Tag Archives: postgraduate

New Directions: Create beautiful spaces…..

Courses which enable conversion from one subject to another can be hidden gems if you’re wondering about the possibility of completely transforming your area of knowledge after you’ve graduated from a first degree.

There are a range of courses that provide a means of doing this, from Graduate Diploma conversion courses in areas such as psychology, law  and even landscape architecture, to postgraduate qualifications to train to become a teacher, gain new knowledge in management or computing, or to train to enter professions in town planning, construction, surveying or real estate. Some of these courses include professional qualifications or provide routes to membership of professional bodies.

Through our New Directions series you can discover more about opportunities for graduates to retrain in subjects including teaching, law, construction and surveying, real estate, planning, management, computing and landscape architecture at Birmingham City University.

First in the series is an opportunity to create beautiful spaces through a graduate conversion course in Landscape Architecture…

Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture

The Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University offers a conversion route into the professional discipline of landscape architecture for students with a first degree in a different subject. The course is accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) – the professional body for landscape architecture in the UK – and successful completion of this course, followed by the Postgraduate Diploma, will make you eligible for licentiate membership of the LI. We can potentially look at quite a wide range of non-cognate degree subjects for entry onto the course, so it appeals to variety of graduates seeking a change of direction. You can learn more about careers in landscape architecture here.

The Graduate Diploma course commences each September. It takes place over one year and attendance is on one day each week, apart from the Induction Week at the end of September where students attend the University for 3-4 days. Days run from 10.00am to roughly 5.30pm, to allow for travel to the University, as our students attend from a fairly wide geographical area – some from up to 100 miles away!

We invite all applicants and those interested to one of our Interview Days which we hold throughout the year. The Course Director, Mark Cowell, gives an illustrated presentation on both the Graduate Diploma and PGDip/MA courses, a tour of the School of Architecture and also conducts individual interviews during the day. If you’re a graduate interested in finding out more about converting to landscape architecture, please contact Mark on 0121 331 5857 or email Mark here.

Formal applications for this course are made directly to the University and you can download an application form from our website.

Mathematics and English requirements for Higher Education courses

University course entry requirements often stipulate that prospective students will need to have suitable qualifications and grades in mathematics and English in addition to other entry requirements for their courses. In UK institutions, GCSEs may be specified as the minimum required level although certain university courses may require a higher level qualification for entry onto particular courses.

Alternative qualifications, such as Key Skills qualifications, can sometimes be considered in lieu of GCSEs but this is very much dependent upon the university and course, so prospective students should endeavour to check individual entry requirements before considering undertaking any alternative qualifications. For example, teacher training courses have requirements for English and mathematics (and for Primary Education and Early Years courses Science) which are very specific. Key Skills qualifications are not appropriate in this instance, so it’s essential that those wishing to apply for a teacher training course have appropriate qualifications in these areas.

Prospective students whose first language isn’t English often have to demonstrate other appropriate English language qualifications or achieve specific scores or grades in tests such as IELTS or TOEFL. There are potentially a wide range of qualifications that could be considered in this instance, but it’s important that clarification is sought with individual institutions as to their policies on this.  

These core requirements depend on the university’s individual entry requirement policies, so the golden rule is that you should always check with the institutions you’re thinking about applying to in order to find out exactly what qualifications you will need to offer in advance of signing up for them.

New Year, New Opportunities?

With the advent of a New Year, people often take time to reflect and start thinking about future aspirations. Maybe:

  • There’s something you’ve always been interested in – like learning a new skill or hobby, for example.
  • You’re considering a change of direction in terms of your career or professional development.
  • You want to do something to because you’re motivated by improving your knowledge in a particular area.

There are a whole host of ways you could go about making these changes – there may be local workshops, adult education classes or short courses provided by education providers in the area. For more significant changes, you could be looking at retraining through a degree or professional qualification.

Careers advice:

If you’d like to explore avenues for developing yourself or doing something different but you’re unsure about what you’d like to do, perhaps talking to a careers advisor could help. Visit http://careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/  for more information about contacting a qualified careers advisor.

Study options:

If you do decide to take up study; it doesn’t have to mean studying on a full-time course; there are a multitude of part-time or short course options that might be appropriate, depending on the subject you’re interested in. But, if you do want to consider more substantive study options, it’s important to be fully clued up on what’s available and what you’ll need to do. You’ll need to research courses, study commitment and costs for starters.

Finding a course to suit you:

Tools such as www.hotcourses.com can help you to find everything from short courses to postgraduate study in your area or further afield. Postgraduate study options can be researched at www.prospects.ac.uk. The UCAS website has a great course search function, allowing you to explore available full-time undergraduate courses. And, of course, university and college websites will tell you more about what’s on offer at particular institutions.

