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Bethan Mitchell

MRes Educational Research

Wales

Why did you decide to study a postgraduate course?

When I finished my first Masters degree (Management Learning and Leadership) I was very keen on exploring workplace and professional learning further. I was particularly interested in Actor-Network Theory and had attended a conference at the University of Stirling where this was discussed widely.

What attracted you to Stirling?

The conference content was dynamic and aligned with my interests, which indicated that the University of Stirling would be the best place for me to study. The other important reason was that Professor Tara Fenwick works here and she was my first choice of supervisor.

What did you enjoy most about your time at the University of Stirling?

For my Masters in Research Methods I enjoyed the placement most. It was an excellent opportunity to go into the workplace specifically to conduct research. I presented my work at the Doctoral Conference and displayed and presented a poster at the ProPEL conference. It was a valuable and rewarding experience that I will draw on for my research degree.

Which aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed the workshops that were provided for the PhD students. These were a great combination of theory and discussion, and got us reading (and talking) about key theories in education research that we might otherwise not have come across.

Do you think the degree has made you more employable, or better prepared for further study? If yes, what are the key skills? What contacts/networks have you made in your time at Stirling?

My Masters in Research Methods will help me if I seek work as a researcher. It also gave me a good grounding for the PhD; even though I already had a Masters degree, the MRes developed specific skills and knowledge. For example, the course covered NVivo (computer software for qualitative research), quantitative methods (STATA), and qualitative methods such as interviews, discourse analysis and analysing data. Not all of these are directly relevant to my PhD, but it is very useful to know and I may draw on these in the future. I would encourage students who are thinking of going into research to undertake this course.

What advice would you give a student considering studying at Stirling?

Come and enjoy studying in a beautiful place! When you need to study there’s a great library, and when you need to think, there are lots of lovely walks.

How would you summarise your time at Stirling?

Hard work but rewarding, and I still have lots of hard work to come with the PhD. At least I can do this in lovely surroundings with the support of brilliant staff.

If you have now graduated, what are you doing now?

PhD in Education Research.

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