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Shannon-HardyOnce you’ve decided to study a Master’s, choosing the course can be difficult enough let alone having to go through the whole process again of deciding which university to go to. When faced with this decision I had to do a lot of research and it was almost like the undergraduate process all over again! I had heard from a lot of people, from many different universities, that it is worthwhile going to a different university for your Master’s for the experience. It is a decision to think long and hard about, but in the end I decided to stay at Bournemouth University. I was lucky that I truly believe Bournemouth was the best place for me to study MSc Forensic Anthropology and students came from all over the world to study this course.

There were advantages and disadvantages to staying at BU but ultimately for me, the advantages outweighed the disadvantages tremendously! When you talk to students thinking about studying at the next level, almost all of them will have to consider the cost. That cost will be a huge part of the decision process and for many students, myself included, can be a deciding factor in the process. I knew that staying at Bournemouth University, I would receive their amazing graduate discount that gave me a 20% discount on my fees, with an extra 5% on top of that if I paid the fees upfront. Not only that, but if I achieved 65% in my undergraduate degree or above (some of the requirements have changed for this year, so check the website) I could then be eligible for their Academic Scholarship with another £2,000 fee reduction (on top of that other 25 %!). This dramatically brings down the cost of your course meaning more of your money can go towards those all expensive living costs.

Not only were there these huge advantages of staying at BU, but there was also the advantage of no moving costs. The money I would need to move (and for my course this would have been quite a distance) I could spend on living costs here, I wouldn’t have needed to pay for another deposit and could just continue living where I was. I also knew that I still had a job working as a student ambassador and mentor for BU and could continue this without going through the process of looking for part-time work that fits in with my timetable.

Shannon's-class

Then there are the advantages that are less about finances. My Master’s course is only one year, which wasn’t a long time to move somewhere new and settle in. I knew the staff, the campus and the town well already and making these changes to somewhere new could have been a long process for me. I know students on my course that have done it and I admire them for doing so, it’s a big thing to move your whole life to a new place and settle in as quickly as you can so that you can get on with the course.

In order to make this decision, you need to think about all of the personal advantages and disadvantages for you. My advice would be to talk to as many different people as you can – students that have stayed, students that haven’t, staff, family and friends but ultimately you need to make the right decision for you.

By Shannon Hardy