Upon completion of my three-year undergraduate course in Childhood Studies at Beckett, I made the decision that this was not the end of my journey in education. I didn’t have to think twice about where I was going to complete my masters as Leeds Beckett offered everything I was searching for. I am now doing my masters in Childhood Studies and Early Years, which is a distance learning course.

Expand my knowledge

Firstly, let’s begin with the reasons I chose to progress on to postgraduate study. I always knew that I wanted to continue expanding my knowledge in the field. I also thought that studying for a postgrad course during a pandemic was a great way to use my time productively. The current climate gave me a reason to do my year of study now rather than coming back years later to do it. This was a bonus, as it meant that I could gain this qualification much faster. On top of this, I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate degree at Beckett and so coming back to do a masters seemed like an easy choice. It allows me to enhance my earning potential and employability, get stuck into further research and begin to specialise in a specific field in working with children and young people.

Wide range of online services and support

When searching for my postgrad degree in my chosen field there were many key factors that motivated me and influenced my decision to take this course specifically at Leeds Beckett. Given my familiarity with Beckett’s teaching and facilities, I had the advantage of knowing what I would be paying for and the quality of the degree I would receive at the end. Leeds Beckett appealed to me because as a distance learner I would be frequently using the online library facility, which offers me instant access to thousands of eBooks and journals, access to IT or general library support 24/7 and online access to lots of different databases to source references for my assignments. This library access was crucial to my decision-making process as I needed to make sure I would be able to easily source material that was reputable and peer-reviewed, to produce high quality work.

High quality teaching

The quality of teaching was another reason I chose to stay at Leeds Beckett. The distance learning course format gave me the ability to study my masters from the comfort of my own home, as well as being able to fit lectures around my personal schedule. The teaching offered by Leeds Beckett is fantastic! I have had the opportunity to be taught by professionals in the field of Childhood Studies, who are experts in child development and are key research figures in improving the lives of children. For example, Leeds Beckett is the first of its kind to offer a publishing service (The Story Makers Press) that focuses on children’s voices and creativity when producing children’s literature. Through this process they can make sure that all children can see themselves in the books they read, hereby challenging the marginalisation of unrepresented groups and narratives. It is really inspiring to have lecturers involved in this type of project teaching me.

Alumni discount

Lastly, pricing for me was another key point that made me want to continue with Beckett. As alumni of Leeds Beckett I received a 10% discount on my tuition fees, meaning overall I would be paying less for my degree! It’s an added bonus and it’s great to know you are saving money.

Difference between bachelors and postgrad

My postgraduate degree so far has been intriguing yet challenging. It is sometimes intense due to the nature of a one-year course but support has always been available when I’ve needed it. Whenever I have struggled with an element of the course, I have always received support from my lecturers and fellow peers and eventually got myself back on track. There is a clear difference between postgraduate and undergraduate level in that it is another step up, just like the gap between A-level and undergraduate. The teaching and learning approaches are different, and you will find yourself with more responsibility and independence. It requires you to be more self-motivated as you choose what questions what you want to write your assignments on. This freedom can be scary to begin with, especially when you have become so used to the lecturer telling you what they want. But it is this freedom that allows you delve deeper into topics you are most interested in and so it is a real positive.

I would definitely recommend you stay on to complete a postgrad degree with Leeds Beckett. Get that graduate discount and enjoy studying at an establishment you love and know.

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