Tag Archives: study

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.

Parents’ Guide | Part 1: In advance – number crunching

In the first part of our Parents’ Guide series, a Choices adviser looks at sources of information you can use to find out more about funding options for undergraduate courses.

Looking at option for financial support to study a degree often seems like a jungle with loans for fees, loans and grants for maintenance and bursaries all forming elements that can help eligible students to meet the costs of living and studying whilst at university.

As a parent, the importance of exploring the full range of information about student financial support goes without saying. Here at Birmingham City University, dedicated staff can help you find out more about the options for funding courses we provide. Our course information and guidance centre, Choices, have a team of friendly, knowledgeable advisers who can provide information about potential sources of funding.

If you require more in-depth advice or information, Birmingham City University’s student financial advisers are on hand to talk to you about the full range of options available and entitlements to additional assistance. They also provide assistance to students whilst they’re studying with us, with support and advice in areas including basic money management skills, contacts for trusts and charities who may offer opportunities for student sponsorship and information about tax. For access to online information, please visit http://www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices/studentfinance/index.html.

Student Finance England offer information and advice about support available for Higher Education courses. You can find out more at Direct.gov.uk.

Student charity, UniAid, not only provide advice and information about student finance but also provide a handy tool for calculating an idea of personal entitlements to student financial support. To get a better idea of how much help your son or daughter could receive, visit http://www.studentcalculator.org.uk/.

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

Thinking About Studying for a Part-time Course?

Over recent years, part-time study has become more appealing to a large number of people. Increased interest generated by employers’ staff development needs and individuals’ desires to further themselves educationally at various stages of their lives has seen Higher Education course providers move to offer more flexible study modes in addition to their full-time course provision to respond to this need.Part-time courses can range from short practical courses, professional qualifications and vocational studies through to academic courses at bachelors and masters degree level. Some courses may allow students to prepare for a change in their career or enhance their current one. Students may be able to study on a day release basis, in the evenings or at weekends depending on the course itself.

The benefits of part-time study mean that students with other commitments – whether work or family – have greater opportunities to access courses which accommodate these more effectively.

Funding part-time study

Financially, many part-time courses are more cost effective than full-time study in terms of actual fee amounts charged and the ability to pay for the course over a longer period of time. Some students may be able to gain funding from their employer if the course they are studying is relevant to their professional development and their employer agrees to this. Other students may be able to gain support for funding for eligible courses via their Local Education Authority. Continue reading Thinking About Studying for a Part-time Course?

How to… deal with those last minute pre-course worries

You’re due to start a course but the dreaded last minute doubts sometimes creep in for a whole host of reasons. Many people who are about to join a course may feel apprehensive as the time to start their studies draws nearer. It’s quite natural and totally understandable to feel like this as studying at university is a big step and can mean many changes for you.

Here, we talk about three typical last minute niggles and give you ideas about how to deal with them.

Worry 1: I’ll be away from home and won’t know anyone!

Studying at university may mean studying a new subject, moving away from home and will certainly mean meeting new people so can seem a little overwhelming! Try and remember that there will be many other people in exactly the same situation as yourself. Freshers’ Week takes place at the beginning of the academic year and is a great way for students to get together and meet each other in a social environment. The Students Union organises the event and you’ll usually also be introduced to the full range of social and sporting events, societies and activities on offer to students at the university during this time.

For some students, settling in at university seems to come as second nature; for others it may take some time to get used to the course, the city and student life away from the family home. Like anything new, starting university takes a certain amount of personal adjustment to accommodate the changes that come with it. Remember – you won’t be the first and certainly not the last person in this situation to feel like this! Talking to your friends, getting involved with student societies, sporting activities or social events, and establishing a routine for yourself can help to ease the transition. Continue reading How to… deal with those last minute pre-course worries

Psychology at Birmingham City University

The brand new BSc (Hons) Psychology course offers a fascinating programme of study with the options for students to follow specialist studies tailored towards health psychology, criminal and forensic psychology, business and organisational psychology and research and psychology on a full-time basis.

Tutors on the course are all British Psychological Society accredited and there has been a significant investment in brand new psychology labs for our students to benefit from. Students also have the opportunity to undertake valuable work experience as an integral part of the course. The placement element of the course allows students to gain relevant experience in an area relating to the specialist themes we offer. It’s very much an applied and professionally relevant programme providing graduates with solid academic and practical knowledge to progress in the field of psychology. You can find out more about this course on the main university website here.