The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has stumped GCSE and A-Level students, but has it changed plans of University students wanting to carry out a Masters Degree?
According to the Office for National Statistics, students who’s BA Hons University course would be effected, 58% of those would defer attendance to another year.
The huge attendance loss was due to students not wanting to attend University if their courses were going to be carried out online. This means no face to face teaching or meeting new people.
MA Publishing student, Charlotte Morley, says that ” We haven’t had in-person teaching, and it depends what Masters you’re doing because, for me, it’s something completely different to what I did for my BA course so going into something completely different to what I was doing before and not having the in-person teaching it is a bit harder”.
Morley is happy that she’s carried out her Master’s degree now though, but isn’t happy with how her University has handled Covid-19. “With the course fee’s still being really high, and being online, I don’t think you get your money’s worth so I think they (the university) could have been more responsive in that sense.”
On one hand, students are anxious to do a Master’s in case the quality of teaching is impacted due to it being mainly online, but on the other hand, it’s a perfect time. Because of Brexit, the job market is very uncertain so a Master’s allows a student to wait a year before going on the job hunt, whilst also gaining the skills and a degree that makes them more employable.
Sean Dodson, MA Journalism Course Director at Leeds Beckett University says “This year, the Masters actually recruited more students than it did the previous year which was a surprise. The course increased by about 20%.”
Dodson said that the teaching has been “different”, going on to say that “we’ve done blended learning in the first semester”, meaning that students have had a mix of online learning and in-person teaching.
Accounting Student Lucy Brown is considering carrying out a Master’s degree when she finishes her course, stating that she would rather study at home than work from home, as she’d like to physically meet her colleagues and form better relationships that way.
A Masters degree requires a lot more independent learning than a Bachelor’s degree, and since the usual distractions of the world are limited due to the coronavirus, it could mean that Master’s become more popular this year.