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Normally at least a second-class honours degree in any subject area from a UK university or a non-UK equivalent. A professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations approved by the College. Relevant experience, supporting statements and references may be taken into consideration, especially in the case of non-standard applications. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Moffat Chawala first found out about Birkbeck when it was recommended to him by a friend. His employer, a university in Zambia, was sponsoring him to study abroad, and the structure of Birkbeck’s MSc Marketing, the strong research reputation of the Department of Management, its location in central London and the fact he would gain a University of London qualification meant that Birkbeck was Moffat’s first choice.
From the moment he began the Master’s programme, Moffat found that he had an excellent relationship with his classmates. He says: 'My relationship with the other students has been phenomenal from the word 'go'. We have done a lot of group projects, which gave us an opportunity to get to know each other and share experiences. The students have a multicultural background, which was very important and added another dimension to studying at Birkbeck.'
Moffat continues: 'One thing that is really key to the quality of the teaching is how informed the lecturers are. They have vast experience both in industry and in academia, which is a very good combination.
'The content of the programme is very relevant. Marketing is a very dynamic field but the content of the MSc programme is up to date with the latest things happening in industry.'
One of the key things that Moffat was hoping to gain from his time at Birkbeck was the opportunity to network with others in his field. He explains: 'Studying at Birkbeck has given an opportunity to link up with the best people from industry and academia and I’m sure the relationships I have built here will last even after my studies are completed.'
It was also important for Moffat that he would have the necessary support, and access to good quality facilities. He says: 'The facilities at Birkbeck are excellent. The library is well-stocked with relevant materials and there is 24/7 access to the computer lab. The coursework that we were given was challenging, but manageable and the lecturers were very supportive.'
After graduating Moffat will return to Zambia to teach marketing at undergraduate level. In a few years he would like to return to the UK to study for his PhD, and says that he would like to do it at Birkbeck. 'Studying at Birkbeck has changed my life,' finishes Moffat, 'It is definitely an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.'
Michael Losada is a Santander Scholar, and was awarded £5000 towards the tuition fees for his MSc Marketing Communications at Birkbeck. For the past seven years Michael, from Bogota in Colombia, has worked at the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation promoting Colombian Coffee and managing its brand portfolio in the Marketing Department through digital communication platforms.
He is pursuing the MSc Marketing Communications with the aim of strengthening his knowledge and skills to develop platforms and campaigns for agricultural goods or crafted products that improve the lives of their producers by creating value through branding, marketing and communications. Michael says: ‘Receiving the Santander Scholarship – as well as being a really big help financially – is an acknowledgement of my commitment to working towards improving the lives of coffee producers. It is really important to me that my aim and plans in this area have been acknowledged in this way.’
Explaining why he chose to study his Master’s degree at Birkbeck, Michael says: ‘I researched a lot of universities in the UK but Birkbeck’s programme content was the most appealing. I also knew that as part of the University of London my qualification would be recognised worldwide and that I would receive a high-quality education. ‘
‘The fact that I am studying alongside other professionals at Birkbeck was also a real advantage offered by Birkbeck. It will enrich my experience here, as I am able to learn from everyone’s experiences.’
‘I wanted to study in London because of its rich history and global connections. London is like a window onto so many cultures because there are people from Europe and all over the world here.’
Having been in London for just over a month Michael says: ‘Living in London is very different to being on holiday here but I’m getting to know the city – using the tube and buses and trying to live like a local. So far it’s been great – although I was expecting more rain!’
Michael’s classes are also living up to his expectations: ‘I was worried that as an international student I might not be able to relate to case studies and examples if they focussed on British industries, but the lecturers are very aware that they have international students in the group and use a really good range of examples. They are all really straight-forward and easy to understand and I feel that I’m able to get the most from all my classes.’
Cansu had decided to study an MSc in Marketing Communications at Birkbeck following her breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 25 as she became painfully aware of the fragility of life. She had previously registered for Birkbeck’s Open Evenings, yet had never signed up for a course. Her cancer diagnosis was one of the triggers that prompted her to enrol. Cansu added: ‘I had always wanted to return to university, but had kept putting it off and thought I was too old to go back. I had registered for Birkbeck’s Open Evenings for a few years, but had never actually taken the next step. Once I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2012, I thought I can’t continue to put my dreams on hold. I went to the Open Evening the same day as I had one of my Zoladex injections.’ She found out about being able to pay her tuition fees in monthly instalments and decided to embrace studying again.
‘Birkbeck was ideal. The part-time teaching was a must-have for me. Being part of the University of London, Birkbeck’s reputation is really strong. Its students are mature and combine so many life obligations. Employers realise that you must be hard-working if you can combine work and family life with your studies.’
She said: ‘The most appealing part of the course was learning about different marketing strategies – the use of the internet, and PR. All the students were focused, enthusiastic and friendly. I’ve made good friends for life.’
‘If anybody is coming up with excuses why they should not go to university this year, they should just go ahead and sign up. You can’t worry about time or age, or let your dreams be put on hold. You never know when your time will end. If you really want to do something, it does not matter how old you are – you just have to go for it.’
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