Derek Watson
MSc Mathematics

Derek Watson

What made you choose to come to Leeds?

I did my undergraduate degree with the Open University and I thought that I would come to Leeds because it suited my purposes at the time as I was working in Ripon. I wanted a good University which was close by and it did the Masters in Mathematics which I was interested in. Leeds is a big city as well and so it was good to come to a city.

Has the course been what you expected it to be?

In some ways yes but in other ways it has been quite a different experience. I think this is because I didn't do the conventional undergraduate degree and so it was different for me. But then in other ways it has totally met my expectations. 

Where do you see yourself going when you get to the end of your Masters?

Well, I have applied for a PhD but I am awaiting the result. That is what I would like to do but we will have to wait and see. I want to do something maths based at least, rather than what I was doing before which was a Facilities Engineer which I wanted to step away from. I want to go into something a bit more science orientated. 

Have you got any advice for anyone thinking of doing a Masters?

I would probably say that if you can do it at the same institution where you did your undergraduate then I would do that as it is probably an advantage. So, I have found that the module choices follow on from the undergraduate course here, which is natural but when you come from a different university this can make it a bit more challenging. 

What would say have been your biggest challenges so far doing you Masters?

I would say the workload. I have been quite surprised with how challenging the workload has been. Thirteen hours lecture times a week, plus the work outside of that, I have found that this has been challenging. 

Where do you do most of your work?

I use the library here to get the work done as I find it to be a good facility; it has everything that you need, all the books, the IT is there, so why go and sit in a little room at home with the distractions. An hour there is like doing two hours at home. 

What would you say to another student coming to Leeds to study for a Masters?

I would say go for it, it's definitely worthwhile. It's a worthwhile qualification and it is from a well-recognised University.