We have spoken to Aidan Munnelly, Online MSc in Construction Project Management student, about his experiences of the 100% online course so far.
1. Why did you decide to pursue the Online MSc in Construction Project Management at NTU? What stood out about the school/program?
Since completing my Full-Time BSc Construction Management degree at Nottingham Trent University my career path has altered slightly, I am very passionate about the construction industry and I have taken the decision to peruse a career in Project Management. The BSc provided me with a great insight into the construction industry, but to develop and consolidate my knowledge of Project Management I believed the only option was to enroll at Nottingham Trent University and extend my education to enable me to develop on my chosen profession in a much greater depth.
I undertook a considerable amount of research before reapplying at Nottingham Trent University, but upon discovering that the University had invested heavily in online education a year prior with the launch of ‘Engage’ I recognized that I would be learning on a platform which would not be outdated like many of other Universities systems and would accommodate for my career growth around a busy schedule.
2. Why did you decide to study online? How does the online program provide a similar level of interactivity and networking opportunities as a classroom-based course?
As a Project Manager in full time employment I was unwilling to remove myself from the practical aspects of construction and the knowledge gained though real world experience, my only option was to undertake an Online MSc degree in Construction Project Management. The online program provides me with all the necessary information I require and allows me to work at my own pace and in a time which is convenient to me.
When enrolling onto the course I was unsure if I would have any interaction with my fellow students, from day one it became clear through online discussions that the communication channels were not in any way limited. We are now in an age where virtual team working within the construction industry is becoming ever more prevalent, as industry professionals we must adapt, by using communication technology I have been able to undertake group assignments with my online classmates as though they were in the same room, when in reality we were working from different corners of the globe.
One of the deciding factor for me enrolling onto the online course was as it is unrestrictive, shortly after commencement the organization to which I work gifted me with the chance to work overseas, I have been able to seize this opportunity without having an impact on my education.
Me at the top of Mount Kenya, a moment I would not have been able to experience if I had undertaken a classroom based degree.
3. How have you profited from the program so far?
In undertaking the MSc degree online, I have been able to accept life changing opportunities that I would not have been able to even comprehend if I were to have undertaken the program in a classroom based environment.
The structure of the Online MSc in Construction Project Management degree focuses on one module at a time which allows for consolidated learning, classroom based degrees typically focus on many modules at any single time which I do not believe would have been beneficial for my own personal development.
When making the decision to return to further education I understood my workload would inevitably increase, in undertaking this degree I have learnt quickly to prioritize and manage my time effectively which has not only had a positive impact on my work ethic but has also streamlined the way in which I work. The course thus far has given me vital knowledge in my chosen profession which I have been able to implement daily.
4. How are you applying your learnings in the workplace?
I have already gained a vast understanding of how physical works should be undertaken on construction projects and the practical aspects required in order for a building to function as designed, where I lacked the knowledge was the legal and contractual components that make up the industry and how a project can be properly managed through the use of contractual documentation.
Since undertaking the module ‘Contract’ I have gained a broader understanding into the importance of construction contracts and the legal implications imposed if not adhered, this module has helped me to appreciate my current project from a more contractual point of view.
Most notably, I have found the module ‘Construction Health and Safety’ to be very beneficial thus far, not only from a practical point of view but also in relation to the legal aspects of Health and Safety, enforcing good Health & Safety practices on Foreign contractor can often be difficult but the module provided me with the information required to explain in detail the duty of care the contractor held towards their employees and others whom may be affected by their works.
Collaborate working is without a doubt one of the leading success factors in construction, the module on ‘Collaborate Working’ has helped prepared me for the difficulties which will inevitably arise when working within a diverse project team, in addition this the module has helped me to understand myself as a professional and as a person enabling me with the tools to have positive impact on all future projects.
5. What are your ambitions for the future? How will the Online MSc help you achieve your ambitions?
My main ambition for the future is to reach the pinnacle of my chosen profession, to achieve my goals with least resistance I strongly believe that an accreditation must be gained, the MSc in Construction Project Management at Nottingham Trent University is the first step towards becoming a chartered member of an accredited body. As a RICS accredited course, the degree fulfills the academic stage of becoming an accredited Project Manager and achieving a Full RICS membership status.
Learn more about Aidan's experience of studying online by reading his full testimonial.
Find out how you can build your better future by requesting an information pack.