Money matters:

How much will the course you’re looking at cost? Is there any financial support available? Here are a few starting points you can use to find out more about possible sources of funding:

  • Information about financial help for adult learners can be found here
  • Want information about student financial support for University and Higher Education courses? Look here for more details.
  • Postgraduate funding is different to undergraduate funding and there is, generally, no financial support available through the government. However, there are exceptions to this, such as certain NHS-funded courses, Social Work courses and PGCE qualifications. Prospective postgraduate students often need to be resourceful in seeking out funding opportunities. If your proposed study is related to your current job role, is it feasible to talk to your employer about support for the course – either as study leave or in terms of paying for the course? Are there any relevant scholarships or bursaries available? The Prospects website has links to resources which can help you find any such schemes.

First steps:

Whatever spurs you on, you can start taking steps towards your goals and exploring options open to you. If you’d like to chat to a course adviser about any courses offered at Birmingham City University, please contact Choices on 0121 331 5595 or email us.

Graduate options: considering postgraduate study

Postgraduate study can provide a rewarding and exciting route to developing yourself personally, academically or professionally. There can be a whole host of reasons as to why those who decide to take up further study choose to do so at different stages of their lives.

However you arrive at a decision to study, it’s important that you are comfortable with any decision you reach, considering the full range of options available to you in terms of course selection, institution and funding.

Finding a suitable course

There are a myriad of course options available to prospective students. Think about what you want to get out of postgraduate study. Do you want to enhance your knowledge in a subject related to your bachelor’s degree? Are you seeking a course which will provide a professionally recognised qualification in a particular area? Do you want to change direction completely? You need to ask yourself as many questions as you need to in order to draw out relevant information on which you can base your decision. Continue reading Graduate options: considering postgraduate study

Missed the boat for courses in 2008? Why not consider joining a course in early 2009?

If you missed out on joining a university course in the autumn, you may not have been aware that a second bite of the cherry for this academic year may be possible, as a selection of courses offered by universities start in the New Year.

Birmingham City University are offering a range of courses commencing in January 2009, including options at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Subjects include ICT, engineering, computing, management and business. Further information about the specific courses available can be found at http://www.bcu.ac.uk/january/index.html.

In addition, there are a range of courses commencing in January that are available to international students. Information about these can be found at http://www.bcu.ac.uk/students/international/jan_starts.html. International students considering applying for a course should ensure that they do so as soon as possible so that they have sufficient time to expedite any required documentation regarding their student visa and other important paperwork.

Application methods for part-time and postgraduate courses

Applications for part-time and postgraduate courses are usually made directly to the university. In some instances, applications may need to be made through another agency. For example, Birmingham City University’s full-time Graduate Diploma in Law course fields applications through the Central Applications Board, whilst the part-time version requires applicants to complete a university application form. Information about the method of application for individual courses can usually be found in the university’s prospectus or on their website, but if you’re unsure, contact the university for confirmation.

Deadlines for applications made directly to universities can vary widely, so it’s advisable to check with the individual universities to clarify whether or not a deadline applies to the course you’re applying for.

Teacher Training: Information and Resources for Prospective Students

Teaching is a highly an enjoyable and thoroughly rewarding career for those who are motivated by helping others to learn and develop in an educational environment. The teaching profession offers a competitive starting salary for newly qualified teachers, opportunities for career progression into more senior teaching or management roles and the chance to make a real difference to the lives of those whom they teach.

There are specific routes to qualifying as a teacher depending on the sector individuals wish to teach in. The information detailed below is intended as a general guide to teacher training courses so it’s important that, whichever course you choose to apply for, you carefully research individual course providers’ requirements to ensure that you have a good understanding of their individual entry criteria.

Early Years and Primary Education

Early Years and Primary teaching can be studied for through an initial teacher training qualification as a BA or BEd degree which leads to Qualified Teacher Status. Continue reading Teacher Training: Information and Resources for Prospective Students

New courses at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design

A number of new design courses are being offered at BIAD for entry this September to complement the University’s well-established existing provision in this area.

Richard Snell, Head of the Department of Fashion, Textiles and Three Dimensional Design told us: ‘These new courses and pathways have been designed in response to the ever changing and expanding employment market for designers.  They embrace the new technologies available in the Department and the creative opportunities these generate’.

BA (Hons) Interior Products is designed to appeal to students who are interested in designing lighting, furniture, tableware, architectural glass and other fittings or office products.  The course can be tailored to accommodate personal interests and to include study in related areas such as interior design or industrial design.  Students will work with a range of materials including wood, metal, plastic, ceramics and glass and will study in a well-equipped department with facilities including rapid prototyping and some of the latest digital technology as well as workshops for more traditional processes.

The MA Design & Visualisation explores the role of visualisation in the design process and allows students to specialise in either model making or the creation of two dimensional images through a variety of media.

A new subject route is also available on the BA (Hons) in Textile Design enabling students to opt to specialise in Surface Pattern. The introduction of this new route will appeal to students who are interested in exploring the creation of surface pattern designs for wallpaper or tableware as well as textiles.

Applications are now being considered for September 08 entry.  For further information please contact Choices on 0121 331 5595.