(PRWEB UK) 23 January 2013
More recently, accreditation by a professional institution means that students graduating from the online Masters degree can be accorded associate membership on graduation and full membership is fast-tracked too. In a competitive employment market worldwide, studying for a postgraduate degree that also accords the graduate professional membership in an institution in your field of work and studies conveys specific advantages to the graduate’s employability.
Dr Michael Smith, the co-ordinator of the Sustainable Rural Development programme stated: “Professional accreditation conveys to students coming onto the programme that through our external links within the development sector we have developed a course that is both applicable and relevant to those students new to this sector and to those participants already working in the sector seeking to formalise and/or update their skills.”
A Masters degree in Sustainable Rural Development is designed to be applicable to new students seeking to specialise their undergraduate skills to enable future employment in the development of rural areas. This online degree delivered through the Lews Castle College Rural Development department at the University of the Highlands and Islands has had over 10 years’ experience in teaching online. In a geographically remote area distributing learning to geographically dispersed and remote communities, required the use of web-based technologies merged with newly developing online teaching pedagogies.
The Masters graduate in Sustainable Rural Development will be able to contribute and help instigate local economic development and related social development in specifically rural communities, within the context of conserving local environments for future generations.
“One of the major attractions of the course….” said Dr Smith “…is the fact that it is fully online and able to be studied anywhere across the world where you have a modern PC and reasonable broadband link available. Such online courses provide the flexibility for the modern post-graduate student who is increasingly less able to take time out from work and family, but instead needs the flexibility of study at times that are suitable to his/her modern 21st century lifestyle.”
Demand for online courses to fulfill this ‘ flexibility’ of need, for the modern-day learner, has grown hugely over the last decade. Online courses provide a unique means to study and develop one’s academic skills and/or upgrade work-based skills whilst balancing existing family and work commitments. Such courses are much more interactive and engaging than the correspondence courses of the past and students study in an online community of learning, where support is often but a click away. Andrew Murley a recent graduate from the online MSc programme described how he viewed the interactive experience achieved on the course, even although he was studying at a distance:
“At no time did I feel ‘on my own’ or away from the learning process because it was all so interactive and available. I was also able to undertake the course at my own speed, which is vital when trying to combine education with a busy lifestyle. I personally gained a lot from the whole experience, not only an MSc but friends and exposure to a vast array of cultures, experiences and teaching techniques. I have no hesitation in recommending this type of learning, especially at UHI. As a result of online learning I was able to follow the course I wanted, to gain the qualification I needed but without any restrictions normally placed by location.”
In the modern era where higher education is increasingly becoming a costly option, online courses that provide the flexibility to enable one to work, earn income and study for an advanced qualification in parallel, are becoming an increasingly sought after form of higher education worldwide. Online education is continuing on an annual basis to contribute to an ever larger part of the education sector across the globe. Joanna Storie, one of the increasing number of students located abroad described her experience on the course as follows:
“I live in Latvia now but I am originally from the UK. The MSc in Managing Sustainable Rural Development course enabled me to delve into the various aspects of development set within a European context. It was good to know that tutors were bringing to the course their own experiences of living in sparsely populated areas and this was not just a theoretical exercise for them. Best of all, I didn't have to leave the land I have learnt to love, as I could do all the studying online and relate the course to the specific issues I see around me.”
Are you ready to be part of this online learning revolution with the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland? If so please contact us: