After studying Geography at the University of Liverpool, Jess Murdoch decided to supplement her degree with a hands-on, practical postgraduate course. She came to QMU searching for a more creative career, which she found thanks to the MSc Digital Campaigning and Content Creation.
Why did you choose to study at QMU and what attracted you to the course?
I found the film side of the course really attractive as I had always enjoyed making videos and being creative, but had previously studied a less creative subject. My undergraduate was in Geography! When thinking of jobs after my undergrad, I realised I was interested in creative roles but needed to gain more experience.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
"The classmates and lecturers really made the experience, but I liked the emphasis of industry-based experience. The importance of practical learning with software and through working with organisations formed a key part of the course."
Were there any particular course activities you found especially interesting?
I found the Industry-based Learning module really valuable, as I created content including stories and films for local organisations. This gave me extra experience and allowed me to develop my portfolio.
How did your lecturers support your learning?
They always made themselves available to give further information and advice both during lectures and in the editing suite/over email.
What challenges did you face with the course and/or university life? How did you overcome them?
I did not have much experience being in charge of a whole film project before. I definitely noticed that the more videos I made, the better I got and things became second nature.
Did you take part in a placement as part of your course and if so, can you tell me a little about that experience?
I did the Industry-Based learning module, I created content on Instagram for a local organisation which I found really fun. It was always exciting seeing the engagement and seeing my creativity in action! That’s generally one of the nice things about this course, I finally had the chance to be creative.
Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in this course?
Do it! I’d recommend making the most of the Industry-based Learning module and also if you are new to the camera and software, spend time getting used to it here and there. You don’t have to do loads of projects and get to know things in amazing detail but make the most of being able to play around with things, such as through using Canva for assessments or making a film as part of getting experience.
If applicable, which University services did you use to support you through your university journey and how did they help you?
The Careers and Employability service was great. I have used it after uni and the staff are always incredibly helpful!
What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?
As I mentioned, the course allows you the time to play around with software and equipment and to grow and learn. There is probably a general assumption that at Master's level, there isn’t much room for manoeuvre and experimentation; to be a beginner. But this course allows for that growth of skills, and it was helpful that it assumed no prior knowledge and therefore knew people were there to learn new skills and start from the beginning.
What was the most valuable lesson that you learned at university?
Probably that I can do/study something that I had no prior qualification in.
Can you tell us about your life post-graduation?
Immediately after finishing the course, I interned as a Campus Cycling Officer for the University of the Highlands and Islands Students' Association as part of a graduate scheme. This was a very valuable experience coming out of uni and I got to develop my event marketing skills. In February of this year, I started a new job as a Marketing Executive at Home Energy Scotland. I am putting a lot of the knowledge I developed on the course to use. I regularly use Canva, Adobe Premiere Pro and the marketing theories I acquired from Digital Campaigning and Content Creation.