Completing A Masters In The UK – A Nigerian Woman’s Experience

Last updated on November 26th, 2019 at 05:21 pm

Pursuing a master’s degree abroad has become an increasingly popular choice for further study, and England is at the top of the destination list. After all, it is one of the most accessible and well-known countries in the world, with endless opportunities for higher education.

Earning a master’s degree in England was a chance for personal growth; it allowed me gain better experience in my field of interest and helped me receive a career edge and an opportunity to travel the world.

It was not all fun and games though. Unlike undergraduate study in Nigeria, my master’s programs in England was much more intensive and study-focused.

I had to put a lot of work into it as I could not afford to disappoint everyone who was looking up to me and waiting for my return so they could hear the whole story. I had to ensure the story I ended up sharing was worth the wait.

Completing a master’s in the United Kingdom seemed like a far fetched notion, even after I started the journey. Maybe it was from the fact that I did not plan out for it at the start of my life or because it was my first experience outside Nigeria. The dream was just to finish my undergraduate study and move on to getting a job in an amazing place where I will earn too much to spend all by myself. 

That was the dream, but the reality settled the moment I realized that getting a graduate job in Nigeria is no easy ride. I tried for two straight years before I gave up.

In fact, at one stage, I wasn’t looking for a job with too much money again — I just wanted a job to survive on. But that was not to happen either.

A senior aunt told me about a scholarship opportunity for first-class graduates in the field of media seeking post-graduate studies in the UK. After much pressing, I agreed to give it a shot. Luckily for me, I got the scholarship for a Masters in Data Journalism at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. 

The moment I stepped on campus for the first time, it felt like I entered a fairy tale. The campuses in the United Kingdom looked mesmerizing and the student facilities were outstanding. All the modern and unique features of British universities enabled me to engage in ground-breaking research and experience top quality teaching and learning

I had to apply directly to the university via the university’s own website. Another way to go about this is through a system called the United Kingdom Pass which is an online application system for masters courses that all universities in London have. This means you complete all your details online and scan and upload any relevant documents such as a copy of your passport and degree certificates.

The university had to be certain that I finished my undergraduate studies with a first or second upper class plus IELTS 7.0, TOEFL or C1 Advanced, or a pre-masters course. In the United Kingdom, most of the taught master’s programs run for either full time or part-time.

As I was fully committed to the study, I spent a whole year for a full-time course. For the whole of that year, I had a fixed routine that involved praying side by side reading. I never wanted to be caught off guard by my “village people”, so I prayed often.

If you would rather study part-time, it goes for two years. Be aware, however, that full-time courses run for a full twelve-month period, with independent dissertation work usually commencing after the first two semesters and continuing during the summer.

By studying in the United Kingdom, I did not only achieve world-class education, but I also got to know more about the unique British culture and perfect my English language and skills. The UK is one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth; I met with all kinds of people and got an enriching study experience!

You can apply to as many universities as you like and applications are usually free. However, remember that many universities receive more applications than they have places for.

You will increase your chances of acceptance by sending an application that is specific to the course and university you are applying for.

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