cant help with your choices but a word of wisdom. I did my MSc via distance learning and working full time. It was hard work. The course itself required a bigger commitment than my undergrad which I did at uni. I didn't have a full weekend off for three years. Go for it but be prepared. Its something I wish someone had told me to expect when I signed up for it

INeedNewShoes Tue 24-Jan-17 13:53:13

The MA in 'Creative and Cultural Industries' sounds like a slightly Mickey Mouse type of MA where the institution would accept any calibre of student onto the course.

This really may well not be the case but you need to be sure that the qualification will have good associations for prospective employers. I would be looking at both courses' stats on graduates - what do people go on to do after these courses?

If you want to work in publishing (and realistically even if you manage to get some speech-writing work you might want/need to bump up your income with something else) I would start getting relevant experience in the areas that interest you as well as the MA.

For example, the publisher I work for wouldn't give freelance editing or proofreading work to someone who had no prior in-house experience, regardless of what qualifications they had.

If I were you I would be looking to gain a placement working with a publisher for a few weeks (though I know this would be a nightmare with childcare).

DisneylandDreams Tue 24-Jan-17 14:06:33

Yes, I've looked at getting some publishing experience but it's a little tricky down my way (Sussex) as there aren't many publishing houses, that I've been able to find - other than local rags. I've written a few articles for local charities, but yes, I need to do more on that front. I emailed a local children's music publisher but they said they couldn't take me on. My DBIL has publishing contacts up in Oxford, so a short-term placement might be possible, if I can arrange it for a month when DH isn't away! I will definitely get my thinking hat on though!
I've just become a Disabled Champion for Scope, so will hopefully be going into schools to talk about disabilities/chronic illness with them soon, so that's good for the cv too, and I've made contact with some local charities about doing some publishing related work with them, but it's quite a long process!

DisneylandDreams Tue 24-Jan-17 15:17:52

Thanks both - mn is always good for getting me back on track with things (--aka swift boot up the arse--)! I've just emailed all the publishers in the county with a query to see if they want any work experience - cover letter and CV. May not work but at least it's done! smile

languagelearner Tue 24-Jan-17 19:05:15

Why not go for the distance education with the Oxford brookes? Sounds good enough to me. Distance education is the best, it's more flexible.

DisneylandDreams Tue 24-Jan-17 19:21:53

I think after having had another look at them today, I might hedge my bets and apply for two, and see what happens. I may not get accepted for the Publishing MA if I can't get some work experience in time, and may not get accepted for a degree by Sussex if there are just better candidates out there, so probably best to try for both and hope for the best. Of course now I have to decide which of the MAs offered by Sussex is the one I'd really want to do, but they have a lot of potentially attractive ones. The OB MA is of course ideal, but will likely tailor me in to one profession, whereas the Sussex MAs are all more general so I might be better able to find a job in media/broadcasting/charities etc? Ooh, it's very difficult, this choosing a subject! There's so much I'm interested in and want to do - I'd like to go into children's publishing, maybe with a SEN element, maybe with a music element, but I'd also like to go into speechwriting/charity/political work. I can't believe I'm in my 40's and still dilly-dallying about what I want to do with my life!! I'll be dead before I decide at this rate! grin

INeedNewShoes Tue 24-Jan-17 19:47:20

One way to hone your decisions would be to look at the breakdown of the modules offered on each course. See which modules interest you the most and go from there. It might help you to work out what you're most interested in.

From a music publishing perspective I can tell you almost certainly that you would need to specialise in music publishing from this point onwards to be of interest for either in-house or freelance employment as the vast majority of people working in music publishing have music degrees/MAs and are active musicians.

DisneylandDreams Wed 25-Jan-17 11:59:42

I studied for two years at Trinity College of Music, (had to leave due to illness) have a CT ABRSM and have been teaching for the majority of the last twenty years, so may be ok with the 'active' part of that, but yes, will definitely look at the modules and go from there!

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