Siren Watcher Education – Master of Arts and Life Update

2020-08-16
Siren Watcher Masters Education


Siren Watcher Education:

Details

Master of Arts


 

Life Update

So. Whilst I was granted access into this course, and gained some credits… *sigh*… I want to explain some of my thoughts about it.

I am at present, unsure as to whether I will go to Australia next year (2021) to complete this course.

Cost of Degree

I primarily thought, as it was a follow-on from my Bachelor (same university major chosen as undergraduate degree), that I would get 50% of the course credited at least from what I had calculated. For undergraduate courses in Australia, only 33% of the course needs to be done at the specific university you have enrolled in, the rest can be credited from other degrees. This I was told is less done in Masters after enrolment. So I would have to pay around $2000 AUD each, for 3-4 units, that I had already completed at this university but would not be credited. I had done these due to them being required in both my bachelor and masters courses. The units are identical from my experience with a few of them that contained both undergraduate and masters students simultaneously (whilst I was an undergraduate).

This Masters degree is not a degree I will end up using for my main profession. If I want to be a sexologist, I would do this Masters and then do a secondary Masters afterwards. The reason I enrolled in this one, was because I thought it would only be 1 year (of the traditional 2 years for Australian masters degrees), and it would be good practice in writing a dissertation / thesis. For eventually when I went into doing a PhD.

Be aware, I am also not sure about being a sexologist. That is just a form of grounded direction, I am not entirely sure whether I could make that into a justifiably profitable career for myself. As sexologists are few and the positions sparse. I have no idea where the funding would come from if I became a researcher in the field, etc. It is some idea to keep me grounded though as due to interest, this field makes sense.

This degree, will cost me about $20,000 AUD. The average price of an Australian Masters degree for a citizen. It is more expensive for a foreigner. After living overseas and researching both the quality and price of foreign education, you can imagine that I am no longer satisfied with the Australian education system. The price of me to do this degree in Germany as a foreigner is 0€, and the universities are just as highly ranked as the Australian ones overall. The quality of the German ones, I might argue is better, due to the corruption of the social sciences education in some Western countries.

So mentally, I am unsure of whether I would do a degree somewhere like Germany or Brazil where my higher education is free, even if I am a foreigner. Or whether I want to stay in Europe for 5 years, get permanent residency, then I believe it is free in any European country. Whether I want to go to a lower socioeconomic country and do a degree there, and pay less out of pocket yearly. Similarly, I could stay in Europe, study now and pay about 50% of the cost as the Australian universities even though those countries are also high socioeconomically.

I have a lot of choices.

The reason I would study at an Australian university is that the course fees are attached to a government debt (HECS). That you only have to pay back when you get over a certain threshold of taxable earnings. Meaning that the course appears ‘free now’, on the pay later scheme. Though of course, it is not fucking free and they rape the shit out of you financially for that ‘free now’ label. For the cost of an undergraduate degree + masters degree, I could put down a deposit on a house in Sydney. If you look at it in that perspective, the house would be far more useful in the world currently. As we have too many degrees being issued right now in western society. Many people get degrees, never use them, and they are never required to have them. A lot of the degrees you do, don’t train you adequately for the industries, skills need to be acquired on the job, and the job industry is changing so rapidly that by the time you leave your 3 year courses the job roles are totally different.

Location

I don’t actually want to live in Australia at all.

Whilst I am somewhat curious about Perth, and it is the city I am most inclined to want to live in if I did live in the country. As is the most sane city in my opinion. Being the only larger city on the Western side of the count, being the biggest state in land mass, and being the last to Federate. Once even asking for succession. Western Australia / Perth, has always just been a totally different city to the rest of Australia. This is from my research though, I have never set foot physically in Perth.

To specify though, I would never ever again live on the East side of Australia. When I go back to see relatives sometimes at Christmas, I feel sick as soon as I enter the approximate geo-location. I am just not built for the region I was born in. This is not a reflection of Australia. It is a fine country like any other country, but I am not actually physically built to be there.

I don’t remember when specifically, I have always learnt other languages and been exceptionally fond of foreigners, but at some age I decided I wanted to move overseas. Maybe 18? I don’t know. I studied other languages as young as about 7 years old (french 3 years, italian 1 year, german 1 year, japanese 1 year; I stopped around 16), but I think around 18 was the time I decided I was going to ‘move’. I moved to about 30 different houses from 18-26. It was my way of travelling. I would hop ‘share houses’. Live in an area for about 3-6 months and then move on. Trying to work out where I was going or what I wanted to do. I think I stayed in the country as long as I could to keep my mother and father happy. My mother is family-orientated, so I didn’t want to cause her problems by leaving.

The other part of location of course is Australia still has its borders up, and they implied it would be until next year. Citizens are not legally permitted to leave the country. With the way Australia is reacting right now, I am nervous at the level of stupidity and overreaction, that could cause the borders to randomly close at any time in the future. Locking me in for unforeseeable reasons is not something a business minded person sees as a smart decision. Countries like Germany, whom are very business minded, are unlikely to make those same stupid decisions ‘as frequently’.

