Why do a master’s?

Perhaps for many people, studying abroad is to get a degree, however, for me, pursuing master’s degree is the first step to achieve my ultimate dream of becoming a professor in Accounting and Finance. I believe that coming to University of Bristol is the best decision that I have ever made. 

“Soon, that curiosity turned into interest, and then into passion as my college years flew by. I fell in love with financial theories…”

In high school, I was originally a chemistry specialised student and had once yearned to become a doctor. I wanted to become a doctor not because it is my passion but because it is considered one of the most prestigious jobs in Vietnam. With such a career, I would be able to financially support my younger brother and my soon-to-be-retired parents, who were struggling to save up enough money for my college’s tuition. 

However, because my college entrance examination’s score was just half a point below the requirement for medical schoolsmy goal was shattered. Without much hope, decided to apply for another major that I was curious about: accounting and financeSoon, that curiosity turned into interest, and then into passion as my college years flew by. I fell in love with financial theories, with doing research with professors at school and with every moment I stood in front of students as a teaching assistant. I realised that this is the career path that I wanted. Becoming a professor in Accounting and Finance was what I needed to pursue. Therefore, I decided to go for graduate school to realise my dream, to continue to conduct research, to teach and inspire the next generations of students. 

“Here, I could also learn from many famous professors that I had long admired…”

I chose University of Bristol because it waa great place to start my journey and the master’s program in Accounting and Finance here is suitable for those who are passionate in doing research and pursuing a Doctoral degree in the future like me. In the first semester at University of BristolI was taught some of the most basic subjects in research, from understanding how many types of research or how to evaluate the quality of a research paper, to studying subjects related to statistics to be able to design a model before writing a full paper. Here, could also learn from many famous professors that I had long admired such as Professor Chris Chapman, my Research Design and Qualitative Research Methods in Accounting and Finance teacher.  

Of course, the path to become a great researcher and professor is still very long. For now, I am proud that I dared to make every effort to walk slowly but steadily along the way to conquering that big dream. Graduate school is the first challenge and the first opportunity for me to turn that dream into reality. And of course, I believe I can do it. 

 Written by Lan, Accounting and Finance MSc


Why go to a Postgraduate open day at the University of Bristol? 

Master’s student Lyndon shares his experience of a postgraduate open day



I feel it is important to attend an open day at the university of your choosing for postgraduate study.

Firstlythis is an important step in your academic career, are you ready for the exciting challenge that postgraduate study poses (whether your undergraduate studies have just finished or you are returning from a break in education)? 

Secondly, even if you know the university (I didn’t study at Bristol prior to enrolling on my MA) it is important to gauge the feel of the place, the campus, city, course or courses on offer to you and to have conversations with the staff that will teach or supervise your studies. 

“My own experience of the postgraduate open day at Bristol was positive… everyone was very friendly and keen to help”

There is considerable information available on university websites even down to unit details, staff biographies/research interests and also student reviews. Although they are a useful first step, I would argue that face-to-face discussions and visits give you a far better idea of what a place is like to study at and what you can expect from your time on a course. 

My own experience of the postgraduate open day at Bristol was positive, it was busier than I anticipated, however, there were plenty of volunteers on hand to guide and assist me to find the right people to talk to. More importantly, everyone was very friendly and keen to help, if they didn’t have the answer to a query, they would find the right person to ask and either give you the information or hand you over to that person. 

“…after talking to the course director and getting answers to my questions, I was able to decide the best route for my postgraduate degree”

Initially I was considering the MPhil route, as well as the taught MA, but after talking to the course director and getting answers to my questions, I was able to decide the best route for my postgraduate degree. I also needed to decide whether to study full or part time and what that looked like in terms of contact hours, timetabling and study load. I was able to ask questions about units that were likely to be available and what ideas were contained and discussed within the core (nonoptional) unit. I chose full time, taught course, as it suited my circumstances better. 

As well as this important, incredibly helpful and informative conversation, there are other benefits to visiting an open day, for example, I was also given guidance about what would be beneficial to include in my personal statement as I was unsure beforehand how to pitch this. 

Finally, I was able to get an idea of the geography of the university buildings, including the study facilities, refreshment areas and the libraries. Simply physically walking around the various parts of the campus and its environs, talking to current students and staff  gave me a flavour of what to expect should I choose postgraduate study at Bristol. 

Reader, despite all the hills, I am glad I chose Bristol for my postgraduate adventure! 


