The MSc Programme | A Learner Testimonial
Before investing in something, whether that’s training, a new car, or even a holiday, it can be helpful to hear from the ‘horse’s mouth’ what the experience has been like for others. Many times, people’s own experiences will inform our decision planning, especially if there’s a financial outlay involved. When it comes to learning, hearing about someone’s experience after they’ve completed the course can provide an informative perspective and address any underlying concerns a prospective you may have. If you’ve been thinking about enroling on the MSc distance learning programme with us but aren’t sure what to expect, this one may be of interest to you…
In our latest testimonial, hear from recent MSc graduate Paul Atherton as he describes his experience of studying on the distance learning International Security and Risk Management MSc programme with ourselves and the University of West London.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, your role, the industry you work in and your experience.
‘My name is Paul Atherton and I come from Shropshire. I have served over fourteen years in the RAF Police, with four tours of Afghanistan and additional tours of other Middle Eastern countries. I am currently the UK Security Advisor for a Ministry of Defence department that looks after a project in the Middle East. My role is to advise the Directors on risk, cyber, Info Security, intelligence, and terrorism. I also liaise with other agencies in London to ensure the smooth running of the project.’
Q: What appealed to you about the MSc distance learning programme?
‘For me, it was the ease of study access in today’s learning environment. Being a distance learning course meant I had the flexibility of logging in anywhere in the world to conduct study on such an interesting subject appealed to me immensely. This is also helpful when you work alongside your studies and require more flexibility in order to learn than more traditional classroom-based programmes.
But it wasn’t just the flexibility of the programme that appealed. It was also the educational distinction; being linked with such a prestigious university in London was a great pull when it came to choosing an MSc provider. Additionally, as I’m based in London for work, I was able to visit the campus to use their facilities during my studies, and experience the university first-hand.’
Q: How did you find the course overall?
‘The staff were fantastic, especially Ayesha – the MSc Lead Coordinator – who took time out of her day to add a personal touch by responding to questions promptly and offering additional tutor support to make the course more enjoyable and successful. The online portal facility was a good tool that made the course flow with ease due to the number of research tools and information on there to aid in the study. I personally found the research was strongly linked with real-world issues and processes, which I could relate to and understand in my current job role. This meant immediate real-world knowledge application and cemented my learning retention. An invaluable advantage!
Q: How has this course benefitted you in your current role, and how do you feel it will help you in your career?
‘The sheer amount of evidence you have to find to support your argument…that was hugely beneficial for me. The reason being is in my current role as a Military Advisor, I have to find the facts. I have to gather as much evidence and facts as possible to help commanders make the correct decision to make the project successful. This is where the MSc is so useful; because of the lengthy assignments and detailed critical thinking, it really ups your game to ensure your career is enhanced to a higher level of performance. This is where I personally feel my undergraduate degree was entry-level. In today’s competitive society (and industry), having a master’s can profit your role as it takes your skillsets beyond what an undergraduate degree gives you. There is where the MSc is a must in the security sector – to establish greater career opportunities.’
Q: What would you say to people considering doing the MSc with us?
‘I would say, as this is my second course with this successful company you can trust the support that PerpetuityARC Training offers. They do not leave you without direction and are there to support you in your learning journey to ensure you pass with a qualification. The research you undertake is current and especially with my dissertation question, they want you to be challenged and to enjoy yourself.
The MSc course suits our industry and already on my LinkedIn, I get private messages asking about the course. This is not a waste of time; I strongly recommend anyone in the security industry to enrol on this course. The icing on the cake is that it is affiliated with a top university, and you do certainly feel special, proud, and have a huge sense of achievement when you walk on the stage at graduation. Don’t think, just sign up and do the MSc. Push yourself!’
For more information about our MSc programme, including entry requirements and enrolment dates, please visit our dedicated course page