Studying Communications in the UK

Nov 8, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Time passes quickly in Aberdeen.  The leaves drop without warning and the sun sets earlier every day. It’s hard to believe that two months have passed since the beginning of the semester. I’ve submitted essays, worked on group projects, and given presentations. Yet, I still feel as if I only arrived last week.

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I study an MSc in Professional Communication. The program combines linguistics and business, offering a practical approach to the science of communication. Prof. Comm. students learn to communicate effectively across disciplines – a feature that attracted me to the subject. Like any communications program, Prof. Comm. teaches skills that are invaluable and applicable to almost every field of study.

Why communications?

Jim Rohn said, “Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.”

Like many 22-year-olds, my career is still up in the air. I’ve toyed with the ideas of writing, editing, journalism, and public relations. Sadly, no degree combines all of these areas.

Communications is a perfect option for people like us – those who haven’t quite made up their minds yet. I don’t imply that you should use a communications degree to kill time. Rather, you should study communications to add depth to your career. The subject is universal and timeless. You can bring these skills to any job, now or in the future.

Without a doubt, writing is my vocation. Yet, the idea of a full-blown communications degree appealed to me. Even if you have a strong understanding of your professional interests, communication is an extremely practical tool to have on your resume. It complements every field – you can’t go wrong.

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Why the UK?

Communication is always relevant, no matter the country. That being said, I believe you have more to gain from studying communications in a new country. Here’s why:

  1. You witness how different cultures communicate within themselves and with outsiders.
  2. You incorporate new communicative styles into your behaviour that you can bring back to Canada.
  3. Different countries teach different histories and methodologies. You learn about your subject from an alternative perspective.

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Communications in the UK vs. Canada 

Studying in the UK expands your travel options tenfold. Cheap airlines, trains, and busses offer you the opportunity to explore Europe on a student budget. Spain for the weekend? Sure. Edinburgh for lunch? No problem.

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Program length is also a major contender for studying in the UK. In Canada, Master’s programs usually last two to three years, full-time. But in the UK, your Master’s will only take one year to complete. Studying in the UK is a great way to accelerate your degree if you want to enter the workforce faster.

Bachelor’s workload vs. Master’s workload

Undergraduate degrees require you to take several courses at once – typically, full-time students take 4 or 5 a semester. But in my program, I’m only required to study one course at a time. The classes run back-to-back: I have three classes each semester and my final dissertation over the summer.

Naturally, program structures shift from undergraduate to graduate levels. A full-time Bachelor’s student will take a variety of different electives, on top of their required program courses. In my opinion, Master’s degrees are more efficient; I’m only required to take program-specific classes. You might discover that graduate classes demand more effort. However, you end up with more spare time, so your schedule balances out in the long-run.

Time drags when you choose a program or university out of convenience. Don’t settle. Make decisions that will lead to your happiness. Make decisions that will make the months feel like minutes. For further inquiries about studying in the UK, please contact one of our ATP advisors. 

 

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