Other Ideas

When I study a Masters program is it likely I will want to go on to do a PhD. Doing a PhD in sweden is most cost effective due to them giving a stipend for living also. So it is probable that doing a Masters there could make getting accepting into a PhD program easier due to possibly more favoured as having country specific experience.

I could move to Prague, Czech Republic or California, USA, for easier access to specific business industries.

I could stay in Germany, will be 3 years in July, for another 2 years to get Permanent Residency for all of Europe. This is preferred for travel and possible future citizenship. I could enrol in a Masters program here but I would have to move elsewhere within the country. Specifically there is 5 universities that do an Anthropology / Sociology degree in English. Though they are not local to me where I am now.

I could learn Portuguese over the next year, then move to Brazil and do a Masters program there free and go back into Southern Hemisphere weather. By birthday is in Winter now, rather than Summer… it throws me off a little ;), hehe.

I could go to Thailand for a year, and live a low-cost lifestyle, do the same work as I’m doing now and save money and work on my businesses. Live within the Digital Nomad foreign culture in Thailand.

Move to Georgia, and do the same as Thailand except have less foreigners. Though be closer to where I am now in Germany, and have the visa program be much easier. Ie, you show up and get a free years visa. For Thailand you have to pay 1000€ for a course to get the year visa.

I could country hop for a few years, similar to what I did with share houses in Australia, and just work out what country I wanted to live in.

My issue is that I am 31, for women your 30s means something quite specific. The idea of meeting someone and settling down, to me is as equally horrifying as exciting. So, subconsciously I know staying put somewhere and putting down roots to meet someone is socially deemed most appropriate right now. I am still unsure of the right course of action for me specifically.

Conclusion

I have no idea. I will decide over the next six months.

Though it is pretty much decided that I will no longer be pursuing this degree, in this incarnation of it.


Master of Arts


This major develops students’ investigative skills and critical understandings across a range of contemporary situations and technologies for careers in fields of social and cultural inquiry. Students can master these skills and extend their creative and critical capacities in fields of anthropology, social science, cultural studies or media studies by undertaking a project in their second year of study. They also have an option to practice these skills and develop their portfolio through internship with a professional organization. Students with outstanding results will have an option to further strengthen their critical capacity in preparation for possible PhD study.


 

A graduate of this course can:

1. understand the discipline of a selected field in the Arts, its theoretical underpinnings, ways of thinking and professional or creative approaches; understand and apply established knowledge, principles, and professional or creative practices in chosen aspects of the Arts.

2. apply logical and rational processes to analyse the components of a subject or project and engage critically with the subject matter to respond creatively within a selected communication paradigm.

3. determine what information is needed and where it might be found using appropriate technologies; make valid judgements and synthesise information from a range of sources and apply best practice in developing a professional or creative work in response to a particular situation.

4. communicate appropriately with colleagues, professional and creative contacts and the general public and develop communication skills across one or more media forms appropriate to varying situations.

5. assess the application of existing technologies as well as the impact of emerging technologies on a selected communication or media discipline to create an effective professional or creative work; develop the technology skills necessary for obtaining, assessing and representing relevant information. Decide on appropriate applications and systems for professional and/or creative needs.

6. understand and apply a range of learning strategies; take responsibility for one’s own learning and development; sustain intellectual curiosity and develop a commitment to professional research, publication or performance to engage with emerging forms of theory and practice in the Arts.

7. think globally and consider issues from a variety of perspectives and apply relevant international standards, tools and practices to one’s professional or creative practice.

8. acknowledge the interrelationship between local, national, and global perspectives and the impact of these the Arts: recognise individual human rights, and appreciate the importance of cultural diversity and the sensitivities which may be created when engaging with and representing issues pertaining to ethnic and community groups.

9. demonstrate professional behaviour and standards and work collaboratively to apply them in all aspects of creative practice and production-related activities.

 

Completed Units:

Anthropology / Sociology Units:

Understanding Social Research A

This unit examines contemporary theory and practice in anthropology and sociology, specifically in the anthropology and sociology of public problems. These focus on the construction of a public problem and its conversion from private concern to public issue. Public problems can range from concerns over the global economic recession, climate change and terrorism to those of obesity, cigarette smoking, town planning or graffiti. Students will consider several research projects in order to develop a reflexive awareness of contemporary anthropological and sociological practices and methods. This unit also involves undertaking a project which may be textually based and/or involve collection and analysis of empirical materials.

Ethnographies of the City

This unit explores the anthropology and sociology of cities and cultural life within them. It deals with such topics as the origins and growth of cities, kinship, family and neighbourhood in urban contexts, work and recreation in cities, class, ethnicity and gender in urban life, the role of different senses in the experience of city life and ethnographic studies in and of urban settings. The guiding theoretical notions for this unit are governance, community, senses and resistance.

