Distance learning with UWS

The University of the West of Scotland have a fantastic range of master’s-level courses on offer – and much can be done at a distance, as teacher Emily Clarke is finding out. Emily, who is a teacher and counsellor at the International School in Hong Kong, is currently studying towards an MSc in Mental Health and Education. We found out more about her experience so far

I had been teaching for nine years, and felt like I was ready to do something a bit different. I quite enjoyed studying when I was younger and the thought of doing a master’s always appealed to me, but after completing my PGCE in 2007, I was ready to work and stop studying for a while. However after a break, I was ready to look for a course.

I did a search for education-related master’s courses that had a distance learning option, and came across the MSc in Mental Health and Education at UWS. During my career

I have worked with a lot of students with various mental health issues, and I am quite an approachable person. When students have come to me in the past, I have always got by, rather than feeling like I actually knew what I was doing, so I felt this course would have real practical application within my role.

AIMS

The course aims to give a flexible study opportunity to look at the impact on mental health in a learning context, looking not only at the learners themselves but also professionals within this sort of teaching and learning environment.

So far the course has involved weekly tasks, which include reading articles, chapters, watching online videos, and then responding to the material through discussion questions posted on an online forum. Then there were more formal assessments, which were submitted at the end of the module time. For my first module, this included a 3,000 word literary review. We also had to create a media resource with an accompanying written commentary.

BALANCE

Some weeks (as deadlines approached) I found I was spending more than the expected three hours on study, but I balanced my time well. I was quite motivated to dedicate the time, and have a supportive husband who would leave the house if there was a day I wanted to focus with no distractions!

I have found the online community to be supportive. All documents that we are required to use have been easily accessible. The access to the online library is really good too. Yonah, our course tutor, was very quick to respond via email if I had any questions – his feedback was always helpful.

I am really looking forward to the next module as I feel I have definitely learnt something that I can practically apply throughout my career, and look forward to seeing what else will be learnt as the course progresses.

For more information on master’s-level opportunities at the University of the West of Scotland, head to www.uws.ac.uk/schools/school-of-education

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