Cardiff Metropolitan University Access to Masters Scholarship Programme

Cardiff Metropolitan University Access to Masters Scholarship Programme

The Access to Masters Scholarship Programme provides students with access to skills, experience and contacts.

This case study orginally appeared on page 31 of the State of the Relationship 2014. The report outlines the state of university-business collaboration in the UK, featuring expert views and over forty case studies. Read the full report.

For many students, the ability to undertake postgraduate education can be hindered as a result of the high costs. The Access to Masters (ATM) programme aims to address this challenge.

The programme, which is backed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Welsh government, provides both financial support and access to business – a core element of the programme being that students are linked to an external partner company. This partner benefits from both the Masters student’s time via a work placement and from the postgraduate research project, which is tailored to meet the company’s interests and needs. 

"The ATM scheme has allowed me to gain the confidence and expertise in business and manufacturing to set up my own product development studio and to work with many companies of all shapes and sizes from around the world.”
Ben Mazur, Access to Masters scholarship recipient, Cardiff Metropolitan University

One student who has benefited from the ATM scholarship is Ben Mazur who completed an MSc Advanced Product Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2010/11. At the heart of his Masters was a collaborative partnership with Dagge Design. Mazur says he has seen real and lasting benefits from the ATM, which helped him focus his talents and launch his own studio:

“After graduating from Cardiff Met in 2010 with a BA (Hons) in Product Design, I still didn’t quite feel confident to enter industry and be able to stand out from the thousands of other graduates of that year. I felt that, although I had attained an excellent degree, my skills hadn’t had enough time to fully develop and I hadn’t found out what I really wanted to do.

A Masters in Advanced Product Design had always appealed to me, but without the help of another loan it would have been prohibitively expensive. Bethan Gordon, my lecturer at the time, told me about the Access to Masters (ATM) scheme and suggested I apply for it.

After contacting potential collaborators I found a company, Dagge Design, which was willing to participate in my studies. This enabled me to receive the European Social Fund (ESF) grant, which paid for my tuition fees and gave me a monthly maintenance allowance. As a result of the funding I was able to spend more time studying and not have to worry so much about income from design work.

The course allowed me to study completely independently and explore new processes and technologies I would otherwise not have had available to me. It gave me the opportunity to hone my skills, focus on my goals and develop professionally. In addition to passing my Masters with Distinction, I am in the process of securing patents and taking the results of my major project, a lifesaving surgical device which has been praised by surgeons from The Welsh Institute of Minimal Access Therapies, to market in partnership with Cardiff Met.

The ATM scheme has allowed me to gain the confidence and expertise in business and manufacturing to set up my own product development studio in Bristol, to work with many companies of all shapes and sizes from around the world, and to build links with manufacturers in South East Asia.”

For more information, visit the Cardiff Met website. 

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