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Why did you choose to study MSc Sociology of Sport and Exercise with us?

I knew further education would make me stand out against other Sport and Exercise Sciences graduates and I wanted to broaden my knowledge. I chose the course because it was a more specific progression from my undergrad and I was interested in the sociological side of sport and exercise. I had always enjoyed studying social sciences and I was intrigued to see how I could further expand on my interests through the assessments. I also knew a Master’s would make me more employable for jobs related to sports development.

How did you fund your postgraduate study?

I took out a postgraduate student loan and worked part-time alongside my studies. I also benefited from the Graduate Loyalty Discount because I studied at the University of Chester during my undergrad. With these combined, I funded both the course and my rent. Therefore, I could stay in Chester and live close to the University.

Did you enjoy the course?

The course was challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. My favourite aspect was the freedom to tailor the assessments towards my interests. I enjoy learning about gender inequality in sports from a feminist or queer theory background, and I had the chance to do this in most of my assessments, including my Dissertation. Being genuinely interested in the assessment topics pushed me to study more because I was eager to learn more and develop my understanding of gender inequalities in sports. One of my highlights from the course was carrying out research for my Dissertation. Again, I had a lot of freedom and a lot of support from my Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) and lecturers. The lecturers spent a lot of time covering research methods to ensure we all chose the correct one for our Dissertations. This part of the course was extremely helpful and I felt confident in my choice for my Dissertation.

How were you supported as a postgraduate student?

Whilst I was offered support during my undergrad, the support in my postgrad was even better than I could have imagined. I had weekly sessions with my PAT to cover any problems/queries regarding my Dissertation, and all lecturers allocated a good amount of their time to help us with other assessments. The lecturers responded to emails quickly, they also offered face-to-face meetings when needed. I was studying during the first lockdown, and I don’t feel as though I had any less support than before. I could reach out when I needed help, and I still had weekly sessions with my PAT over Teams.

I also received help from the Royal Literary Fund through the University. My writing skills improved significantly after a couple of meetings.

What clubs, societies or other activities beyond your course did you take part in?

I was a member of the Quidditch Society and the Harry Potter Society. I was already a member of both societies from my undergrad, so I continued these after my year out. I recommend joining societies at University as it is one of the easiest ways to make lifelong friends, especially if you live far from home.

How did you organise your postgraduate study alongside your friends and family, work and any other existing commitments?

I spent most of my spare time outside of lectures in the library on Exton Park and worked two shifts in a pub every week. I was fortunate enough to work in a pub that allowed me to bring my University work with me on quiet days. I only worked two shifts a week so it did not impact my studies, but it was a good way to earn some money on the side and also have a break from studying. I had quidditch training twice a week outside of lectures. During my postgrad, I chose not to attend all tournament fixtures as I did not want to fall behind in my studies. Regarding family, I didn’t go home very often, but when I did visit home I would take my work with me on the train. Balancing all of these was sometimes difficult, but I knew it would be before I started my postgrad so I stayed fairly optimistic throughout the course.

What are you doing now you have completed your postgraduate degree?

I am a community development worker for Chester FC Community Trust. I plan and deliver projects based on the Trust's four main themes; inclusion, education, health and wellbeing, and coaching. I work in Blacon and the surrounding areas. I act as a link between local communities, including other charities, schools and community interest companies. It is a highly rewarding job, I am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact in my local area.

Do you have a specific career path in mind?

At the moment, I am happy where I am as I have wanted a job helping the local community through sport and activity. The job position is new and I want to make an impact before I think about how I want to further my career.

How has your postgraduate degree helped you with your career goals?

It has provided me with the knowledge to understand socio-economic inequalities in my local community and tackle setbacks individuals might have regarding social change and, more specifically, sports and activity participation. Developing my academic writing skills has positively impacted my ability to apply for grants and funds in my new jobs. I also developed my public speaking skills and confidence during my postgraduate studies.

If you'd like to find out more about the course, take a look at our MSc Sociology of Sport and Exercise course page. You can also visit us as part of our Festival of Postgrad to find out all about postgraduate study.

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