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Ian Fairchild - Employability & Applicants

Last Updated:

29th May 2013

Students on master's courses are generally orientated toward a particular employment sector. Take, for example, the applied meteorology and climatology master's course which has been running this year for 50 years. That course has got a fantastic employability record, many people going into weather forecasting, some into research, others into other aspects of looking at how climate will change in the future. In the division of environmental health and risk management we have courses that are accredited, and the same thing applies in the center for urban and regional studies where the Royal Town Planning Institute accredits the flagship master's course in that area. So, we have very close links with practice and links with the sector in which people are likely employed.

We have a new master's course in applied petroleum micropaleontology which has been set up with the very active support of the petroleum industry who can recognize that this current generation of micro fossil experts are reaching the end of their careers and there's an urgent need to replenish them. So, we've had an enormous amount of goodwill and support from industry in setting up that master's, and many of the projects that people do during the course will be with industry.

Applicants for master's courses should have a good honours degree and a clear sense of what their vocation is going to be. The vast majority of the master's courses are strongly orientated towards a particular employment area, and it's important that students are aware of what those possibilities are and how having the master's course will help them in that process.

There are a smaller number of master's courses which are essentially feeders towards research. Our research in human geography Master's, for example, counts as the first year of the four year ESRC program of funding towards PhD. If we take the large number of PhD. students, a range of careers await them after their really sophisticated level of understanding that they will have when they emerge with the completed thesis. A number of people go into academic careers, both in the U.K. and worldwide. Many people come from overseas looking to develop their academic careers in that way. Also, there are very important links to industry and to the professions that stem from that higher level of qualification.

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