Social Inequality: Possibilities for Change

This unit examines the changing patterns and structures of social inequality in Australia and the Asia region. Key themes include: the different sites and spheres of social inequality; historical overview of social inequality; the nature of inequality in contemporary capitalist societies; gender, ethnicity, age, race, indigenous issues, disabilities, poverty, and statelessness; the politics of inequality, social movements and responses to social inequalities. The unit will have a comparative focus with case studies from Australia and selected Asian countries.

Private Lives and Public Issues

Notions about private and public spheres have played an important part in the development of public discourse and understandings of human rights and citizenship. Recent scholarship, however, has discussed where these two overlap, and where they raise problems. This unit will investigate current debates on what constitutes the private and the public, and will examine case histories that challenge our ability to distinguish between them. Topics discussed may include some of the following: public policy, public opinion, law, censorship, violence, ethics, celebrity, memoir, disability, gender, sexual and racial identity and affirmative action. We will aim to take events that are capturing attention in the media of the day and analyse how they relate to the theoretical issues we discuss in the unit.

 

Completing in 2021:

 

Communication Units:

Making Meanings

Engage critically with the culture in which you live via a wide variety of written and audio-visual materials, texts and sources. Examine the way common-sense knowledge is constructed and operates in society. Explore the forms and possibilities of critique in the “postmodern digital” age.

 

Language Units:

Reality and its Other

This unit embarks on a chronological journey through forms of modern literary and popular narrative from the early-nineteenth century to the present time. It looks at the narrative genres of realism and gothicism and how they interact and change, often drawing from their generic “opposite”. Diverse narrative forms are analysed, including novels and films.

Imagined Spaces

This unit explores how cultural narratives of history, memory and myth are integral to place-making, and how such imagined spaces inform our understandings and experiences of the world. Students will engage with a spectrum of texts that include memorials, museums, post-industrial cities and post-apocalyptic landscapes in fiction to interrogate the effects and affects of the past in the present.

 

Dissertation Units:

Approaches to Arts Research Projects

Students in this unit learn and engage with methodological approaches to projects in fields of media, creative arts and social inquiry to develop their critical and creative capacity for conceiving a project that would be significant to their studies, career or community engagement. Through three-hour weekly seminars and preparatory tasks, students explore a variety of topics, questions and methodological approaches to understand how research, critical and creative practices can be combined in the production of a project, exegesis or thesis that responds to a significant concern. The seminars will introduce students to a range of contemporary research issues from Indigenous Peoples’ rights, cultural and technological change, effective communication and engagement with community or industry networks. Through seminar activities and assessment tasks, students conceptualize, test and refine a central question for their project and evaluate methodological approaches that would enable them to answer the question.

Planning an Arts Research Project

Through this unit, students will learn how to work with academic supervision in planning and designing a feasible research project within their chosen discipline. Through workshops, students will explore practices of project planning, proposal and grant writing, independent supervised research and research ethics. They will arrange and participate in meetings with a disciplinary scholar in developing their plan for a feasible project to be implemented in subsequent study periods, and are expected to address the advice of this scholar in drafting their project proposal. Towards the end of semester, students will submit a formal Research Project Proposal which describes how their postgraduate research project would be implemented. They will also reflect on the ethical dimensions of this project in relation to the university’s ethics approval processes.

Advanced Discipline Project 1

The first of two supervised independent Master project units involving detailed research in/of a subject to be chosen in consultation with the relevant discipline supervisor. This unit focuses on the preparation and design of that research, and will be taken either in the semester prior to MEDA6006 Advanced Discipline Project 2, or at the same time, with the two units forming a single coherent activity. The specific nature of the project, the methods of research or creative practice, the analytical tools and the outcomes in terms of reports, publications or productions will be determined on an individual basis.

Advanced Discipline Project 2

The second of two supervised independent Master project units involving detailed research in/of a subject to be chosen in consultation with the relevant discipline supervisor. This unit focuses on the completion and presentation of the research commenced in MEDA6005 Advanced Discipline Project 1, and will be taken in the semester following or at the same time as that unit. The specific nature of the project, the methods of research and the outcomes in terms of reports, publications or presentations will be determined on an individual basis for each student and may include professionally orientated tasks or components.

Advanced Critical Reflection

This unit enables students to develop their critical capacity through rigorous reading, research, reflection and discussion. The unit is directed at furthering a student’s understandings of contemporary scholarship, particularly in relation to the thesis or creative work and exegetical component that they will be required to produce in the Advanced Discipline Project units of the Master of Arts program. This unit and the Advanced Discipline Project units form a pathway towards acceptance in Curtin University’s PhD program. Students will be required to reflect critically on the research aspects of those units, demonstrating their ability to interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions for presentation to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

 

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