Part Time MSc

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  • Part Time MSc
  • loddrik

    Got an MSc, can’t get a job… 😕


    1, not sure
    2, often yes, but depends on course structure.
    3, I was looking at 30 hours per months +
    4, I was limited as mine was only offered at 2 unis anyway
    5, was already married at the start so couldn’t comment. I’d be surprised though!


    GIS might be hard to do distance if the teaching is done via IT lab sessions. Having someone you can ask as they look at your screen is very helpful, even with detailed guides/instruction packs. Getting the software might also be a hinderance.

    Speak to the course leader and they’ll answer all your questions. Where are you thinking?

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx

    1. I’d have thought so but you can always call the university and find out.
    2. Some places will need you to come in day one day a week whilst others might do block modules so you do a solid week every couple of months. All depends on the course though. To an extent of be slightly wary of a more technical course that doesn’t need you to come in a lot as it means the level of support/teaching may not be so high.
    3. Possibly higher than you’ve got at the moment as you’ve asked question 5.
    4. Look at university standings, reviews on appropriate media to your course, all of you can go in to observe a lecture/lab, go to open days, etc.
    5. See 3.

    Premier Icon DavidB

    Anyone on here done a part time MSc and can offer some advice. I am looking into it at the moment as a three year course my naive questions are;-

    1) Am I too late to enrol for this year are they Sept term starts
    2) Can I do it via almost entirely distance learning so I can fit it round my job
    3) What sort of level of commitment is it to study, I am looking at a GIS course
    4) How do you choose a decent course
    5) Do you get more ladies with an MSc

    Any experiences shared gratefully appreciated.

    Premier Icon OwenP

    Also factor in what else you are doing – as you are asking about a part time course, I am guessing you might also be working a regular job?

    I did a two year part time MSc, first year I worked for an employer who was supportive of the course. Then I changed jobs and found that the new place was absolutely unsupportive, seemed to see it as competition for my priorities! You can guess which year was easier.

    Commitment-wise, my casual observation was that workload levels are generally focussed on full time students. If you are on a part time option for an otherwise full time course, you might find the workload a bit more “peak and trough”, which can catch you out unless you plan carefully.

    Still a worthwhile use of time imho.

    Premier Icon DavidB

    I’m self employed so fitting around work is no issue and my company works in the GIS sector so it should all be relevant and worthwhile. Thanks for the answers, looks like on the basis of 5) I’ll have to stick with the current Mrs Barter

    Premier Icon dazh

    I started on a part time distance learning GIS MSc a few years back (the UniGIS one at Manchester Met). Did the first year, got the PgC, then packed it in. In the end I decided it wasn’t really teaching me anything that I didn’t already know (I already work in the field) or that I couldn’t easily learn myself, and that I’d really just be paying for the letters after my name. Time-wise it was about 7 hours per week, although this was spread very unevenly throughout the year, doing next to nothing initially then ramping up time spent on it towards assignment deadlines. The distance learning bit was fine and easily do-able, the UniGIS courses are very good for this. As for what course, GIS is quite a big subject and the bog-standard GIS courses are spread pretty thin across the different subjects so don’t go into much detail. If you have a particular interest in something then I’d recommend you go down a specialist route as soon as you can.

    Premier Icon DavidB


    bog-standard GIS courses are spread pretty thin across the different subjects so don’t go into much detail

    That is a very good point. I have a solid grasp of what can be done and what is out there and was looking to go into more depth into the algorithmic side. To some extent the whole purpose of this is to formalise my “qualification” though so I can speedw**k along with the rest of my industry colleagues.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Our MSc was modular. 1 year full time, 2 years part time. Everything was rigged something like Mon+Tues and Thurs+Fri for the 2 modules, so the part timers would do 2 days on day release for 2 years (I think the 2 modules swapped each year so consistent time planning). Project for the day release guys was something they were working on with their employment, usually.

    Did mine full time. Was more effort than 2nd or 3rd yr engineering degree, but with a full time project lasting all summer too.

    Not sure I’d have liked distance learning, but then mine really needed some hands on techy lab work.


    If you haven’t narrowed down to which courses you want to apply for, then starting this month is probably a bit late for you. Finding the right course is a lot of work.
    I am currently on my thesis for my part time MSc and it is hard work to fit it in around real life. I could have been a distance learning student for the whole thing, or up to 50% of it, but attended on-site modules as I had the chance. They were far superior to DL (which a friend of mine did for the same course) and I got far more out of it.
    You really need to work to find the course that suits you and your circumstances best.


    1. Many undergrad courses haven’t started yet, so I’d say definitely yes.
    2. Depends on the course
    3. Depends on the course – ask a tutor before hand
    4. Depends on the subject area and how far you are willing to travel
    5. Yes, definitely.

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