May 122009
 

I had an email from the uni last night about my Masters application. For various reasons, they’d like to encourage me to consider a taught masters rather than the research one I’d applied to do. Issues over staffing/supervision they say, but I suspect they know me too well and realise I need the structured course to get on with things.

So, I have a choice. If I stick with Edinburgh I could do the Theology in History MTh (which would be closest to what my research masters would have been about) or I could think about the Ministry MTh. Pros and cons with either, but the theology one would allow me to do (some of) my research project. The ministry one would, I expect, be more useful ultimately.

Of course, there’s always the option of doing a postgrad course at Glasgow (but how could I possibly turn my back on New College?). I have to say though, and no disrespect to Glasgow, there are none of them that leap out at me as being a ‘must-do’ course. Another option is distance-learning at HTC, but again, it’s not really a thrilling prospect.

  8 Responses to “A slight change of plan”

  1. Pros and Cons with either….
    I guess what you have to decide is which course will be of most benefit to you as best use of your Uni time. The theology one is good for you and the way you enjoy a good argument. The ministry one may be the better foundation for your role in word and sacrament.
    Looking back, I wish that I’d done more on the pastoral side of ministry in my honours choices. I majored instead on Biblical Interpretation and worship. I may be lucky and get a chance to do more study later.
    It’s an interesting dilemma you’ve left yourself !

  2. I had a chat this morning with the lecturer who emailed and we discussed some options. His (slightly biased) opinion was that I should take the opportunity to continue with the more academic study – after all, I have the rest of my life to reflect on my ministry.
    He did also mention that I would be able to take the Ministry MTh core courses as options in the Theology MTh. So that sounds like it might be the best option at the moment. I have a little while to decide, but I am leaning towards the Theology one.

  3. John… universities are beginning to lean to doing a taught Masters then Doctorate – but it’s still a ‘lean’ at Edinburgh.  Push them.  Challenge them.  Ask them why, when you have a specific area of research in mind, that you can’t just concentrate on that, thanks very much!?  Research Masters is still an option, they are just trying to pretend it isn’t, lol.  I say stick to your guns, talk to your potential supervisor and if you have a decently thought out proposal, they should go with it.  Oh, and talk to Karoline in the office, quietly, and see what she says – she knows all the regs.
    Sorry to say, but a taught Masters is really no more in programme than doing a further year of your BD – Hannah’s been pretty disappointed by it and don’t even get my supervisor on that topic, she’s very scathing.   The Masters is supposed to be preparing you for further research / training you how to research, but the current taught Masters course really isn’t cutting the mustard on that score.  Trust me.  I’m glad I did the research Masters.
    Oh, and one of the other ‘issues’ that makes the university lean towards the taught line of Masters is that Research Council funding is now leaning that way….  You’re financing the Masters outwith the Research Councils, so this doesn’t impact on you.

  4. Hi Nikki,
    Thanks for the thoughts.
    My first reading of between the lines of the email was that I possibly wouldn’t get accepted for a research masters, but from what you say that may be a wrong interpretation. Now that I’ve been pushed on the issue I’m in two minds about it. I could actually still pursue my main research project as my dissertation anyway. I had intended to structure the research masters as the several small essays and one medium dissertation rather than one big dissertation. So, the only thing I’d be missing out would be some minor research topics that I wouldn’t be pursuing to completion anyway.
    I’ll let it stew away in my brain for a few days and see what bubbles to the surface.

  5. *whispers subliminally*

    dooo the research…. dooooo the research…. you know you want toooooo

    *tiptoes away quietly*  😉

  6. And the whispers grow loudly, “dooo the research …. do the research” and again … do the research …. and lauder shouts RESEARCH! Once you have done a degree in a subject, it is almost pointless to learn how to read again about that subject ….

  7. Sorry, I thought I heard someone say something.
    Latest from the uni is that the major issue is staffing, with one faculty member on an extended sabbatical; no immediate replacement on the horizon for a faculty member who sadly passed away; and another told they must cut back on their supervision workload.
    I have been told that a research masters hasn’t been ruled out, but that I really, really need to convince them that it is worthwhile and will be of benefit to me. In essence, submit a better research proposal (before I’ve done the module on how to submit a research proposal).

  8. […] mulled over elsewhere, I’m still caught in a dilemma about whether to stick it out for a research masters. The uni […]

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)