Factors to Consider When Choosing a Postgraduate Business Programme
Dr Paul Hanly, Associate Professor and Vice Dean of Postgraduate Studies at NCI’s School of Business, hosted a webinar sharing useful insights into studying a part-time postgraduate programme in business.
Joining the webinar were NCI alumni, Sinéad Conroy, who studied the MSc in International Business, and Rosaleen Johnston, who completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Human Resource Management and is currently undertaking the MA in HRM. Along with the courses Sinéad and Rosaleen joined, NCI offers a range of part-time postgraduate programmes in business in the following areas:
- International Business
- Human Resource Management
Watch the recording of the webinar back to get an overview of studying at this level, the commitment involved in studying a postgraduate programme part-time and to hear from our graduates:
Focus on Part-Time Students
You may be choosing to study part-time as it allows you the opportunity to continue working full-time alongside pursuing a degree. As Sinéad noted during the webinar, NCI shows an understanding of the demands of busy professionals in numerous ways such as the scheduling of classes. For example, you won’t need to take one Friday off a month to attend your classes, they will slot in after your working day two evenings a week.
This understanding of being a part-time student was evident for Sinéad who said this factor played a big role in her decision-making process.
Class Size & Diversity
Peer-to-peer learning was an unexpected benefit for both Sinéad and Rosaleen when they returned to education. Small class sizes and a diverse student population resulted in valuable and meaningful interactions and learning experiences.
While Sinéad transitioned from on-campus learning to virtual classes during the pandemic, Rosaleen started and completed her NCI studies remotely as she is based in the West of Ireland. However, neither felt that they were at a disadvantage by learning online with class interactions continuing to flow and features such as breakout rooms used to facilitate collaboration.
We recently ran a poll on our LinkedIn page asking, ‘what helped you decide which course to study at third-level?’ and the results confirmed that career prospects play a big part in the decision-making process with this option being the outright winner with 65% of the overall vote.
This rings true for our contributors who credit the educational experience with them both starting new roles following their studies at NCI. For Sinéad, studying the MSc in International Business allowed her to develop personally and professional during the two years. The experience gave her the confidence to put herself forward for a managerial role with one of Ireland’s largest media groups. Rosaleen broadened her career opportunities as a result of her HR studies and moved from working in the learning and development space to a role as a training specialist in the pharmaceutical industry.
Not only are the classes for part-time postgraduate business programmes at NCI offered in the evenings and online which suit busy professionals, there’s another element that appeals to prospective students. Block learning means that you focus on one module at a time over a six-week period with classes, assignments and assessments all taking place within this timeframe.
A big advantage with scheduling classes in this way is that you’re not juggling multiple topics and subjects along with balancing work and your studies. As an added bonus, students mix with those from other postgraduate business programmes as some modules are shared, so you have the opportunity to interact and learn from students outside of your core group.
If you choose to study a postgraduate programme in business at NCI, you will come into contact with a mix of lecturers, from research-driven academics to experienced practitioners. Almost 70% of full-time faculty have a PhD and they can share their research process with you in the classroom while those who are practitioner-led can demonstrate their experience of applying theory in industry.
This combination of educators allows for a varied and inclusive approach to learning, bringing in outside experience while also focusing on theory and research.
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