Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Kerry Dwyer and I am based in the South East of England. My path into education has been a long winding journey. After a career in IT and then having a family, I spent ten years working in early years. During this time I studied for a degree in Education whilst being a Deputy Manager of a nursery. I then trained as a teacher and now work in primary as a Year 6 teacher, which I absolutely love. Interestingly, never a day goes by when I don’t draw on my early years training.
What prompted you to pursue an online programme with University of Exeter? Specifically, why was online appealing to you?
I really enjoy studying and embedding what I learn into my teaching. For me, carrying on the journey into an MA Education seemed the natural path for me. I researched many institutions and found that Exeter provided exactly what I wanted. I found that the course content complimented my teaching practice perfectly, it offered a choice of pathways (I chose literacy) and provided the flexibility of online learning when I have a full time demanding job.
What has the experience been like? Was it what you thought it would be like and has it met your expectations?
It has been hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. Learning the theory behind an aspect of education really enhances your teaching and leads you to unpick the thinking behind it. Because the students are based around the world, you can network and learn so much from each other about global education. I have met some great colleagues on the course; all working in different areas of education. I don’t think any of us are doing the same job.
If you were giving someone who was considering an online course advice, what would it be?
Anticipate that you have to be able manage your time effectively. Even though you are studying independently, due to the collaborative nature of the course you always feel that you are part of a group. Working with others is a key element of this course. Because the content is online you can access it when it works for you; I study in the evening and at weekends. Despite being demanding, the course is so interesting and intertwines with your work it has never, in the time I have been doing it, felt overwhelming. You can always access the course tutors and your supervisors can offer support and just a chat if you need it. We also have a dedicated support officer, Oliver who always checks in on us.
Would you recommend the Exeter programme and if so what aspects of the course do you find appealing?
I would definitely recommend the Online MA in Education with Exeter. I am a busy parent who is working full time and have still managed to find the time to study and complete the assignments. The flexibility has suited me perfectly along with the collaborative elements of working with other educationalists around the world. I have enjoyed it so much I am even tempted by the PhD.