Where should I study?

I have been accepted by two Universities to do a Masters
degree in HR, but I’m having trouble deciding which to accept. Any advice?

Margaret Malpas,
joint managing director, Malpas Flexible Learning, writes:

Find out who is teaching, what their specialism is and
decide whether this is the flavour you want. Then ask to be put in touch
with some past students and find out what they felt about it. Finally, see how
they handle your enquiry and admission. This can be a good test of their


Peter Wilford, consultant, Chiumento, writes:


You will have already
done a great deal of research to be at the stage of being accepted by two
universities so the issues of prestige and track record will already have been


Visit each university and have a good look around. Find out
as much as you can about past students and how their careers have progressed.
Establish if there are any special areas of research going on which are of
interest or are particularly high profile. Are there links with particular
companies or organisations which could offer the opportunity for interesting
study or career opportunities? Assuming that you have chosen to do a Masters
degree for your own career enhancement, one of your main criteria should be the
success of the university in placing its graduates in the kind of position you
are seeking.


How will you fit with each University? Your decision will
very likely be made based on how you feel about the staff you meet and the
general ethos of the place. Other factors need to be considered. If you prefer
being assessed through continuous assessment rather than exams (or vice versa)
then this may be an important factor in your success on the course. Look at the
quality of the careers service. What companies do they attract on the milk
round? What companies are sponsoring their employees through similar courses?
Specifically on the HR front, what is the track record of the students in
winning HR-related prizes? Finally remember
the practical considerations to think of such as geography, commuting etc.


Louise White, consultant, EJ Human Resources, writes:


There are a number of people you can speak to. Ask
specialist HR recruitment consultancies if they know of any candidates they
could put you in touch with who have studied the courses you are interested in.
Contact the university to ask for exam results, and if you can, find out about
the lecturers. In my opinion, lecturers who have worked in industry and not
just academia make for a more relevant and worthwhile course. Also, try the
CIPD who will be able to let you know if the course has been approved by them
which will give a good indication of the standard.

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