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Postgraduate Study

Postgrad Lives: 'At the end, you get two Masters degrees, in just two years'

Sophia Buckley, 22, is halfway through the two-year Global Leadership Program offered by Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia. By the end of the course – which includes time studying at Northeastern University in Boston – students have gained two separate Masters degrees: an MA in business and an MSc in leadership.

Why did you want to study abroad?

I did an undergraduate degree in business management at King's College London, and I knew I wanted to do international business because it was not too specialised. I also wanted to travel, but wasn't brave enough just to go off somewhere. I knew if I was studying I'd have more of a structure.

Why this particular course?

I went to Australia because that's the only place that offers this kind of course. You get two Masters degrees in two years, and although you spend most of your time in Australia, you also get a study-abroad option in Boston. At the end I'll get one degree from Swinburne and one from Northeastern.

How is the course taught?

It's quite similar to the UK really. You fly out for an orientation week and meet the academics. It's a tri-semester course: the first semester is February to June, then there's a shorter "winter term" from June to July, and the final semester is August to November. This summer I'm going to Boston for the middle term, but it's not compulsory – you can just stay in Australia and the same lecturers will fly over and teach you. And you don't have to pay extra fees because it works like an exchange program.

What do you like best about the course?

I've learnt so much from the people on the course, who have different experiences and backgrounds. Many have worked in industry or for family businesses, and they come from all over the world to do bits of the course, so the class is always changing.

And what is the most difficult thing about it?

I'm the only European person on it, which I was quite worried about as there's an emphasis on group work and I wasn't sure how easy it would be. Being away from my family is also difficult sometimes.

Is there a thesis or a project?

It's a taught course rather than a research-based one, but you can decide to do a project towards the end of your time if you want to.

Will it set you up well for the future?

Yes. I'd like to work for the UN, and I've already met a few lecturers who have done the same thing.

How much does it cost?

£8,425 a year over two years, which is £16,850 in total.