Case study

Masters student — Jordan Carruthers

Discover how Jordan achieved the BA Working with Children 5-11 (The Wider Children's Workforce) from Edge Hill University before going on to study the MA Social Sciences (International Childhood) and is now working towards the PGCE in Primary Education

Why did you decide to pursue a postgraduate course?

While studying for my undergraduate degree, one of the modules was heavily focused around 'International Childhood' and this provided me with an opportunity to look at childhood outside of the typical UK setting.

From here, I was surprised to see that Edge Hill offered a postgraduate course in the subject that was primarily centred on this area and so I decided to send in my application.

What was the application process like?

It was really easy. Looking at the course in greater detail and the perks of what already being an Edge Hill student had to offer, I choose the university to complete my Masters but decided to live in Liverpool and commute in, which was a great experience as the city had loads to offer.

In terms of the application process and interviews, both went smoothly, and I heard back within a short amount of time.

How are you funding your postgraduate study?

I'm funding it through Student Finance. Unlike with an undergraduate degree, this includes funding for tuition and maintenance/living costs.

Tell us a bit about the course and what it involves.

The course is comprised of seven modules, one being your dissertation and another an international field trip. The five key modules cover a broad range of topics, including: migration, children's rights, anthropology, politics, culture, children's health, methodologies and social theory.

For my dissertation, I've chosen to focus on the masculine and heterosexual norms that can be found within sex education and how we can learn from Sweden's model of education to better adapt our understanding.

In terms of the field trip, we visited Lithuania where we investigated their education system, level of inclusion, feminism, identity and politics. This was all achieved through seminars at Vytautas Magnus University. Outside of this, we were able to explore the city of Kaunas and the capital city of Vilnius, both of which offered a broad range of opportunities to immerse ourselves in the local culture.

How does postgraduate life differ to that of an undergraduate?

Although you may not be on the university campus as much as you would be with an undergraduate degree, the workload is equally if not of greater scale. It requires a greater level of communication between you and your lecturers, as well as a greater level of autonomy and independence.

The size of the group is much smaller as well. For my undergraduate degree, I had at least 30 people on my course and for the Masters there were six of us. This was something I really enjoyed as we all became friends and felt a greater sense of confidence within the classroom when discussing and debating topics.

If possible, try and get involved with the university through your interests or a part-time job. This ensures that you still feel a sense of belonging within the university community, and still have connections to a broader range of people outside of your course.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

I'm now currently carrying out my PGCE in Primary Education, so in the broader scope of things I'd like to be a primary school teacher. However, I want to take on a less permanent role before dedicating myself to a career.

Working at the university, I've found an interest in working within higher education, and with carrying out a Masters, my opportunities are much greater now. With my undergraduate, postgraduate and soon to come PGCE, I could be equipped to work within education at an international level, or work with children in various global situations.

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