Written by Lyndon, History of Art MA


To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November


What it’s like to study for a master’s

#WeareBristol #SPAIS, this is what l could see whenever l researched about International Development and the University of Bristol. Firstly my mentor and former professor Dr Gabriel Faimau is a SPAIS and Bristol alumni. When l spoke about taking up a postgraduate course he directed me to Bristol, because of their teaching style. In his words, ‘You will love Bristol!’ and twelve months later l am in Bristol and loving every second of my postgraduate study.

I have over seven years’ work experience in the development sector. I have worked with international organisations such as ActionAid International based in Uganda and UNHCR in Botswana. Despite having all this experience, l felt l needed and wanted to do postgraduate study and this is why…

“I firmly believe that postgraduate study opens your eyes to various world views and perspectives and affords you an opportunity to interact and learn from your peers.”

I’ve been successful in my career, with an undergraduate degree in Criminology, however, I realised passion alone was not enough for further progression and development. I went on to take a diploma in Development Leadership and that is when l realised l needed a postgraduate degree. It is then that before completing my diploma. l sent in an application to the University of Bristol for a Master’s degree in International Development. I firmly believe that postgraduate study opens your eyes to various world views and perspectives and affords you an opportunity to interact and learn from your peers.

My course is structured into two teaching blocks and this term l am taking three core modules. One of my favourite things about these modules is that they are all seminars. SPAIS is big on peer learning – we spend hours discussing various topics and understanding the practical linked to theory. Theories of development has since opened my eyes to the routes of development. I am in a better position to understand development work and ensure that future projects l implement are not only inclusive, but are sustainable as well. There are numerous networking opportunities available to postgraduate students, not just seminars, but also events run by the PG network.

Bristol has a great Postgraduate Open Day where prospective students can enquire more about their courses and find out more about possible career paths. If you are unsure about a course the open day will give you all the information you need to know and help you make your decisions.

If you are looking to study for postgraduate, look no further because Bristol should definitely be your home. #WeareBristol

Written by Mpho Elizabeth, International Development MSc


To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November


Why choose a master’s?

You’re about to complete your undergraduate studies and I bet you’re asking yourself what you should do next. That question goes through almost every undergrad’s head, so don’t worry about it. Almost no one has life after graduation figured out, some go straight into a job, others take a year off to travel, and some go on to complete postgraduate studies. If you are considering going on to complete a master’s, you are most likely asking yourself, “Is it worth it?” It is and I’ll explain why below. 

First of all, completing a master’s wasn’t always part of my plan. I decided to pursue an MSc in Public Health after taking a public health class at the university where I studied for my undergraduate degree. After working for a personal injury law firm that dealt with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it confirmed that I wanted to go on to study a master’s. I wanted to learn more about how local and national governments go about handling outbreaks, whether it is STDs or other diseases. I scoured the internet for ways to get more experience in this field and made up my mind that completing a master’s in Public Health was the way to go. As an international student, I am able to gain different perspectives on major public health topics and see firsthand a majorly different health system to the one back home. Additionally, I am able to meet and network with people from all over the world, which opens doors for my future endeavours.

Secondly, the University of Bristol is an amazing university, with an outstanding research reputation. The MSc in Public Health programme, although fairly new, gives you the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully work in the public health sector. What initially drew me to this course was its diverse course catalogue. The modules range from Health Economics to Environmental Health. Additionally, our lecturers are incredibly clever and have an abundance of experience in this field. They are also the most helpful and friendliest lecturers I’ve ever had. I’m used to having classes in auditoriums where the professors don’t even know you exist. In this MSc programme, I am actually able to interact with the lecturers and get my questions answered. It’s an incredibly inclusive environment which makes it easy to ask questions without feeling judged. So please do not think that completing a master’s means that you are going to be completely on your own.  

Lastly, although the dissertation part of completing a master’s programme might be a bit daunting, I promise it’s not as bad as you think. I did have to write a similar paper during my undergraduate studies, so I came into this programme with previous experience writing a long research paper. Don’t worry if you don’t have that experience though, because you’re able to choose your own topic to write about, which makes it easier and more enjoyable. Additionally, this is a way to choose your “speciality” in a way, since you’re able to go into your chosen topic at great depth and you spend a whole semester just analysing data from that field. Writing twenty or more pages doesn’t seem so bad when you’re writing about something you enjoy and are actually really interested in.  

In Summary, completing a master’s broadens your knowledge on a specific topic, let’s you meet people from all over the world, therefore teaching you various ways to view problems in your topic area, and opens all types of career doors. It has been a great experience and I would highly recommend looking into completing a master’s, especially at the University of Bristol. You definitely won’t regret it. 

Written by Gabriela, Public Health MSc


To find out more about postgraduate study attend our Open Day on 20 November