The uncertainty of students from a widening access context undertaking an integrated master’s degree in social studies

Lohmann-Hancock, Caroline and Morgan, Philip (2019) The uncertainty of students from a widening access context undertaking an integrated master’s degree in social studies. Practice contemporary issues in practitioner education, 1 (1). ISSN 2578-3858

Lohman-Hancock, C. and Morgan, P. (2019) The uncertainty.pdf - Accepted Version
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Extending study to a fourth year in Integrated Master’s Degrees (IMD) presents both risks and opportunities. This study explores students’ perceptions of moving from a three-year degree to a Welsh IMD. Students initially appeared ‘risk adverse’ to continuing their studies to a fourth-year with many seeing this as a ‘gamble’. The benefits identified included utilisation of loans for a fourth-year; improved career choices and increased confidence in their academic abilities. Risks identified were delayed entry into employment; suspension of income and increased student-debt. Data were collected through participatory research to ‘share knowledge, power and decision-making roles’. The data challenged the negative assumption that the primary driver for exiting at Level 6 would be extended financial risk. Self-reflexive narratives confirmed the actual ‘gamble’ was whether to ‘cash-out’ with their potentially higher existing grade at Level 6 or extend their studies and exit with a potentially lower classification. Barriers identified include enforced altruism and unknown degree status. A constructivist approach allowed students to challenge ‘moral-authority’; accountability and relevance of an IMD, consider its authenticity and reflect upon potential life-course trajectory and identity constructs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Practice contemporary issues in practitioner education on 4th September, 2019, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Non-traditional students,Widening access , Participation , Employability,Risk
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2019 15:27
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2021 02:02

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