Robert Workman, MSc Gerontology and Ageing Studies
Robert Workman from Neath, South Wales, completed his Master's degree while practicing as a senior occupational therapist with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. We asked him about his experiences of studying at Swansea University:
Why did you choose to study at Swansea University?
“The main reason was the particular MSc course offered, namely, Ageing Studies. The course content was wholly relevant to my clinical specialty of the rehabilitation of older people. It also covered a range of health & non-health related issues, providing a more holistic understanding of the issues of an ageing population. The location of the campus near to my home, and the resources available, such as extensive library collection, also aided in my decision to study at Swansea.”
Can you tell us about your course?
“The MSc consisted of a number of taught modules that explored the different issues affecting an ageing population in Wales, the UK, and globally. The variety of modules enabled me to address this topic from a number of different view-points, considering demographic statistics, health issues, research techniques and even older peoples’ activism.”
What part of the course did you enjoy the most?
“The most enjoyable part of the course was having access to such a wide variety of specialist speakers. As well as the broad knowledge of the Swansea University staff, video conferencing and international guest speakers enabled the students to discuss issues in such places as Ireland and India. This global perspective was fascinating and enabled a more critical view of more local issues.
“The highlight of studying at Swansea University has been the people I’ve met during the course. The other students, all from different backgrounds, made the whole experience easier to cope with as we all bonded together and encouraged and supported each other when needed.
“The staff were also friendly, approachable and professional, from the course director to the admin staff. I can honestly say that I have made friends for life!”
What are your plan for the future?
“As well as continuing to develop my own clinical skills as an occupational therapist and developing the service offered to older people in this locality, I hope to become more involved in education. I have been lucky enough to be invited back to speak to subsequent students about the input that my profession can have with the older population. This was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed so would like to repeat on regular occasions.
“I also hope to develop my research skills by engaging in PhD study in the future. Although, my short term goal is to share my MSc research through publication and presentation at conferences.”
How will your studies help you pursue your chosen profession?
“Completion of the MSc will initially enable me to develop my professional skills due to the wider perspective that I now have of the needs of older people. The qualification will also enable me to seek promotion within the NHS or diversify into more formal education work. The research skills and contacts developed during the MSc research period will be invaluable when I commence PhD study in the future.”
Would you recommend Swansea University to other students?
“I would definitely recommend Swansea University to other students, particularly Ageing Studies. In fact, I have even persuaded a colleague to enrol in the course!
“Apart from the practical benefits, such as a well-stocked library, numerous coffee shops and the beautiful location, Swansea University is staffed with a variety of expert and helpful people, committed to the development of students.”