Hello again, I’m Paul, a postgraduate marine scientist studying on a part-time basis.
If, like me, you decided to take some time out of academia after your undergraduate studies it may be difficult to commit to full-time education again. These difficulties may arise from funding your study to finding a suitable programme in the first place.
Because of this conundrum, I would like to share my experiences with you and I hope that doing so will inspire you to consider ‘part-time postgrad’ as an option!
In terms of funding, the government have recently begun offering student loans (of an undergraduate style) to postgraduates which will make further study more affordable to the individual over the long-term. Nonetheless, many postgraduates wish to work part-time to top up their disposable income or to help with the cost of accommodation.
I work as a waiter at the weekends at a sustainable restaurant on the historic waterfront at Royal William Yard. This work is sociable and fits easily around my studies! Another bonus is that River Cottage Canteens champion local and sustainable produce, values which are in-line with my own beliefs – especially regarding sustainable fishing practises!
In terms of finding a suitable programme, do not be afraid to specialise and try something new that will excite you. My search was actually quite simple because my undergraduate degree was BSc Geography with Ocean Science. I had particularly enjoyed the marine modules and had a choice of marine masters programmes to choose from at Plymouth University. There is also a great site called FindAMasters which can offer inspiration!
Good luck broadening your horizons!