How my masters degree led me to PhD study

Tue 1 Dec 2020

While earning a degree online may not be a familiar experience for most people, adapting to studying off campus has never been easier. With Falmouth Flexible, our straightforward virtual learning platform and excellent student support help make the entire process seamless and intuitive.

As part of our efforts gathering student feedback, we spoke to Kelly Parker, one of our graduates, about how she found studying online. Kelly holds a masters in our Advertising Strategy and Planning course, which has recently been transformed into our Marketing and Digital Communications MA.

What stage in your career were you at before you decided to do a masters?

I was on a career break, having recently given birth to my daughter.

What motivated you to study a masters, and why online?

I decided that I wanted to develop myself and return to a new industry rather than return to the types of role I have done for the past 10-15 years. I relished the concept of a new challenge.

What made you choose to study with Falmouth Flexible?

I liked their choice of subjects available, the process of application was straightforward, and I appreciated the chance to be able to study around my children.

Did you have any concerns about studying online? How did Falmouth Flexible address this?

There was a natural apprehension as it is a format I had never before tried. The course leader was superb at assuaging any concerns, and the course had a surfeit of online resources that really helped, not to mention I had an advisor who always found time to talk with me.

How would you describe the application process?

Straightforward and robust. Ideal for anyone wanting to study a masters online, with a skill/knowledge level congruent to the demands of the course.

What were your interactions like with the course leader, module leaders and tutors? How did they inspire and support you?

They were exceptional, particularly around the submission of assignments, and very adept at helping me to remain within word count! Very friendly and approachable team – particularly Amber Burton, the course leader, alongside my tutor Alex Lambley, who were incredibly supportive and encouraging throughout. They even extended their help to reviewing my PhD application.

Kelly Parker (1)

I would say that without the MA process and support therein, it is highly unlikely I would have pursued a PhD, but the experience was so rewarding that I was motivated to continue!

How did you balance studying with work/family/social commitments?

I chose to do the majority of the studies while my children were at school/nursery, so that neither impinged upon the other.

What have you been up to since graduation? What impact has your masters had on your career?

I am doing a PhD, born from the major project I completed for the masters. The general vein of study, particularly during year two, started to align with me subconsciously identifying the field of research I was compelled to continue – to explore the lived impact of stereotypes upon BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) TV viewers.

Would you recommend studying for an online masters to others?

Without hesitation. Developing yourself and increasing your understanding can only benefit your life.

Is there anything else you want to share?

Academically, Falmouth are a good, supportive institute, who propagate self-direction among learners. It’s encouraging to see the adoption of decolonizing education strategies.


If you want to hone the skills needed to advance as a marketing professional, our part-time, entirely online Marketing and Digital Communications MA will allow you to do just that, without having to sideline your career. Learn how to react and adapt to the ever-shifting digital landscape while developing more in-depth knowledge of marketing, brand strategy, and the industry as a whole:

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Marketing and Digital Communications

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