Gay by Degree May 13, 2013Posted by TCG Info in : diversity, further study and training, postgraduate , add a comment
Gaybydegree is a guide to universities by Stonewall, the LGBT organisation. With the cost of higher education increasing for many students, there is increasing attention to the student experience and value for money. Stonewall’s guide is designed to help students consider their options in choosing a more gay friendly institution. If you are going to spend three or more years living and studying somewhere, it’s good to have the information to decide where.
The Stonewall guide gives an indication of the gay-friendliness of an institution through several categories:
- Homophobic bullying policy
- Compulsory staff training on LGBT issues
- Student LGBT society
- Information on LGBT issues
- Stonewall Diversity Champion
- Events for LGBT students
- Explicit welfare support for LGBT students
- Consultation with LGBT students
- Specific career advice for LGBT students
- Staff LGBT network
Stonewall argue that this should give an indication of how friendly an institution should be and how seriously they take LGBT issues. As careers professionals we are slightly stumped at the specific careers advice for LGBT students – some of our colleges get that box ticked whilst others don’t – even when we share the same careers service. We provide, through Reach and other measures, help to all students whether they feel they face barriers to work or not.
Stonewall have done well to raise this as an issue for universities and perhaps some will compete to ensure their GaybyDegree status is the highest they can achieve. For prospective students it does give an indication but probably shouldn’t be used to base a commitment on. It’s important to scout around the local town to see what that is like, to see how many homophobic attacks there may have been, to see how open the gay community is in the area. Combine this information with your academic interests, institutional profile and other motivation before deciding which institution to attend.
This post previously appeared on our sister blog Reach.
Thinking about postgraduate study? January 19, 2012Posted by Andrew Falconer in : further study and training, postgraduate , add a comment
This is the time of year when students start considering further study. I have already posted about funding postgraduate study but I think it might be useful to consider what postgraduate options there are and how to decide whether to invest the time and money in more study.
Many students only really consider undertaking a taught masters course. These are generally one-year courses with the emphasis being on lectures and learning in the similar style to undergraduate courses. Typically these tend to be MA or MSc qualifications. However you can also do research masters courses where the significant component will be an independent research project (e.g dissertation). These are often MRes or MPhil. Students who go on to start a PhD will often gain the MPil after their first year – that is, PhD students “upgrade” from a MPhil. MBA courses, particularly AMBA accredited courses, require significant management-level work experience prior to applying. You can explore many of these options at the MBA & Postgraduate Study fair.
So why would you think of doing a masters? For some students it is about gaining more knowledge. Perhaps you have done a broad or general degree and want to specialise. Or maybe you want to learn about a different discipline than what you studied – e.g. a biologist may want to study marketing.
For other students it can be about increasing their chances of getting a job. There is a perception that having a masters automatically makes you more employable. In the UK it doesn’t work like that. Some postgraduate courses will definitely increase your employability but most probably won’t enhance your career prospects so much. Generally speaking, the more specialist a masters course is the more specific employers will value it.
Careers advisers can help talk through these options with you. It may be that postgraduate study could boost your career or just be something you want to enjoy for the sake of it. Contact your careers service to make an appointment. Our colleague Callum Leckie also contributed to this useful video that may help:
Thinking about doing a research degree? August 3, 2011Posted by Andrew Falconer in : further study and training, postgraduate , add a comment
Talking to some students recently it became clear that they didn’t know there are two types of post-graduate course available. The main one is a taught Masters programme. This is similar to undergraduate tuition but will usually have a signficant independent research compenent. The other is a Research Masters. These arise accross most disciplines but are often associated mainly with science related degrees. The research masters does not usually include a significant taught element but focuses on the student undertaking independent research.
Choosing a research masters route can be difficult. Our colleague Terry Jones is a specialist careers adviser working with postgraduate students. He has recorded a podcast of him in coversation talking about common questions such as deciding on a project, supervisor or university. The podcast is 17mins long and can be downloaded here. Other podcasts are available here. To find out about postgraduate options within the University of London click here.
So I got my PhD, but I want to do something different… August 23, 2010Posted by Helen Curry in : postgraduate , 3comments
****Be aware this content is over two years old****
It is a common enough situation to want a change, particularly after the stress of finishing that PhD dissertation, but where do you go from there?
I recommend treating this as your next research project. Think about the methods you can apply to find the information you need – from resoures, people and advice – can you apply those research methods here too? In that vein, here’s a reading list…
Vitae is an essential place to start as they have heaps of information and resources, including help if it is worries about family, age or disability that you feel are restricting your academic options. And if you are looking for career ideas, take a look at these reports to see what others in your position did next – What do researchers do.
From our own website, The Careers Group, download these specialised information sheets on CVs and careers for PhDs. See also our general CV guide How to write a CV (pdf) which actually has an example of a CV from a post-doc moving our of academia, p.34.
For a real-life stories of career choices following your research degree, Beyond the PhD is fantastic for getting perspective.
If you are a science researcher, I really recommend the QM researchers blog - the opportunities posted there are open to all and cover a range of career ideas relevant to your expertise. There are also some good lists of links.
And another blog worth trying is Leaving Academia, giving peoples’ experiences of changing paths.