Why I chose to study a Master's
Hi I’m Natalie, I'm an international student studying MSc Dietetics, a two year Master’s course. In this blog I’ll be telling you why I chose to study a Master’s degree and why I chose to study in the UK at Leeds Beckett University.
There are many excellent reasons for studying a postgraduate degree in the UK. For instance, you will be developing new skills and enhancing your career prospects within a strong educational system that is well regarded around the world. While I chose to study here for educational reasons, I also wanted to study abroad so I could gain experiences in a new place and immerse myself in the unique British culture. If you’re an international student who is considering studying for a Master’s degree, I hope you find reading about my reasons for choosing to study a MSc Dietetics course here at Leeds Beckett interesting.
Developing my career
People decide to study for a Master's for many reasons. For me, I decided to study MSc Dietetics at Leeds Beckett because I want to become a qualified dietician. My undergraduate degree was in Nutrition, however, when I began to think about what career I wanted I realised that I wanted to become a dietician. Nutrition and dietetics are two similar but very distinct vocations. Unlike nutritionists, dietitians have the training and expertise to identify eating disorders and create diets to treat particular medical issues. This is something I find fascinating, and is one of the reasons why I was drawn to pursuing this as a career path. Through my research into this career, I became aware that to qualify as a dietitian you are required to undertake an approved programme at a university. So, I knew that in order to develop my career prospects and pursue the field I was interested in, I had to gain a Master’s degree.
Choosing Leeds Beckett
At the time I began looking for a course, I was studying my undergraduate degree at another university in Leeds. I was really enjoying living in Leeds, as it’s a very friendly, multi-cultural city, and I was also enjoying the experience of studying in the UK. So, I was very keen to continue studying and living here as a postgraduate student. As the university I was studying at didn’t have a MSc Dietetics course, I searched for other universities in Leeds and found the Dietetics course at Leeds Beckett. What first caught my eye is the fact this course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is accredited by the British Dietetic Association (BDA). In order to apply for registration with the HCPC, an approved course - like MSc Dietetics at LBU - must be successfully completed. This is important because anyone who wants to practise as a dietician must be registered with the HCPC in order to do so legally in the UK. While the HCPC is a UK body, if I decide to practise abroad I can still hold this registration and in some cases I can use it to confirm my professional status. So, for me, there were a lot of great benefits in studying here as an international, postgraduate student.
Even though I really wanted to continue living and studying in Leeds, I made sure to thoroughly research the course at Leeds Beckett and ensure it would give me the opportunities I wanted. As I enjoy hands-on experience, I was very interested to find out more about the placement opportunities. Which is why I decided to visit on an Open Day and speak to various members of staff and current students. They told me all about the placement opportunities that are available as part of MSc Dietetics, and how these are included in both years of the course. I learnt that in the first year, students undertake a work-based placement that involves observing work practices and undertaking practical exercises, then in the second year there are further placements where you continue to apply dietetics knowledge and develop skills. Finding out about the placement opportunities helped me decide that Leeds Beckett was somewhere I definitely wanted to study. Since joining, I am pleased to have undertaken various placements within healthcare settings and have developed many skills, including strengthening my communication and time management capabilities, and gaining new clinical skills.
As an international student, it is really important to me that a university is welcoming. When I was researching Leeds Beckett I discovered the supportive Global Village team who organise fun events for international students. One of the events I’ve been to is the Global Village Café, where there’s the opportunity to socialise with other international students in a relaxed setting. Here we can chat about anything and it’s a lovely way to meet new people. Plus, there’s a free tea or coffee available which is a nice touch by the team.
Overall, choosing to study a Master’s degree is a big decision, especially when you’re an international student applying to a university abroad. I’m so glad I chose to study here at Leeds Beckett, my MSc is helping equip me with the knowledge and skills I need to become a successful dietician. On top of this, Leeds Beckett puts a lot of effort into making every single international student feel a part of a connected community.
Are you thinking about postgraduate study?
By studying a postgraduate degree at Leeds Beckett, you can extend your learning and boost your CV.
Hello, my name is Natalie and I am currently studying MSc Dietetics at Leeds Beckett University. I am an international student from Hong Kong. During my free time, I love to go to the gym, do pilates and listen to music. I also love travelling and exploring nice restaurants in the city. I'm passionate about spreading the importance of balanced diet and health so everyone can live best with their life!