Anna Egan, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Banking, is the joint programme leader for our Global Online MSc Finance and Strategy programme alongside Dr Michael Flanagan. Here, she tells us more about her academic background, what the Global Online programme means to her and what students can expect from the course.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities as a Global Online programme leader
Being a programme lead for the Finance and Strategy programme means I am responsible for ensuring that our students have the best learning experience possible during their two years with us. In short, this means overseeing every aspect of the course, whether it’s making sure students have access to the right learning materials or are receiving the support needed to achieve their academic, and professional, objectives.
Could you tell us a little more about your academic background and experience in education?
My lecturing career began about eight years ago, when I started teaching on Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) professional courses. I enjoyed the experience immensely and so decided to expand into university lecturing. I have since been a programme lead at undergraduate and postgraduate level and have developed and delivered a number of units on Management Accounting and Financial Management for both. When doing so, I always carefully consider my students and aim to deliver course content that suits their requirements and capabilities. I also enjoy creating full programmes, which reflect and address current environmental and employability needs.
What is your particular area of academic expertise, and why are you passionate about it?
My PhD research covers the area of corporate governance, in particular the ‘black box’ of boardroom decision making. I am interested in how directors view themselves and how this ‘social-identity’ feeds into and affects their decision making. I have presented my research at conferences in the UK, Ireland and Europe and I am now developing full papers on the topic for publication.
Why should people choose the Global Online Finance and Strategy programme?
This Global Online programme offers a number of benefits that are not found in other courses. For example, many of the tutors have had to juggle working full-time with studying part-time and understand how demanding this can be. We actively aim to alleviate conflicting demands on students’ time. We also appreciate how difficult it can be to jump from being focused on your professional life to your academic studies and have introduced assessments that try to blend the two experiences together.
In addition, our online platform uses storyboards and a variety of assessment methods that encourage engagement and challenge students taking the course. Finally, students are able to explore current and pressing issues thanks to a forward looking curriculum, which acknowledges the evolving role of accounting and finance functions and covers topics such as FinTech and risk management.
What can students expect to come away with after completing the course?
Once you have graduated from the programme, you can expect to benefit from enhanced employment opportunities. For those who have not yet undertaken a professional qualification, you are provided with an opportunity for advanced entry into a CIMA professional qualification, significantly reducing the number of exams you need to take to become CIMA qualified.
For those who have a professional qualification already, we offer the opportunity to move directly onto the later, more research focused units of the programme. We believe if you are seeking a more senior position, undertaking the Global Online master’s will demonstrate to your employer your will to progress. More specifically, the course will include a variety of units on strategy and higher level decision making, which will develop your competency in these areas. It also provides you with an opportunity to undertake a dissertation on a work-related topic, enhancing your knowledge and expertise in a particular area.
Aside from being able to meet the entry requirements, what would you like to see in your Global Online students?
We have developed a programme that is engaging, forward thinking and relevant to those seeking to open up their employment opportunities. We are looking for students who have an enthusiasm for finance and strategy, and who can integrate their own professional experiences with the subjects being taught. We also want people who are willing to engage with the online platform, the tutors and resources available. Although we welcome students from a range of academic and professional backgrounds, as this makes for a stimulating learning environment, each one should want to share their knowledge and support one another.
Postgraduate degrees are held in high regard. However, taking the decision to enrol on a masters course might seem daunting, but at Manchester Metropolitan University Global Online, we endeavour to make sure that it’s an investment that pays off.
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