Open Polytechnic agreement opens way to UK masters programme

Posted on 5 May 2009

Open Polytechnic students completing technical communication qualifications with the distance education specialist are now able to staircase their studies into a masters programme in the United Kingdom.

Thanks to a new agreement between the Open Polytechnic and Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, students completing the Certificate in Technical Communication with the Open Polytechnic will be able to staircase their studies into the university’s communication masters programme.

“The Certificate in Technical Communication is a popular qualification because technical communication and writing skills are in growing demand globally,” says Deirdre Viviers, programme leader for the certificate at the Open Polytechnic. “We expect that demand for the qualification will continue to rise to match the pace of new technology being introduced.”

The programme at Sheffield Hallam University is taught by distance education, and includes a Masters in Technical Communication, Professional Communication, Corporate Communication and e-Communication.

Dr Raymond Young, Dean of the School of Information and Social Sciences at the Open Polytechnic says he is excited about the learning opportunities that New Zealand students will get from the agreement. “Sheffield Hallam University is recognised in the UK as a Centre for Excellence for Teaching and Learning, e-learning and employability. It has an applied research programme, and like the Open Polytechnic, has strong links to industry so that the vocational skills the student learns are immediately relevant to employers needs.”

Open Polytechnic graduate Linda McCorkindale is the first to enrol under the new agreement, opting to undertake a Masters in Corporate Communication.

“I couldn’t find a similar high level course in New Zealand, and I was attracted to the content and international standing of the programme”, says Ms McCorkindale, who currently works as a Marketing and Communications Executive for TL Jones Ltd in Christchurch.

The new agreement is a boon for technical communicators wanting to upskill says Ms Viviers. “This opportunity is a fantastic option for Kiwi students who want to take their technical communication qualification to the next level without having to leave home.”