Returning to university as a postgraduate

After graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2007, I went on to work in both the public and private sectors, and managed to fit in a round-the-world adventure. The work I did was always interesting but I often felt that I wasn’t heading in quite the direction I wanted to be. My interest in the environment, the effects of climate change and how we address sustainability had been growing for some time and I increasingly felt that this was the field I wanted to work in. The decision was then how to get there!

I had been keen to study again anyway, so after searching online one evening, I discovered the Environmental Sustainability MSc course here at Edinburgh.  It ticked many boxes for me, offering a broad but focused programme that explored core themes of sustainability, and gives a great grounding on the issues we face, and how to address them.

So, in my late twenties, I decided that coming back to university was the best option for me, and I chose to study full-time as I was keen to eventually return to employment sooner rather than later. I had been living in London for almost 3 years, all of my friends were there, so it was daunting to give all that up and move hundreds of miles north to a city where I knew no-one, but it seemed like a risk worth taking. The course fees are little daunting, however I view the cost as an investment – I am learning so much and I believe that the degree will more than pay for itself over the course of the rest of my career.

The application process was very straightforward and I was able to give references from both university and a former employer. I also find in general that having professional experience enhances how I work at university, and I like to think that wisdom comes with age!

One of the best things I find about the course is the range of disciplines it crosses. It satisfies my interests in politics, economics, psychology, sociology, and much in between, as well as the overarching environmental debate.   I have already learned so much more than I imagined I would, and although it can be hard work at times, it is absolutely worth it. I was a little apprehensive when I first moved up, but I have no doubts now about the choice I made: this was definitely the right choice for me.

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