Graduated with an MA Education (Leadership and Management)

Which course did you study?

MA Education (Leadership and Management)

Why did you choose this course?

Image: MA Education (Leadership and Management) student Joseph GrimaI chose this course because I believed it would not only help me in my personal development as a teacher in my current position, but also prepare me for the next steps in my career if I decided to become a Head Teacher.

What attracted you to online learning?

Its flexibility was the ultimate selling point for me as it allowed me to fit the program into my already busy schedule, which otherwise would have made nearly as impossible to do even if I had chosen to study in my country. I also found that online learning suited my learning style; sharing my ideas through blogs and forums rather than having to speak up in front of my peers in a classroom setting meant I was able to participate far more than I usually would, allowing me to develop my knowledge like never before.

Why did you choose the University of Derby Online Learning?

I was torn between UDOL and another university, so I spoke to my friends and workmates who had also studied this course at UDOL. After they assured me of the quality of the learning and support of tutors, so I made up my mind and applied to UDOL and I’m so glad I did. It offered me the ability to adapt the learning modules to my needs, as well as an accelerated pace which allowed me to complete the course in only two years.

What were your goals and aspirations when starting your course? Have they changed during study?

My main goal was to improve as a professional and open up possibilities to career choices, things I have definitely achieved as a UDOL graduate.

How did you balance your study around professional/personal commitments?

Although online learning offers a flexible platform, I found balancing it with my professional life a challenge when I started. So, I contacted my Online Learning Advisor who offered me brilliant advice, and I made up my mind that I would be following the course activities, allowing me to fit my studies around all my other commitments.

How would you describe your online learning experience at Derby? What did you find particularly beneficial?

It was a very positive experience. All of my tutors were available to speak when I needed advice and support, and feedback on assignments was very useful for my development. I also found the idea of having a Personal Blog really helpful as it gave me the chance to share my private thoughts with my tutors on what I was learning.

What was your most memorable moment during your time at Derby?

I hope to finally visit Derby to attend my graduation ceremony, I have seen the videos online and the idea of finally meeting my academics and fellow students would most certainly be memorable.

For me, most satisfying and memorable moments have been the times I have logged onto the system to check my assignment results and found my tutor's feedback.

How has your qualification helped your career? Has the knowledge you have acquired, complimented previous work experience in any way?

It has already helped a lot, especially during the last year of my studies. My school was listed for a general audit by the local education department and I was actively involved in the School Development Plan. Some of the modules I was studying were perfectly timed with this as I learnt how to conduct a SWOT analysis. When our Head Teacher asked me to do a SWOT analysis on our lesson plans I had the confidence and knowledge to demonstrate my knowledge as well as transfer what I had learnt from my degree.

Can you describe your experience with just one word?

Satisfying.

What would you say to anyone considering an online course at Derby?

Take the chance and just do it. It might be a challenge initially to balance your studies you’re your commitments, but a strong will and determination are the keys for success in any aspect of life.