My Master of Transdisciplinary Application – or MTA Portfolio – is a self-declared postgraduate course of study purpose-built for the demands of the 21st-century.

It is made up of 699 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and over 310 diplomas.

All its concentrations are capstoned in a range of creative projects and professional practices.

This portfolio is a launchpad for my professional expertise in personal development and creative practice.

I Built My Own Education is a specialised platform that I developed within my MTA Portfolio… that also showcases my MTA Portfolio.

One of the purposes of this website is to act as one big interactive degree certificate through which the full breadth of my MTA Portfolio can be explored.


It’s a master’s degree

Because I already have a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing with Film and Screen Studies.

And because a master’s is the Goldilocks degree.

Not too hot and not too cold.

I made it transdisciplinary

Because the complex and uncertain world we now live in demands that you possess a broad intellect with a versatile professional skillset.

Historically, you would master a specific discipline, you would secure a career based within that discipline and it would be pretty safe sailing until you retired.

Today, that linear and clearly laid out approach is no longer going to cut it.

Also, because I have always had a big picture mind and I wanted my master’s to reflect that.

The endgame is application

Because I want to do something constructive with all this knowledge, for myself and for the world at large.

I guess you could say the first constructive application of my master’s is it’s very existence, I made a master’s degree fit for the 21st-century. 

Also, because including the word application added an A on the end of the abbreviation… MTA

Thereby allowing me to one-up the more commonly known and vastly overpriced sainthood that is the MBA – Master’s of Business Administration.

An MTA is much better.

My MTA Portfolio is not about being a master of all, it’s about being a master of flexibility

Building this vast tapestry was the only way I could get my head around surviving the increasingly complex world we humans are creating for ourselves

Societal roles, career paths and life designs are no longer as clear-cut and specifically obtained as they once were in the 20th-century.

In the 21st -century, staying relevant to the demands of our fast-developing, economically driven and environmentally damaged world, while maintaining your psychological wellbeing and a fair standard of living, demands a formidable and highly adaptable approach.

You need an intellectual resolve that is self-autonomous, situationally aware, emotionally resilient, critically minded, information literate, highly enterprising, creatively versatile and always learning.

I built my MTA Portfolio to provide me with just that strategic improvisation.


My MTA is essentially different master’s degree curriculums combined into one super-curriculum.

But my intention was never to master each of my MTA’s disciplines.

My approach was always to get enough of a footing in each discipline so that I can confidently jump in and out and between them whenever their relevant area of knowledge is required.

Mastering this flexible thinking approach then enables you to move beyond each discipline and synthesize their areas of knowledge into new specialisms.

That’s what it means to be a transdisciplinarian.

You are not afraid to be presented with a problem you have not encountered before and you absolutely thrive on getting creative with all manner of information and exploration in order to produce a solution.

Even if it means stepping outside of your safe and secure box and being confronted with that terrifying big picture reality of what it means to be a human being, in our age of (mis)information, on our increasingly poisoned planet, in our vast and expanding universe… that may even be one of an infinite expanse of other universes.

Never be afraid to think bigger, it’s a great mental workout for thinking flexibly.

This monstrosity all started with two mammoth failures…

My final year of graduate study was failure No. 1

Schooling was something I positively loathed while growing up.

I didn’t learn very well or very much when I was put through the meat grinding techniques of the formal education system.

I struggled so badly that I was officially labelled dyslexic by my high and mighty schoolmasters, even though I was never assessed for dyslexia… and then later on discovered I was not dyslexic, when I was assessed for it at university.

University changed everything, because it was bloody hard work! Most of the time, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

Day-after-day, grind-after-grind, for four very long years, I slowly figured out a great many things and honed my intellect into something formidable.

My final year was the big one, that was when I made myself an impossible promise… I was going to graduate with a First-Class degree.

And I did.


My final year was made up of three crucial final projects and I applied everything I had learned into a great mix of productive creativity and flat-out burnout.

I wanted to get my money’s worth from university, so that final year was all or nothing, I was going for broke.

Seven months later, when I collapsed on the other side of the finish line, not only had I graduated with a First-Class degree, but I had graduated with a First-Class degree that was at the top of my year!

My final year had been a resounding success and all three of my final projects had been awarded Firsts.

My dissertation was the big winner, it got an 85, which had never before been achieved on my course. It also won a Research Excellence Award.

Not bad for a so-called dyslexic who could barely read until he was thirteen-going-on-fourteen and spent the first summer at university teaching himself proper English grammar.

Suddenly, my future was very looking bright.

It seemed like limitless possibilities had opened up before me.

Then I started showing my First-Class degree to people… and it was a massive fail.

When you graduate, all you get is a degree certificate with your grade on it and that, in and of itself, is not very persuasive to the job recruiters of the 21st-century.

They want action, they want experience and they want an enthralling story as to why you are the best candidate they can hire.

All I had was a bland piece of paper saying that I had spent of lot of time studying at university, just like so many other students and potential candidates.

Imagine if my piece of paper had told the story of the pain and sweat and stumbles and innovations and triumphs that went into the full-breadth of my university studies (a bit like this website, hint, hint).

I might have find myself getting a very different response from recruiters.

My post-university job search was also not helped by the fact that, once again, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

Crafting my career post-university was something I had largely avoided.

During my final year it had been put on the shelf because, outside of my three big final year projects, I just didn’t have any time for it. Prior to that, I had avoided my professional development because the thought of my post-university existence scared me shitless!

If my time at university was about figuring out how to become educated, after graduating it was about figuring out how to survive in the world.

Sometimes you’ll create a doorway when you don’t even need one…

My master’s crowdfunding campaing was failure No. 2

To be written…

Fucking up is the best way of figuring out…

When I’m broken I get building

To be written…

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