Graduate Diploma spells big change for New Zealander
For New Zealander, Perry Jackson, a Graduate Diploma in Economics could be the start of a new career in policy.
Perry was working for the Tasmanian government in Australia when he decided to apply for a Graduate Diploma by distance and flexible learning with the University of London International Programmes.
Available in social science disciplines, these diplomas enable graduates to earn a standalone qualification in a different subject.
Graduates can consolidate their early-career experience with a qualification, or set the foundations for a career change by broadening their knowledge.
"I chose the University of London because it's flexible. It's also got a great brand," says Perry.
This was also something his employer supported. "They were really good," he adds. "They provided a few hours every week to help me study for it."
Academic direction from LSE
Graduate Diplomas receive academic direction from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which was another big attraction for Perry.
"LSE sets the content of the course. They provide course booklets which are really succinct and quite high-level summaries of the material," he explains.
Independent study is always a challenge. But I like that - you're one hundred percent accountable to yourself.
Perry chose modules in Econometrics and Micro- and Macro-economics, expecting to establish a strong grounding in economic theory. But his decision-making escalated faster than expected.
While pursuing the diploma in Australia, he decided to apply for a Master's in Environmental Economics and Climate Change at LSE, and was accepted. He is now studying for the Master's in London and completing the Graduate Diploma concurrently.
"It was a great feeling to be accepted by LSE," he says. "I'm learning lots, really enjoying it, making lots of friends, and I'm really excited to see where it's going to take me in the future."
"Accountable to yourself"
For Perry, the option of flexible, independent study provided exactly the kind of test he was looking for.
"Independent study is always a challenge," he says. "But I like that aspect – that you either succeed or fail based on your own effort. You're one hundred percent accountable to yourself."
“The other thing I like is that I learn from reading and just by practicing and doing," he adds.
"Having LSE involved in providing the University of London Graduate Diploma has been really important for me, my career goals, and my study goals as well."
With his burgeoning knowledge, Perry hopes to become more involved at policy level back in Australasia.
“For my next step career-wise, I'm really interested in the role of public policy and environmental problems, both here and in Australia and New Zealand,” he says.
“I can see that it was really worthwhile doing the Graduate Diploma through the University of London to help me on my way.”