Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your background?
Since qualifying as a primary school teacher in 2010, I’ve now experienced life as a teacher in the UK state sector, independent sector and an international school, each with various middle and senior leadership roles. I’ve loved working in such diverse settings and am passionate about pushing myself to be able to provide the best education. It’s fascinating to see how “best” can be interpreted in such different ways!
What prompted you to pursue an online programme with University of Exeter?
When I returned from teaching in Sri Lanka, I wasn’t sure what sort of teaching role I wanted to go apply for, or even where I wanted to settle in the UK. I decided to do some supply teaching to get to know different schools and bring me up to speed with how UK education had changed in my time abroad, and decided to do an MA in Education to give me an additional challenge. The primary aim was because I really enjoy learning and I relish a good educational debate, but I also hoped that it could be a useful extra string to my bow for future potential roles too.
Specifically, why was online appealing to you?
Being online, the course offered so much flexibility as I could continue to study with whatever job I ended up getting and wherever it happened to be. Knowing there was that flexibility from the start meant I wasn’t restricted with what roles I could apply for outside of the course and I could always work full-time.
What has the experience been like? Was it what you thought it would be like and has it met your expectations?
The experience has definitely exceeded my expectations! I was a little nervous initially as it had been a while since I had written academically, but the structure of the modules with the reading recommended, interactive tasks, group work and formative assignments meant that you’re given a lot of support, feedback and guidance so by the time you come to write your summative assignments you feel very prepared. It was much more enjoyable than I was expecting because I felt so supported.
If you were giving someone who was considering an online course advice, what would it be?
Do it! Whatever your background, the course had people from different countries in different roles doing all sorts of fascinating jobs and so we learnt from each other as had different perspectives. The course leaders and student support services are so helpful and approachable that you feel very taken care of. There are scholarship options too to help financially and I am very grateful to have had a ‘Global Excellence Scholarship’ to help me fund my course.
Would you recommend the Exeter programme and if so what aspects of the course do you find appealing?
Yes, I would recommend it unreservedly. The modules are so cleverly designed to get you to think critically. They engage you with polls and quizzes amongst the reading and debates and the material is presented in very interesting and varied ways. You do get to know your course-mates and it can all be done from the comfort of your home!
Is there anything you’d like to add or anything you’d like to talk about that we did not touch on?
I am so glad I decided to go for it and am very grateful for everyone involved with the MA Online course who made it such an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Thank you!