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Global Development Institute

Saujanya Patel

MSc Management and Information Systems: Change and Development (Distance Learning)

Where are you from, and how did you end up studying at The University of Manchester?

I’m from Auckland, New Zealand, and I chose The University of Manchester because it has a good, strong reputation. And it offered the particular programme that I wanted to do, in a way that suited the fact that I was working full time and couldn’t really commit to full time study by any measure.

Why did you choose this course?

The course allows me to continue to live and work in London. I work as a Systems Administrator for the University of London, primarily in the IT department there working on Information Systems and Management.

The course was something I could do outside of working hours, because it was all distance-based study, and primarily because there weren’t any fixed tutorials or lectures. There were sessions that were organised but were fairly flexible, so it worked for me in terms of wanting to do the study and being able to fit it into my life. The tutors have been really good across the programme. Generally available, encouraging, engaging - and challenging sometimes!

Has the course helped you in your current role?

Yes. Certainly, one of the things that I learnt through the modules and the actual dissertation process was one: an appreciation for the research process. In terms of my work at the University of London - it’s in quite a transitional phase right now, and just applying some context and understanding as to what they’re doing around that has been really helped by this particular programme.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

As challenging and as stressful as it was, the dissertation. I have to say, I was quite scared of writing a dissertation, because it feels like a big, overwhelming production, but once you actually start going through it it’s broken down into far more manageable bits, and far more achievable bits. And actually having a good supervisor makes a huge difference. I

Do you have any tips or advice for current or prospective students?

Certainly, investigate the modules and the courses and the teachers, and definitely try and do it. Even though I was a bit tentative about starting, because it had been quite a long time since I’d done formal study, it was really good.