Why did you choose to study at Queen Margaret University (QMU)?
This MSc Digital Campaigning and Content Creation course on offer at QMU seems to be one-of-a-kind. The closest I could find when I was looking at course options in this field were the standard communications, public relations or film master degrees. I was already a signed script writer and had begun making my own video content, so I was looking for something that would enhance my credentials and give me a bit more stability while I chased all my mad ideas. Plus, I was also looking to learn how to use the technical equipment used in the field so that I could decide what I should invest in for my own business.
What has been the highlight of your time at QMU?
I’ve met some really interesting people on the course. I think I’ll be friends with some of them for a long time and might end up working together with them down the track. There is a good mix of people from different backgrounds - some of them are professionals and others are students who have just finished their undergrads. Many of the modules also include students studying other courses at the uni as well, so it was great to meet students from other disciplines.
How have your lecturers supported your learning?
The lecturers have been fantastic. I personally think that at a Masters level, a lot of the learning is done outside of the classroom, like when you’re out practicing your skills. The lecturers and tutors really go out of their way to facilitate you being able to do the practical stuff, like if I want to use a certain lens or create some kind of effect, they’re always there to guide you. They’re the best technical support around!
What have been some of your challenges with the course and university life?
I started this course in my late twenties so I did find getting back into the discipline of studying a bit hard at first, especially as the kind of assessments in this course are quite different to what I had done as an undergraduate (e.g. developing strategic communication strategies and reports as opposed to just writing an essay). But the level of support and flexibility I’ve received from QMU has been great. I was even able to use the freelance work (I make promotional videos) I do for my own business as the ‘work placement’ component of the course.
Do you have any advice for people considering studying this course?
If you come from a more hands-on background, the theory part of the course gets you thinking in the right way – in terms of learning about the strategic role content plays for clients for example. And the same is true the other way around - if you already have that theory background and want more technical content creation experience, the course can get you there.
If you’re creative, even if you haven’t had a lot of formal education, this course is a great way to get some training but also understanding of the field, and it’s a great option if you’re wanting to move around inside the creative industry.
What has been the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned at university?
If you like what you’re studying, I think it’s worth getting out there outside of class and practicing what you learn. Getting this degree and doing the coursework has been a real complement to everything else I’ve been doing for my business. And the credibility having a masters in this area will give me – in terms of corporate clients – is really valuable.
What are you plans after graduation?
I used to live and work in Los Angeles and thought I’d leave Edinburgh as soon as I finished the MSc, but I like the community at QMU so much that I’ve actually established my business here instead as part of the QMU Business Gateway. So, I’m going to keep working on my documentaries as part of the small business community here building a corporate offering around my new expertise - branded content for freelancing.
"If you’re creative, even if you haven’t had a lot of formal education, this course is a great way to get some training but also understanding of the field, and it’s a great option if you’re wanting to move around inside the creative industry."
Published in 2020