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Peter Cook

Maritime Operations and Management MSc

Peter is studying the MSc in Maritime Operations and Management. This course has allowed him to re-train and achieve his current career goals.

Your motivations, drivers and challenges

What was your main motivation to undertake postgraduate study?

I’ve never been to university. I worked for 24 years as a Royal Marine Officer and then for around 10 years in the financial, security and shipping industries. At a convenient career break, I decided to re-train and applied for the MSc in Maritime Operations and Management.

What were the factors that influenced your decision making when considering postgraduate study?

I‘ve never been to University although during my career in the Royal Marines I was given the opportunity to do some academic study, which I enjoyed. I was also aware that if I wanted to become a consultant for the United Nations (UN), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and European Union (EU) I needed a postgraduate qualification.

What were, if any, the main challenges that affected your decision about postgraduate study? How did you overcome them?

The cost of the postgraduate course was a factor, but I believed that it was an investment in my future.  As I am also running a business, I was concerned about the time commitment, but I think I have managed that quite effectively.

Why did you choose City?  What made you decide City was the right university for you?

I had a look at all the courses available on the market that were suitable to support my career goals. I considered several options such as residential courses abroad or distance learning, but I wanted to go to lectures and experience attending the university with fellow students. I then looked carefully at this master’s at City and it seemed the perfect fit for what I wanted academically and as I live in London, it was also extremely convenient.

Your student experience

What has been your student experience at City so far?

Discovering that I was the oldest person on my course (I was 55 when I started) was no real surprise. I was however surprised by the diversity on the cohort. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with my international classmates. I’ve very much enjoyed the lectures and coursework, in class and separately.

How studying a postgraduate degree has helped you develop personally and professionally?

The course have given me a much better understanding of the maritime industry and its component parts. It's great to understand the big picture.

What skills and knowledge do you think the course has helped you develop?

I think my writing skills have improved. I'm also improving my ability to study specific subjects and take part in presentation groups.

What opportunities and experiences City has offered you during your course?

We've been on a number of visits including London Gateway Port, which has been fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable.

What advice would you give to people thinking about postgraduate study? What would you have liked to know then that you know now?

I think studying at postgraduate level is an enriching and enjoyable experience that I would recommend to anybody considering it. I didn't expect the experience to be as much fun as it's been.

Your future

What are your career plans once you have completed your postgraduate degree?

I’m moving to Australia and I’ve been asked to formulate courses for the Australian Centre for Oceanic Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Woolongong. I am also now a consultant for the UN, working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Maritime Crime Programme and managing a specific project. I'm the Maritime Security Correspondent for a major maritime media platform and I provide other international consultancy.

How do you think City has equipped you for the next stage in your career journey?

It has provided me with an excellent background and broad knowledge. I've undergone the academic rigour of a postgraduate qualification and I've met some great people, fellow students and lecturers alike.