Visualising the experiences of working part time postgraduates: A meteoric juggling of worlds

STEELE, Ann-Marie (2018). Visualising the experiences of working part time postgraduates: A meteoric juggling of worlds. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Universities in the United Kingdom have witnessed, but largely ignored the continued decline in part-time mature students. Firmly focused on young full-time undergraduate learners the recruitment, retention and achievement of postgraduate Masters students has largely been left to chance. This study explores the individual experiences of five working part-time postgraduate students enrolled on a taught Masters course at a large northern post-1992 university. The thesis seeks to make their experiences visible and their voices heard. Adapting visual narrative methodology, the participant stories of their experiences and transitions are retold and visualised. Creatively combining photo-elicitation method and geotagged experience maps the colour, vibrancy, depth of the stories comes to life. The data we co-constructed was analysed to provide both individual participant stories and a collective social worlds narrative of part-time postgraduate experience informed by social worlds perspective. Returning to study the participants found themselves disorientated, overwhelmed and unsure of the expectations, practices and discourse of postgraduate study. It took varying lengths of time for the participants to feel more confident and stop questioning their entitlement and belonging in the part-time postgraduate world. The excitement and enthusiasm expressed by most participants provided some balance within their stories. All were positive about progressing their careers and transferring their learning into the other areas of their life. There was a definite message of transition and self-transformation as participants developed strategies to manage and embed the part-time postgraduate world within their individually patterned social worlds space (SWS). Each SWS comprised a unique constellation of social worlds, multiple memberships, borders, and intersections which affected how and to what extent the individual participated and performed their social roles in each social world. Without doubt becoming a part-time postgraduate learner was a meteoric juggling of worlds.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Kellock, Anne [0000-0003-1148-3004]
Additional Information: Director of studies : Dr Anne Kellock
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2019 10:24
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 15:05

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