Saturday 31 August 2019


Hmm... what does the word 'Induction' say to you?

Having had a long, drawn out experience of birth with my child, 'induction' doesn't just say to me that something is beginning, it suggests a world of pain with an eventual happy ending.

And I guess that could be descriptive of the Induction phase for the MSc too.. after a day of completing multiple tests and essays, we got round to the initial meeting with the Skills Coach, which was actually a whole lot less painful.

This one involved bringing in your line manager too, to ensure they were fully aware of the support and timescales that would be involved.  I have a big advantage in this case, as my line manager is also doing a Masters (albeit through one of the other pathways), so some of our modules and processes will be similar along the way, and he's fully aware of the requirements for time off-the-job to do learning as well.

In a nutshell
So - to keep it brief (as there was a lot of paperwork to read through and a lot that might make more sense to me as it goes along, but wouldn't make particularly interesting reading in the blogosphere).

The MSc is made up of 4 core modules - Business & Technology, Technical & Digital Leadership, Major Postgraduate Project and the Portfolio.

In addition there will be a 'Principles' module specific to my chosen pathway of Software Engineer, and a selection of 3 'Professional Practice Modules', to be chosen from a list of 9 available courses.

I'm not entirely clear yet on the timetabling for it all, although I do have a rough list among the induction paperwork somewhere.  All in all, it should take 25 months, which feels like SUCH a short time after my OU degree and the mammoth 12-year journey.

There's another 'birthing' expression that would describe induction - 'bringing you on', or 'bringing it on (labour)'.  So I think I will take that analogy and run with it.... I have been Induced, BRING IT ON!!!

Back To School (again)

It's that final weekend of the school holidays, and once again there is an air of excitement (and terror) in the offing!

On my first day back at work after our family summer holiday, I had what can only be described as a mountain of work to get through prior to being officially (finally) accepted and enrolled on the Masters.

So - for the first time I will be studying a named path to a degree rather than fully tailoring it to my own interests.  This will be the MSc Digital and Technology Solutions, for which I'm following the Software Engineering pathway.

These degrees are offered as a part of the Apprenticeship scheme, so they're fully supported by work and financially underpinned by an Apprenticeship levy - which means that for the first time, I'm not stressing about how much my learning is going to cost financially.

Testing, testing!
Despite being exempt from the 'functional skills' requirement of the course (Maths & English) by virtue of my existing qualifications, there were some preliminary Maths, English and ICT modules which were required prior to my induction meeting.  It having being several years since I'd done any Maths tests, I found myself needing to Google the formulae for surface area and volume of a cylinder, and how to calculate probabilities when throwing a pair of dice... not how I'd imagined spending my first day back, which is usually filled with extra caffeine and catching up on the work I've missed.  I also realised that I need to know more about different styles of writing - although I can structure a sentence very well, I find it harder to determine what style the author has used.

Back to essays
In addition, there was a short essay required on my current employer and position within the company, along with the requirement to produce a stakeholder map, to show the major stakeholders for my current work.

All of the above were required within the space of a day, before I could do my official 'induction' meeting with my Skills Coach.  More on that one in another post though, I think - as this one is becoming very long already! (as was the first day back at work teehee!!)