Why an MSc?
Why would I study for an MSc degree?
- Develop an area of specialist knowledge
- Research an area of particular interest in real depth
- Gain new skills and knowledge
- Become a scholar practitioner
- Develop as a leader in my chosen discipline
- Innovate my practice so it becomes sustainable for the long term
- Connect with practitioners from other disciplines and other countries
- Expand my thinking and awareness
- Enjoy more credibility for the work that I do
- Upgrade my current qualifications to post-graduate level
- Open new doors for practice
- Prepare for a future where post-graduate qualifications might become standard in the complementary medicine disciplines
All of these can be achieved through studying at post-graduate level!
What will I be able to do with an MSc degree that I can’t do already?
Of course it's always possible to just continue doing what you already do as a practitioner. Nobody is currently demanding that you have a higher degree or gain more qualifications. But going along as you might have done for many years now doesn’t really help you grow and develop in the work you do. Studying at post-graduate level challenges you to move on, to connect and collaborate with other practitioners on a regular basis, to open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking and to challenge yourself with regard to your day-to-day practice and ways of working.
I’m already a successful practitioner – how will an MSc degree help with my career and with developing my practice?
Here is what our students say about what motivated them to MSc level study and what difference it is already making to them as practitioners:
Sandro Graca - MSc in Advanced Oriental Medicine:
"For me, it’s all about professionalism and helping the acupuncture profession. The way I see it, I can sit back and complain about poor research or the sceptics bashing the profession, or I can get up and put in the effort to learn, develop, and contribute to the body of knowledge. Will it make a difference? I won’t know until I try it. Will it benefit me? Yes, of course! There is no way to put value on knowledge. For me, studying for an MSc is already making a difference. I now have a completely new way of reading and writing about acupuncture. I'm better equipped to talk to other health professionals who might not understand the terminology of CAM/TCM and I feel way more comfortable when having to write or talk about what I do in clinic.
Regarding enhancing my practice – my studies have helped here too. I now read way more research on the particular field I’m interested in. I’ve also developed the way I ask questions and explore different treatments. And I'm using my improved writing skills to develop my website and communication with other practitioners.
Yes, I’m tired as I’ve never been before; yes, I have thought about quitting; yes, I miss my family time and time for relaxing. BUT, I love to learn and the excitement of learning and contributing to the development and recognition of acupuncture, whilst studying for a recognised degree, is amazing. I want to fight on to become the best practitioner and academic I can possibly be."
Penny Priestley - MSc in Advanced Nutrition:
"One of the main reasons I chose this course is about public perception – prior to the course I was asked what nutrition qualifications I had and the response was "is that all you’ve got?" The structure of the course fits around a busy schedule (most of the time). It works for me by studying on the weekends leaving my week free for work as normal. I decided that I was happy to give up my term time weekends for two years to do this. We have to do CPD anyway so why not invest a little more and get recognition for it?"
Nicholas Garner – MSc in Advanced Oriental Medicine:
"For me I definitely see development in my business which will give me opportunities to actually carry out my own research studies, and put my clinic on the map. I think the MSc title itself makes a big difference as it brings my whole level of acupuncture up to another academic level. Personal development is also a really important factor. This course has structured my learning a lot, and more learning structure also benefits other aspects of my life both professionally in my practise, but also personally and privately."
Sophia Kupse - MSc in Advanced Complementary Medicine:
"Expectations and reality can be very different! When I started I thought it would be a piece of cake, when in reality it has been challenging - but in a very positive way. The course has challenged me to grow and develop for myself and with my work with patients. It will give me more credibility in the market place. It helps me to define my USP – what differentiates me as a therapist. Patients respect and value me more for my expertise. This course is ideal for those therapists who want to discover more about the advancements in the field of holistic medicine."
I'm too busy to fit in 20 hours of study a week!
It's true that it takes a lot of time and commitment to study for an MSc degree whilst also working in practice, having good quality family time and having time for rest and relaxation. But it can be done! The Research and Practice MSc degrees at NCA are designed with the busy practitioner in mind. The course materials are always available for you online so you can structure your studies around your other commitments. You also apply your studies directly to your practice, so some of the work you already do in practice can be used for your coursework and assignments which helps save time. And if 20h/week still feels like too much, you can always study at a slower pace or take on the MSc modules as Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Sophia Kupse – MSc in Advanced Complementary Medicine:
"I have access to great materials including reading material. Working through the module material in a step by step process, allows you to pace yourself through the new learning material, without feeling overwhelmed."
Nicholas Garner – MSc in Advanced Oriental Medicine:
"One of the great things about this course is that you don’t have to give up whole days working to sit on a school bench – you study on your own time."
Why should I choose to study at NCA in particular?
NCA is a small College that prides itself on the support it provides for each individual student. We understand that practitioners are busy people. Indeed all of the tutors on the online MSc programmes are practitioners themselves. Many of them have also studied at post-graduate level whilst continuing to work in practice, so they know first-hand what it’s like to balance studying with work and other commitments in life.
The course seems expensive to me.
If you join us in September 2017, the total fee for your course may well seem a lot at first sight. However, we are able to offer flexibility for payments – you pay for each module as you take it and the fees for your dissertation phase can be spread over a number of installments to ease the financial burden. It might be worth breaking the costs down a little more – £740 for each module equates to £53 per week (during the 14 week module). Maybe that’s just 1 more patient per month to cover your study costs. And, the fees at NCA are certainly less than you would pay in many universities. Don’t let the financial aspects stop you doing something you really want to do – if you need more advice on the costs, please do get in touch.