November saw the latest cohort of the MSc Place Management and Leadership get their final results, with all students gaining a Merit or a Distinction! This really is an amazing achievement as the course is challenging and all the students study the course as well as working full-time, in very demanding roles. Congratulations Emily Cotterill, Chris Gregory, Elizabeth Murphy, Martine Noel, Martin Ousley, Marie Saddoo and Tarun Sharma. We asked them what they felt they had learnt from the course and how it had changed them.

All the students agreed that the course vastly increased their understanding of the complexities of place management, the enormous breadth of the work it covers, and what a major impact it has upon society. 

In terms of professional benefits, the students said they were now much better equipped to do their jobs. The theory that they covered helped them approach problems in their work in a more scientific and professional manner. All the students mentioned that they felt much more confident being able to draw from established theory and evidence in their decision-making, not just intuition and their own experience. For those students that had only been exposed to one form of place management, the course broadened their horizons and gave them many ideas that they could adapt from other approaches. They also mentioned new technical skills they had learnt, for instance in the production of infographics and podcasts as well as social media and marketing techniques for place marketing and branding.

These students obviously really liked learning “The residential aspects of the course were very enjoyable, Manchester Metropolitan, as a university, was a pleasure to attend. The content although challenging was delivered with a high level of excellence by the teaching staff who were also very down to earth, supportive and personable.”

There is also a form of psychological comfort to be drawn from the course. As one student commented, “I think I'm less cynical than I was before about the failures of certain organisations as I have a greater understanding of the complexities involved but, by the same token, I feel much better equipped to challenge poor practice or lack of professionalism due to that greater understanding”.

The personal benefits will of course vary between students, but this comment sums up the confidence that studying to MSc level can instil.

“I think that the course has given me the confidence to challenge ideas that I disagree with more freely – not in an aggressive way of course! I can struggle with self-confidence issues when it comes to speaking out and knowing that I have been able to hold my own on the subject to a certain academic standard does help me feel that I have permission to engage in the public conversation.”

As for their plans for the future, most mentioned taking on more strategic projects, and one of the cohort is even going on to do a PhD! All the students are looking forward to applying their learning and being able to use the course to make better places. Once again congratulations to Emily Cotterill, Chris Gregory, Elizabeth Murphy, Martine Noel, Martin Ousley, Marie Saddoo and Tarun Sharma, you are pioneering place leaders and fantastic role models for the place management sector.