Meet Edward: MSc Food Science and Innovation Global Online student
We recently caught up with MSc Food Science and Innovation student Edward, to find out what his experience has been like on the course so far.
Can you tell us a little bit about the journey that led you to this online course?
Prior to starting this course, I worked as a teacher for 10 years in Hong Kong in both education centres and international schools. However, I have always had a passion for food science and innovation, so I decided to pursue a career change into this area, which has involved moving away from Hong Kong to pursue my interests.
Why was online study appealing for what you wanted to achieve?
I wanted to be able to access the course from any location as long as I had reliable internet connection. The course is run through a Virtual Learning Environment where we can review digital resources and literature, providing access to key recommended reading materials. There is also close contact between students and the university professors, allowing us to ask questions about course content and academic theories.
The course recommends at least 15 hours a week of study, which I structure around a regular routine and sometimes dedicate time to catch up over the weekends. Under normal conditions, I would dedicate my weekday time to content learning and reviewing activities; and the weekends I use for completing or getting a head start on either group tasks or individual assignments.
You mentioned group tasks and assignments, what’s it like working with others on the course?
There is a good opportunity to network with other professionals on the course who have similar goals and interests. My Student Success Advisor put me in a group with multiple professionals already in the food sector, and another student making a career change like me. It is a really great way to learn from other professionals’ experiences and contribute my own knowledge and experience to discussions as well. Working with colleagues has allowed me to form new perspectives and considerations based upon our respective geographical locations. It has also built a support system to get through those stressful moments such as deadlines and assignments.
And your Student Success Advisor, what is the support like from them?
Throughout the application process for the course, I received helpful support from my Enrolment Advisor such as payment options and what the course materials might include. Now I am enrolled on the course, I have a good relationship with my Student Success Advisor, who I have regular calls with to check how I am progressing with the programme. I am able to raise any queries I have, and these are generally responded to, addressed and resolved quickly.
How is the MSc Food Science and Innovation programme contributing to your future?
This course has armed me with knowledge that could help me to make the transition into various careers in the food sector that I was not aware of before starting the programme. The current unit that I am working on, Fundamental Nutrition, allows me to engage in research that would be used by Nutritionists in the workplace, deliberating on what type of diet would be best suited for an individual given specific factors and medical conditions.
Given my ambitions to move into the food sector, this in-depth knowledge is giving me both the experience and academic credit I need to start my career in this area.
What advice would you give to someone looking to apply for the course?
The main piece of advice I would give is that it is better to ask questions than to leave them unanswered. This is something that is repeated in my online classes and is really important to deepen learning. Whether that is asking questions of fellow students, the academics or the Student Success Advisor, it is important to get the answers you need and not to feel as though you cannot ask questions.
The second piece of advice would be not to feel nervous or intimidated by the idea of learning online. Distanced learning, whilst it might seem like the unknown, still allows you to interact with classmates across the world. And remember, they are all in the same boat as you, so you can work together if you are struggling with anything.
Finally, the assignments themselves are varied; with the first unit I did being very methodical in terms of the information that needed to be presented. Since then, they have been a bit more concept focused, which has been good to deepen my understanding of the topics we are covering on the course.