Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

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jazzydwi
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Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

Post by jazzydwi » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:37 pm

Hi all,

Looking for some advice RE conversion MSc.

Background: BA (Hons) English Lit with a good 2:1, sudden realisation in 3rd year that I don't want to work in publishing or teaching, and I do want to work in mental health. Spent 3rd year volunteering with Mind and then, having no knowledge of Psychology at all, did a PgCert in Counselling followed by a two year PgDip in CBT, with placements in 3rd sector and primary care mental health.

After qualifying got Band 6 Specialist Practitioner role in a Primary Care Eating disorder service for 18months, followed by my current job of 1 year as Band 6 HI Therapist in NHS dementia service. Both these posts were supervised by ClinPsys who have been gently nudging me toward looking into the doctorate.

I'm now seriously considering this route but obviously need a good grade at MSc conversion (at the absolute minimum) to get GBC and stand a realistic chance of getting on.

My question is - what makes most sense?
Do I go part time in work, do a part time MSc over three years? Or quit my job to do the MSc FT?

Gloucester offers my geographically nearest PT conversion over 3 years, with a 2 hour round trip commute. I could carry on working on reduced hours (already discussed with my line manager) and thus continue to keep myself in the manner to which I have become accustomed. Alternatively I could do FT at Gloucester.

Cardiff offers a brand new conversion (yet to be accredited by BPS though). If the application to BPS is successful, Cardiff is much closer, but is FT only. Meaning taking a substanstial pay cut and living off a postgrad loan and a very supportive partner for a year.

I feel like fully devoting my time to it is likely to yield a better grade, but it also seems like a pretty bold life move to quit a well paying job and become a FT student at age 27. Do people have any words of wisdom? Any questions that might help me see this from a different perspective?

Thanks!

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Samays
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Re: Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

Post by Samays » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:52 pm

Hi,

English was my undergrad too - a classic "I don't know what to do with my life but I'm 18 and have to go to uni" choice.

I did a 2-year part-time MSc conversion alongside being a support worker. I loved learning and thinking about theory and then seeing how it applied in practice in my job week-by-week. My work informed my research project and it felt like a really fulfilling symbiotic process. That said, It sounds like you have some great experience of clinical settings/populations/applications of theory already.

It seems like getting BPS accreditation is a box-ticking necessity for you. Personally, I would get it done in a year. But that would depend on your priorities! For me, I would like to get on training ASAP as I would like to start a family post-qualification. Also, I imagine that doing an MSc in one year is a bit more reflective of the workload of a doctorate rather than doing it over 2 or 3 years. But maybe this wouldn't be relevant for you as you would still have a demanding job on the side on the part-time route. They do cram a lot of knowledge into the MSc (hopefully the amount of a 3-year undergrad). I have found that sometimes I lack knowledge of certain psychological basics due to how little time was spent on things during the MSc. Again, I'm sure with your other qualifications you have some good knowledge already but maybe full-time would allow you to fully apply yourself or maybe part-time would let the knowledge sink in or allow more time to read around topics?

Anyway, just some of my rambling thoughts. Hope they can inform you a bit. Good luck with the decision :)

jazzydwi
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Re: Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

Post by jazzydwi » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:06 am

a classic "I don't know what to do with my life but I'm 18 and have to go to uni" choice.
Very true! I loved doing my undergrad, but a little more guidance from my secondary school wouldn't have gone amiss...
This is a really helpful reply though - I think it is the time frame that's swaying me, and being able to fully dedicate myself to getting a good grade.

Did you feel at all overwhelmed by the change from English at degree level to Psychology at postgrad? I haven't done stats in any depth since I was about 15, apart from a few teaching days on my diploma!

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Samays
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Re: Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

Post by Samays » Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:05 pm

Absolutely! This is definitely a career path I would have chosen then had I known about it. They didn't offer psychology GCSE or A-level at my school or any in surrounding areas from what I gathered from friends.

I didn't feel at all overwhelmed. That might have been due to me having a good few years break in between and I was so ready to get back to learning! A lot of my undergrad was geared towards critical analysis and exploration of theory, I think it really helped me on the conversion course. I got a distinction and a lot of my positive feedback was about report writing style, synthesis of information and construction of critical arguments. There were language elements to my undergrad so discourse analysis and language acquisition/psycholinguistics were an intriguing introduction to psychology as a subject for me. I'm sure you'll find you have loads of transferable skills!

I had zero stats knowledge or experience before the course and I really disliked maths. I found these elements manageable. Peers on my course had such varied backgrounds, they really broke it down to the basics when teaching stats. It demanded less mathematical skill than I expected too, so that was good!

Eims
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Re: Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

Post by Eims » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:56 am

Hello! Not sure if this is helpful, but I completed my MSc at Gloucestershire in 1 year and worked part time alongside it (usually 2 - 3 days a week). I finished in 2017 but at that time, the part-time MSc was over 2 years.

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miriam
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Re: Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

Post by miriam » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:12 pm

You might be able to drop to part-time or bank hours alongside the masters, or take a career break in which you are guaranteed the same role back when you return. I don't think doing a conversion will be a full-time job for the entire 12 months - so it might be worth researching the expected teaching commitments and term dates. I did an MSc in a year alongside a full-time day job and found it manageable, though mine was by research, and that was a long time ago and before I had kids!
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

jazzydwi
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Re: Part time vs Full time conversion (Gloucester v Cardiff)

Post by jazzydwi » Mon May 18, 2020 11:31 am

Eims wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:56 am
Hello! Not sure if this is helpful, but I completed my MSc at Gloucestershire in 1 year and worked part time alongside it (usually 2 - 3 days a week). I finished in 2017 but at that time, the part-time MSc was over 2 years.
This was helpful! This is the route I'm taking now - Cardiff got back to me RE teaching days and for them FT means 5 days per week. I weighed it up and decided that now doesnt feel like a good time to be leaving the health service...
I'd love to pick your brains about the Gloucester conversion if you don't mind!
miriam wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:12 pm
You might be able to drop to part-time or bank hours alongside the masters, or take a career break in which you are guaranteed the same role back when you return. I don't think doing a conversion will be a full-time job for the entire 12 months - so it might be worth researching the expected teaching commitments and term dates. I did an MSc in a year alongside a full-time day job and found it manageable, though mine was by research, and that was a long time ago and before I had kids!


Thanks for your advice Miriam! I've spoken to our Head of Specialty and my boss and been cleared for a reduction in hours, so FT conversion it is. :D

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