Category Archives: Tips for Students

Look how far your career can go as an MOP Alumnus

University of Manchester Alumnus, Paul Barnfield graduated from the MSc in the Management of Projects in December 2014. Since then he has enjoyed a fast developing career in project management and regularly gives guest lectures to current MOP students.  Paul was back on campus yesterday and recorded the following short interview, which captures his professional experiences since graduating and gives some top tips for aspiring project managers.  Watch the full video (9 minutes) here

Study Skills for MOP Students

The study tips contained in this presentation, have been drawn from my 8 year experience of teaching and assessing over 1500 Management of Projects students here at The University of Manchester.

study-tips-for-mop-studentsI am also indebted to Mike Courtney and Xiangping Du of the University of Hertfordshire, whose book “Study Skills for Chinese Students” I wholeheartedly recommend to all Management of Projects students.
It is available to buy from Amazon here,

Reflections on completing my PhD

I passed my Viva Voce three weeks ago today and I can honestly say that I am still riding the crest of an amazing emotional high.  I chuckle to myself regularly as I reflect that I am now officially Dr Saunders.  Friends, family and even my kids have had to get used to addressing me as Dr Fi, although I am sure that the novelty of this will eventually wear off – for them, if not for me!

Looking back, I was a reluctant PhD student. Much cajoling and a couple of metaphorical kicks were required from the Head of my Research Group, Professor Andy Gale, before I took the plunge and enrolled on a part-time doctorate at The University of Manchester.  My youngest was only 2 at the time, and it seemed folly, bordering on madness to attempt to squeeze serious intellectual endeavour into my already jammed-packed life.  And yet, now that I have finished I am so proud of my achievement that I wanted to share some reflections for those considering whether to embark on their own PhD journey. Continue reading Reflections on completing my PhD

Twitter as Ersatz PhD Supervisor

As a busy mum of two, I knew that embarking on a part-time PhD was going to test me.  I also learned very quickly that I would  have to stand on my own two feet as a researcher if I was going to survive my PhD.  Fortunately starting my PhD coincided with me joining Twitter (the oft maligned social network) and what a relief it was to discover within the Twittersphere a veritable treasure trove of tips and top advice for every stage of the PhD journey.Twitter_FS2

Twitter has been a constant companion throughout my PhD journey ( I am in my final year now).  Yes, Twitter has regularly distracted me and allowed me to indulge in bouts of procrastination but it has given me so much more than this.  Continue reading Twitter as Ersatz PhD Supervisor