The Student Journey – Student as Researcher and Postgraduate Skill Development


  • Jennifer Scally Abertay University
  • Andrea Juanita Cameron Abertay University



Postgraduate study, transitions, student as researcher


This case study provides a reflective account of the experiences of a student researcher recruited to a project exploring the career journeys of sports graduates from 2000-2015. While a final year undergraduate sport student, the lead author was employed to collect and organise the output for a funded employability transitions project. This article considers the methodology and some of the output from the project, but more specifically focuses on personal skill development and the student’s preparedness for the transition to postgraduate study.

The paper provides an overview of what motivated the student to become involved in the project and her early expectations of what being a research assistant would entail. It also charts the evolution of skills across the duration of the project and how these have transferred to her current status as a postgraduate research student. The personal account is contextualised to literature regarding the requirements of postgraduate study and work regarding students as partners, with the reader invited to consider opportunities in their own institutions for this type of development activity, with the aim being to ease transition to this level of study.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Scally, Abertay University

Jennifer B. Scally, an MSc by Research student at Abertay University, graduated with an upper second class Honours degree in sport science from the University in the summer of 2016. Jennifer works part-time for Scottish Disability Sport and was a research assistant for the project examining long-term career destinations of sport graduates.

Andrea Juanita Cameron, Abertay University

Andrea Cameron is the Head of School of Social and Health Sciences and Intellectual Lead for Teaching and Learning at Abertay University. Andrea is both a sport scientist and a registered nurse. Her interest in heightening skills, competency and employability in graduates derive from her clinical nurse teaching experiences. Email:


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Case Studies