Hull Online: A Virtual Open Evening
Hear from two current students and MSc Artificial Intelligence Programme Director, Rameez Kureshi as they talk all things Hull. They offer advice about being a part-time student and getting the most out of your course.
[MUSIC PLAYING] - Online courses have a number of advantages. So, you can organize time more effectively. You have more flexibility. So that's a very big plus. Another important, let's say, advantage, is that you'll get to form parts of a multicultural, and let's say, team, a large multicultural team, with different backgrounds and industries. For example, in my case, I come from the Maltese public sector.
With me, there are students from the oil and gas. There are other students from the engineering and manufacturing industries, others from software development. So you get to get involved and engaged with a large, different, and dynamic audience. You know what I mean? So that's a very, very big important aspect and a plus as well.
And another important aspect as well, what I like very much at Hull, is the support that I normally receive from the students advisors team, the skills team, and even the tutors. They're very helpful. So they always help you out when you have problems. And they're always accessible. So that's an important thing, I believe.
So actually, the webinars are fixed. But normally, forum activities, and you can post whenever you want on them. So we find that interaction very well. We also have set up a WhatsApp group between us. So we get to interact and very often, to be honest. And it works quite well. It works quite well, and effective.
- I always tell my students in my own classes, there's always someone in class smarter than you or better than you at something. And find that person. And do what they're doing. And I think that's really helped me because I've always been someone who kind of wrote in isolation, creatively. And now to be writing within a group of 15, 20, 25 people who all are trying to achieve a similar goal, having them read my work critically, and being willing to read their work critically, that's a skill that you only get from these kinds of environments.
You can't really get that without great effort on your own part on the outside. So take advantage of that. And most importantly, be kind. They want to work with you. And you want to work with them. And so that last skill, I will say, is kindness.
- Yes, because this program can be-- it encourages people to be critical against each other's work. Could you tell us a bit about that, where you're critiquing each other's work?
- Creative writing is a scary thing sometimes because you know that what you're reading is, in many cases, biographical or autobiographical. And because of that, you are hesitant to want to venture opinions about something that you feel could actually hurt someone else's feelings. You have to look past that. You have to be willing to look past that and just read the writing for what it says.
And if there's one thing I think this program has really helped me with, it's understanding that you're not critiquing the writer. You're critiquing the writing. And ultimately, that is really what you are commenting on, is the writing. Will people's feelings sometimes be hurt? Absolutely, but that's all part of grad school. I mean, when I did grad school the first time, we regularly hurt each other's feelings. That was part of-- it's part of being a student in an advanced program.
Saying that, I do think that specifically in the creative writing program, a willingness to be able to venture an opinion about something that scares you, being willing to write something that might get someone a little bit hot under the collar, that's OK. That's part of what being a writer is all about. Your editors are not going to be particularly nice.
And I think I've learned very much that it's not that people are being mean. It's that they're just not reading what you think you wrote. And that's important. You have to write what they need to hear, not what you think you're writing. And that's something that you only learn through environments like this.
- Our MSc in Artificial Intelligence program is aimed at anyone who wants to re-skill into a career in AI, or wants to expand their knowledge in AI further. The applicant for this course might be working in any domain, or maybe just passed out from an undergraduate degree. So what we did, the program has the module and elements to cover their needs and industry requirement. The program includes specialized intensive Python programming for AI application development.
And there are opportunities to do the group work, as well as individual projects, which teach students methodical methodology for research, planning, writing, presenting, and doing some research with their topic of interest. A student taking this course will learn the basics of machine learning and deep learning from basic to advanced, including the most important algorithms, data structures, and the coding techniques, especially in Python. Also, they will learn how to make the plan for designing and solving the real life problems with the help of AI, and how to evaluate the performance of AI system objectively and quantitatively. So that is the course.
Before designing this course, we had the chat with the industry expert, the AI industry expert. And we had the exchange of documentations, that what they are looking for are the-- what is the AI market around the world, as well as in the UK? So based on that statistical analysis, based on their interviews and the talks I've designed-- me and my team designed the course, which is the industry-oriented. So what is the industry looking for? You put everything in that MSc in Artificial Intelligence.
- Try to use time effectively. For example, if you commute on trains or use other means of transport, or if you travel a lot, always bring somebody to read with you so you don't waste time because time is precious. Another thing which is related to time management is procrastination. Don't procrastinate.
Don't leave things to the last minute to be done because you will end up with having problems. So always try to be proactive. Try to do the majority of the work at the beginning of the cycle. And this would be very fruitful in the long run.
- Thank you for that. And when you first started the course, with your time management, do you see a big difference now to when you first started? Are you now doing things differently to when you first started the program, regarding time management?
- Yes, but let's say it-- so when I enrolled in the course in May 2021, my personal development was still developing. So I was in a phase where I had to dedicate maybe 30 hours a week, or 25 to 30 hours a week. But as time progressed, I began to get used to certain knowledge and certain ways of doing things. So it's like, my own culture.
And as I progressed throughout the course, I started being more effective and more efficient in my learning, and in acquiring knowledge. And I started to dedicate less time. So at the first, I had to dedicate much more time. And as time progressed, I started to dedicate less and less. Of course, it depends on the subjects because some subjects require more work than others. But as you get into a routine, that will help you out, to perform more effectively.
- Do you have the student advisor that is there for you until you graduate to help you with anything non-academic?
- If you still feel that you need more advice, our team is there. So don't be shy. You can contact after this as well. And also, if you already-- when I talked with the other student who are studying online, with Hull online, they say they never feel left alone. Always, they have a support.
Always, whatever they need, it is there. They are feeling like they are in the classroom when they are doing study. So it's like a forum activity, webinars. Modulators are there. Course leaders are there. So don't worry about it. Just focus on your study. Focus on your career. That's my best advice.