For many of us, the past year, with all its uncertainties and entire days spent at home, has given us the chance to consider challenging ourselves and embark on new chapters.
This could be at work, in your personal life, or making the most of your spare time.
What better way to challenge yourself than gaining a qualification from Scotland’s top university?
The MA Combined Studies Degree at St Andrews is designed to be flexible and fit around your other commitments. It is part-time, with classes held in the evening to allow even those who are in full time employment to complete the course.
Laura Patterson, who was awarded the Fife Provost Prize for the most outstanding Evening Degree Student 2020, greatly appreciated its flexibility.
She said: “It has been an amazing experience, but I cannot lie it [was] tough. I was doing a degree and progressing in my career whilst working full-time.
“I am married and a mother to three children, as well as a full-time carer for my elderly mother who has dementia; I’ve certainly learned good project management skills in juggling everything.
“That said, I have acquired greater confidence in my abilities, and I have been able to transfer my newly found skills into my workplace and life in general.”
Students can take up to nine years to complete the degree, depending on their other commitments, and can take between two and four modules per academic year.
There are three compulsory modules that you need to study –English, Information Technology and Psychology – which are designed to help build the skills needed to undertake any degree.
MA Combined Studies has no formal or set entry requirements beyond basic school leaving qualifications. The programme is open to anyone who has an interest in studying at degree level and the potential to do so.
Everyone is supported on the programme, with a short introduction to university study skills courses in August ahead of the semester starting. Even if it has been a while since you last studied, this will help you start learning with confidence.
You will have access to an online module which will provide opportunities to watch a lecture, undertake some directed reading and work towards producing a short (about 750 words) essay, giving you a chance to practice the skills introduced over the course of the online module.
Current student, Claire-Louise MacKay, said: “The support and opportunity you can access at St Andrews is second to none and, if you have a hectic lifestyle but still want to advance in your career and gain your degree, the MA Combined degree is the way to go.”
As well as a reputable qualification in your chosen subjects, you will acquire invaluable transferable skills from the combined degree, from team work, communication and listening, to computer literacy, presenting ideas and critical thinking.
Claire-Louise added: “I have not only gained confidence within myself but in my career; I have learned to love debates and discussions and not shy away just because of my stutter.
“I have also recently been given a massive opportunity in my career which involves international travel and, as a mature student, St Andrews University and the Lifelong Learning Team are very supportive and understanding.
“They take into account each student’s main goals and future aspirations.”
To find out more about the Combined Studies MA Degree, join St Andrews University at their Part-time open day on Saturday 10 July, or visit MA Combined Studies
Applications for the degree are taken on a rolling basis for either a January or a September start and can be made via the online form on the St Andrews University website.