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Peter Wilson

MSc Building Surveying

Msc Building Surveying Student Peter WilsonWhere are you from?

Northern Ireland.

Are you currently in employment? 

Yes, I work on behalf of a large developer managing improvement, maintenance and refurbishment works for a residential portfolio.

Why did you decide to study a Masters? 

I want to become a Chartered Building Surveyor and the MSc course at Northumbria was geared towards non-cognates, so I felt it was an excellent option.

Why have you decided to study distance learning?

To combine work with studies - I thought that I would get the best learning experience due to being able to apply what I was learning to a practical context. I also would not have been able to afford to go back to full-time study.

Why Northumbria University? Why did you choose your course?

I felt the course was geared very well to non-cognates, like myself. The course gave the best balance of relevant and interesting modules and value for money. Northumbria also has an excellent reputation for the built environment and a number of my friends have studied there in the past.

How would you sum up the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate study?

The difference is very much in terms of self-study. Even though the nature of the distance learning course dictates a high level of self-study - the assignments very much require further research into a variety of topics.

What is it like studying a distance learning course at Northumbria?

It has been extremely interesting so far. Lectures have been a mix of learning papers, presentations and recorded video lectures with accompanying slides. One of our modules also had interactive video discussions which I found very useful.  

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

Quick response time to emails, and very attentive and open to student feedback.  

If you are currently working, is there the opportunity to apply what you're learning in your current workplace?

Yes, everyday.

What doors do you think this course will open for you? 

I hope to be able to begin my APC with an approved training firm.

Have you changed as a person?

I think I have surprised myself by achieving the level of commitment the course has required - I have changed jobs, moved home and got married all whilst completing the course.

How would you describe Northumbria in three words?

Practical, relevant and accessible.

Do you feel that your course has been a worthwhile investment in your future?

Yes, without a doubt.

What is your advice to prospective students for your course?

Make sure you are interested in the subject and don't just enrol because you fancy a career as a building surveyor. I have found some modules more interesting than others but would find the course extremely difficult if I was not interested in the overall topic. Relevant employment is also important - I have found colleagues who are surveyors or construction professionals extremely helpful in just explaining certain procedural things and industry good practice - for example, I would have found it more difficult to learn the practical side of standard form contracts from a book.


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