Starting a part-time postgraduate degree while working full-time can be a huge challenge and a daunting task – especially when it has been a while since your last interaction in an academic environment. These were factors that I took under serious consideration when I started looking for a suitable course and university for my Master’s degree. And of course, when you are starting a postgraduate degree with a substantial amount of work experience behind you, you tend to look at things from a more mature point of view. You want to get the best out of your studies and university life.
The MSc in Information Systems Management at Brunel University stood out in my comparison table of available courses and universities and ticked all the boxes for me. The course is ideal for all those who have experience working in the IT industry, but want at the same time to get a better insight into the management of Information Systems. It’s tailored to both full-time and part-time students and offers a great balance between lectures and workshops. The modules on the course are very well designed and carefully chosen to offer a balance between technical and management knowledge, as well as theoretical and practical elements. All the above factors, plus a very interesting and fruitful discussion/interview, which I had with the Course Director, Dr. Lawrence Brooks made me apply without a second thought. And I have to admit that I haven’t regretted it.
The Department of Computer Science is one of the largest research centres in Europe and the level and quality of work carried out is outstanding. The academics working for the department are experts in their fields and bring with them substantial industry experience, which they share during the lectures. They are friendly and always keep their doors open for students seeking help or guidance. All of them utilise the Virtual Learning Environment platforms and social media. They provide multimedia study packs to assist with the course delivery, which is very important for part-time students who spend less time on campus and in the Brunel Library.
The department is very well resourced from a technological perspective. The computer labs are very well equipped and maintained, have all the necessary software installed and are accessible throughout the day. Students can also get access to the learning resources from the comfort of their homes, using the remote connectivity tools provided by the department. For some modules there are even free software licenses that students can download and install on their computers.
Overall, the Department of Computer Science is a very well-organised and well-resourced department. The Brunel Library can be added to all the aforementioned facilities and benefits, as it is an integral part of studying for your degree. The library has multiple copies of the most important books/study companions, a ‘quiet room’ where students can study uninterrupted and several small, breakout rooms, which can be booked for group studying. The most important bit though, is that the library is open 24 hours a day!
The best part of studying at Brunel is the interaction with students. Brunel’s campus is a vibrant and diverse environment, with students from all over the world. The facilities and the well-organised student union enhance student interaction. Coffee shops, restaurants and a pub are the usual places where students can socialise, make friends and exchange views about the course and university life. My fellow colleagues, in particular, come from different ethnic and industrial/educational backgrounds and are very skilled and motivated. I was lucky to work closely on module assignments with some of them during my first year and I have to say that they have transformed my learning experience.
Having spent a year at Brunel, I am impressed with the level of commitment the lecturers and support staff show and by the quality of the Information Systems Management course. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking into expanding their knowledge and obtaining a highly competitive degree from a very reputable university.
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