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Gary Watson is CEO of Noge Watson & Partners and lives and works in South Africa and Nigeria. A keen runner, he is married with three children and somehow manages to find time to study an online psychology MSc with the University of Liverpool.

What attracted you to studying online with the University of Liverpool for this degree?

My lifestyle requires lots of travel so only online study could work for me.

What have been the highlights and challenges so far?

My biggest challenge is time. Balancing family, work and study takes considerable discipline. Luckily, the programme is structured. It’s interactive and challenging but deadline-driven. I need deadlines in my life otherwise nothing gets done.

How are you expanding your international network by studying online for your MSc?

I have met with and learnt from many different people from all over the world. It's very interesting especially since I would like to focus on social psychology.

How do you fit online study into your life? How does it work out in practice?

I try to set aside a specific time each day – usually from 8pm to 10pm for reading and participating in class. One needs to try set aside specific time or it is easy to fall behind. Another aspect of the online method is the ability to study while on the move. I travel a lot for business, so airports and aeroplanes are ideal study opportunities.

What are your top tips for others?

Keep focused and try read as widely about the topics as you can. This is about really understanding the material on multiple levels.

How relevant this MSc programme is for your work?

I run a corporate training business. Understanding people, where they come from and how they will react to my training message is particularly important. The MSc programme exposes me to a wide range of knowledge that is directly applicable in my day-to-day business.

What will you research for your dissertation?

I have several ideas linked to organisational effectiveness. I hope my dissertation will not only contribute to the body of knowledge, but also be of use to my clients.

What are your hopes and expectations upon graduating?

I hope to have a better understanding of people - people I work with and interact with, including my family and friends.

I would recommend the University of Liverpool because...

The course structure is brilliant. The material is challenging. It fits into a busy lifestyle. It is a good quality product.

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