Masters Insights: MSc Organisational Psychology – Life in Manchester

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Whilst the postgraduate degree you choose to do is a very big decision, so is moving to an entirely new city… especially one which you may have never even visited before! I know that was the case for a few of my international friends on the course. But wherever you are coming from, Manchester is definitely the best place to be! For those who still need a little convincing here’s my five favourite things about Manchester…

Afternoon Tea: Manchester has so many amazing afternoon tea spots. This is a very British thing where you eat lots of cakes, scones, sandwiches and of course tea! My favourite places are the northern quarter where there are many tea rooms with vintage set-ups and delicious homemade cakes. For a more special occasion you can head up the Hilton Tower (the tallest building in Manchester) where there are the best views of the city and lots of tasty treats.

The Trafford Centre: This place has everything you could ever need, from designer stores to a donut drive-through you can guarantee all your shopping needs shall be fulfilled here. You can easily travel by bus from the city centre to the Trafford Centre and you will have an even bigger range of shops than in the centre of town.

Piccadilly Train Station: Manchester is the perfect location in the UK as we are right in the middle so everywhere is accessible by train. Of course wherever you choose to study in the UK you will want to explore and travel to other places so Manchester is the best home base. You can take day trips by train to London, North Wales, Nottingham, Liverpool and the Lake District as well as all the beautiful towns and countryside of Cheshire and Yorkshire.

Nightlife: Like everything else, Manchester’s nightlife is as diverse and varied as everything else. There are so many different clubs and bars all with different music, different venues and different kinds of people. You can choose between a club with a bowling alley, private karaoke booths or even a roller disco, whichever you decide you’re not likely to be coming home early!

Football: Two of the country’s best football teams (Manchester United and Manchester City) are here in Manchester and going to see a match is one of the best atmospheres. Even if you don’t really understand the game (a bit like me) it doesn’t matter, plus you can get tickets from the students union for very reasonable prices.

So that’s my mini summary of what Manchester has to offer and I could go on for hours – but I actually have a master’s degree to be getting on with. I also wanted to mention for anyone reading that if you would like to hear about anything in particular about my course, the University or living in Manchester then you can get in touch with me and I can either speak with you personally or write about it in a future entry. My email for such purposes is: hannah.lister@postgrad.mbs.ac.uk

January 2014 – A new year!

So we are reaching the end of January already and exams are over! They have been interesting to say the least and quite different from what I have experienced in exams during my undergraduate degree.

As the topics at masters level become more specific so do the exam questions. As a result, I have found that there has been more emphasis on applying what you have learnt to a specific scenario or question. For example, through our selection and assessment module (my favourite module so far) we learnt about many different scientific methods of selection such as structured interviews, work sample tests etc. and in the exam we were asked to combine different methods of selection and design an assessment centre for the recruitment of managers in a large organisation. I think this has been my favourite module so far because of the applied nature of the topic.

Sometimes at university you can feel that you are learning some really interesting stuff but you question how it would actually benefit you to know it in the working world! But this module has been very applied in that way and you can see the information you are learning is directly related to the kind of job you are most likely to be doing when you graduate. That is because the largest amount of jobs in occupational psychology are in selection/ assessment and psychometrics!

Early in January I also had the opportunity to attend the Annual BPS Division of Occupational Psychology conference which was held in Brighton. Our lecturers told us about the conference around September time when we started the course and really recommended it. There were reduced rates for postgraduates which was good but despite that it was so worth the money.

It was held over three days and each day there were presentations about the latest research and developments in the field and also workshops and networking events. It was so useful because it really helped me to understand what the working life of an OP is like. I actually attended the conference alone which I was a bit worried about beforehand but when I got there everyone was so friendly and I met so many different people, a few who were still doing their masters like me, others who were quite far into their career and it was great speaking to these people and finding out how they got to where they did and what it is really like!

So overall January has been a great month for me and I would recommend anyone starting the course next year or in future years to really take up opportunities that are provided on the course because I have come to realise that if your tutors say something is beneficial then they know what they are talking about!!

December 2013

So… you are at this page because you want to know more about studying at Manchester?

I am here because I want to tell you all about what I have been up to and what being a University of Manchester student is all about! First of all, let me give you a quick introduction. My name is Hannah and I am currently studying for my masters degree in organisational psychology within Manchester Business School. I am 21 and have come to Manchester straight from my undergraduate degree where I studied Psychology and Counselling.

I am originally from Manchester and wanted to move closer to home to do my masters degree but I knew that I wanted to study organisational psychology. It worked out quite perfectly for me that one of the best business schools in the country did the exact course I wanted to study and in my home city! Yet, on my first day at Manchester I sat down in a classroom with students from almost all corners of the world, some of whom had never been to the UK before never mind Manchester. I think that has been my favourite part of the experience so far, meeting new people, some who have lived in the city for years but you have never met before, and others who are here for the first time and have all new experiences to tell you about.

We are now in the tenth week and time has flown, I am so busy! Particularly with our extra Level A and B course that qualifies us to administer occupational tests. Next week we have all our assessments for that module so it will be a busy week with exams and practicals, but we get to finish the week with a Christmas party organised by our tutors which we will all be looking forward to! Then we will be enjoying Christmas and coming back in the New Year which I’m sure will be even more exciting when we start new modules.

I know I could keep talking all day about everything I have experienced at Manchester so far but I will keep updating you with all that is going on with our course and in the University!

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