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My Surveying MSc Experience – Garath Geair

Garath tells us more about why he chose to study a distance learning Surveying Masters at Northumbria University.

After working within management for a number of years, Garath Geair decided it was time for a change in direction. He took a junior role in Surveying, and quickly came to realise that the best way to climb the ladder was to gain an RICS accredited qualification.  

Here he tells us more about how he came to the decision to study with us, and how he has found the experience so far. 


I currently live in Sheffield, UK. After I graduated with a BSc Medical Neuroscience (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma in Law, I began my career in management.  

After five years, I realised I wanted to re-train as a quantity surveyor. I secured a full-time role as a junior quantity surveyor, but swiftly realised that a Surveying MSc would be vital to help me progress. It’s a requirement of the job, really. 


Why did you choose to study Surveying at Northumbria University?

First and foremost, when I began my search for a suitable course, I knew I was looking for an RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) accredited Masters degree. RICS accreditation shows that the course is respected within the industry. I knew that, by graduating with an accredited degree, I’d not only be able to demonstrate to colleagues and clients that I am trained to work to the highest of industry standards, but I’d also be able to fast track my way towards chartered surveyor status. There are a number of RICS accredited Masters courses - but the biggest draw to Northumbria’s Surveying MSc was that it also offered the flexibility of a distance learning course. The online mode of delivery was very appealing.


What difference do you think this MSc is going to make to your career?

Looking at the job market, the requirement for many roles is for a minimum of a BSc degree in Surveying, or a Masters qualification. Backing up my work experience with a formal qualification is a necessity if I want to secure a more senior role.


Why does distance learning suit you better?

I work full-time and have a family. Learning online gives me the flexibility to pick up studying whenever I have time - without being timetabled in the way that you are on a traditional university course. It really does enable me to fit studying in around my other commitments. The content is also delivered on a weekly basis in discrete sections, and I find this really helpful; it’s clear what’s required of me in each section, including how many study hours I need to put in. This is great when I’m trying to manage my time. If I find I’ve fallen behind one week, I can quite easily make it up. It’s very easy to navigate.


What has your experience as a distance learning student been like so far?

My experience has been very positive. The tutorials and course content is really easy to access, and the tutors have been very happy to answer questions quickly. The different modes of delivery have been really stimulating - and I’ve enjoyed the interactive sessions, tutorials and live seminars. It’s useful that recordings of the seminars can be accessed later too, if you can’t attend the live version. The overall quality of the study materials is very high.


How has the course helped you in your day-to-day role?

There are lots of areas that I have been able to apply directly to my current role. I’ve just finished a law module, which I’ve already found really useful as, quite often, I’m tasked with administering contracts on projects that I’m working on. I’m in the first year of the course, which is focused on the general surveying landscape, and I’m really looking forward to studying the specialist modules.


In terms of support, what has helped to make the experience easier?

The Student Success Team are very rapid at resolving any questions I’ve had about the course. I’ve contacted them with grade queries, amongst other things, and they’ve always been very quick at getting back to me. It’s good that I can choose how to contact them too - either by email or phone.


What advice would you give someone considering studying a distance learning course with NU?

One of my top tips is to set aside a block of time each week to study. It has really helped me to get routine and rhythm into my working week - rather than just shoehorning study in whenever I’ve found time.


How would you describe your NU experience so far in three words?

Stimulating. Informative. Valuable.


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Find out more about our distance learning Surveying MSc courses:


Our Surveying MSc Courses

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