There was a time when it was only possible to study for a master’s degree (MA) if you had first completed a bachelor’s degree (BA), but nowadays it is possible to go directly to the higher degree.
This option has become increasingly widespread because universities now recognise that a number of years within the professional environment can do much to prepare you for the rigorous demands of a master’s degree without a bachelor’s degree having been completed first.
The problem is, although universities have opened their doors to those who have more life experience than academic experience, they have often not provided sufficient support for those returning to their studies after an absence from academic life.
Whilst there are many things to be said for fast-tracking experienced professionals, there can be problems for the students themselves who have been out of academic life for some time.
Primarily, there is the problem of academic writing itself, as any kind of written work presents a challenge if it is not a regular part of your life.
You need to get back into the habit of researching and referencing correctly, as well as compiling and structuring academic work. This is difficult enough when you have been used to doing it on a daily basis, but after a long absence it can seem like a mountain to climb.
Nevertheless, remember that if you have been accepted for a master’s degree, you have been judged to be capable and you should therefore not let the technicalities of academic life put you off.
Remember that studying for your master’s will help you in your ongoing professional development and this is a major reason why universities are encouraging people to return to their studies!
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