Written by Garrett
Master of Business Administration
Hi my name is Garrett Bucklin, I am from the United States and I’m currently a Master’s student at Bournemouth University. My undergraduate education was based around both business marketing as well as business management, which has been a nice lead up to my Master’s in Business Administration.
There are many differences when transitioning into a master’s program. There are new people, higher stakes, and a more predominant work load. With all of those aside, maybe the most major item that took time to get used to, for me, was how the courses were graded in the US universities as opposed to English institutions. There are certain staples that have maintained as a constant, despite the many differences. The class sizes are quite similar, about 20 per course. One thing that is different with the courses is the fact that my course in Bournemouth has the same students in every class every day, we are also always in the same classroom as well.
The format of the courses are also different. As an undergraduate in the states, each course has a lot of homework, almost every day, and little projects throughout the program. At the end of the course there is usually a larger project, speech or paper that needs to be completed. All of the assignments get factored in to your grade, usually on different grading systems for each assignment with an overall understanding of what that grade means. For instance as a perfect grade you could receive an “A” which could also be a “10 out of 10” or a “100%”. Each of these mean the same, but they are all different grading systems. To pass most courses you need a minimum a grade of “60%” or a “D”. In England on the other hand they have a much more straight forward approach to their course curriculum and grading system.
How the courses are set up is that there are one or two projects for the entire course. There is a month or so of constant classes every day and they are geared toward the project that is allotted for that time. Each project will be worth about 50 percent of your course grade. I enjoy this because it eliminates most of the work that I feel is unnecessary. All the work you do is toward the end product and you immediately know what you are working towards from the first class of the semester. One drawback perhaps would be that if you were to fail one of the assignments it will be very tough for you to get back on track and pass the course. The grading system itself is also different. There are no letter marks, it is done from a 100% grading system. The biggest change is that you are to pass at a minimum of 50%. This took some time to get used to. In the UK, a 70% grade is a rather high mark, whereas in the states that would be nothing but mediocrity.
Overall there are very small differences. The professors are there to help and want to see you succeed. They are constantly in contact and always looking to be of assistance. I know that some of the other courses are not quite as extensive, and have fewer classes and assignments. The MBA is a prestigious program and there is a great sense of pride each time you pass an assignment. I look forward to graduating in the fall with more experience and education than I could have imagined.