Throughout your time at WMG, our Study, Professional and Analytical Skills (SPA) programme provides you with extensive support across three interconnected strands:
- Study Skills
- Professional Skills and Competencies
- Analytical Skills and Research Methods
Strengthening your academic writing is a key focus of this strand, so whether you have been away from academia for several years or are coming straight from previous study, the skills gained will benefit everyone.
For example, you will learn what is needed to write effective Post-module Assignments (PMAs), which form the basis of your assessments at WMG, by looking in-depth at the expectations for these.
The SPA team will go into depth on summarising, synthesising and critiquing sources of information, as well as how to meet the high standard of referencing required of you. In addition, you will be shown how to develop your academic writing abilities to improve the quality of your work.
Professional Skills and Competencies
The SPA programme also helps prepare you for life after your Master's, with the professional skills strand guiding you through key soft skills that you will need in the workplace. This includes working in a team, leadership, managing your time effectively and utilising professional networks.
One of the central components of this strand is allowing you to connect your academic journey to your professional journey. Knowing how to market the skills you acquire in both the classroom and on your research project to employers will help you get the most out of your Master’s after you leave WMG.
Analytical Skills and Research Methods
Being a key part of your Master’s, you will be given support on numerous areas of conducting a research project, helping you to identify milestones in your research journey from proposal to submission.
For example, time is dedicated to evaluating a range of scientific, engineering and social business research methodologies. This will prepare you for designing your research methodology, an essential element of your dissertation: it dictates the kind of research you will carry out, the data you will collect and the analysis that you will be able to write.
You will also be taught about the differences between collecting and using qualitative and quantitative data, with guidance on which is best for your project and how to gain ethical approval.
In addition to the content mentioned above, there are student support sessions typically offered on a weekly basis. These may take the form of drop-in sessions, one-to-one tutorials, and online sessions.