The focus of the Master’s course I wanted to study, the University’s well-known prestige, Manchester’s central location in the UK and its proximity to the rest of Europe were all reasons why I chose the University of Manchester for my degree.
The first time I applied to a Master’s programme, I did so at the very last minute before the deadlines and I only applied to programmes in the field I had always pictured myself working in. For many reasons that are not worth mentioning now, I ended up postponing my graduate studies and as a result, I became involved in a project at work that changed the focus of the Master’s programmes I applied to during the following year, which ultimately led to me moving to Manchester.
I study Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development and there were a limited number of programmes I found in the various Google searches I carried out that offered this unique combination of digital technologies and socioeconomic development. This is what appealed to me about the course from the very beginning. Something else I found interesting about my programme was the close link it had to academic research through the Global Development Institute. Since I didn’t want to overlook the possibility of doing a PhD after my Master’s degree, this helped me keep my options open. The final thing I really liked about my course was the fieldwork that it included: travelling to a country in the global south to apply in practice the theory I would learn in the classroom. None of the other universities I researched offered an opportunity like this embedded in the courses I had found.
As cliché as it sounds, the worldwide prestige of the University of Manchester was another determining factor for me when it came down to the final choices. UoM is a top university on many different levels and the name will sound familiar to almost anyone –and who cares if it’s because of Manchester United, Oasis or the Industrial Revolution. “Manchester” resonates and that’s that. In general, the UK is well-known for its academic excellence and having gone to a British secondary school myself, I was familiar with the demanding system and was looking forward to working hard and challenging myself.
With or without Brexit, the UK is located in Europe and will probably always maintain close ties with the neighbouring mainland. Europe is culturally very diverse and this diversity is spread across a rather small territory, which means that there are plenty of opportunities for weekend getaways to destinations that will not have a colossal impact on your savings thanks to the many low cost flights that are available. More specifically, Manchester holds a central location in the UK, meaning that after buying your Railcard, you have a large number of potential destinations you can visit just for the day. Also, being located at a reasonable distance from London means that Manchester is much cheaper compared to the English capital. This means less budget wise restrictions on a daily basis and more possibilities to enjoy your free time with a lighter conscience.