The following declaration is from an email I sent to my mother and sister detailing my postgraduate plans.

The idea to build my own master’s degree had been forming all throughout 2014 and 2015, but it wasn’t until this day in early 2016 that I finally declared it in written form.

This particular declaration represents a distinct and confident intention to take all the MOOCs I had studied from the previous two years and retroactively transition them into the curriculum of a self-directed Master of Transdisciplinary Application that I planned to develop it into a comprehensive postgraduate portfolio.

The declaration was formed from this rough whiteboard schematic I made in January 2016

Not only does the declaration outline an early version of my MTA Portfolio, but it also includes some early ideas for my final projects.

I updated my whiteboard schematic in April 2016 to align to what I had outlined in my declaration.

The declaration I wrote and emailed on 10/02/2016…

At the beginning of January I signed up for a No-Pay MBA, which is a Masters of Business Administration education program build entirely out of entirely online and mostly free online resources, If I were to go to university to study an MBA it would set me back at least £15,000. Anyhow, I signed up for the No-Pay MBA program after seeing the required course list and realising that I had already studied half the courses as part of my own studies and most of the remaining courses were already on my to-do list. I also signed up to the No-Pay MBA program because the requirements of the program are forcing me to get my head around the financing and accounting aspects of business, which is a huge headache, but is necessary none-the-less, so I have bee busy cracking on with those courses.

However, more importantly, signing up to the No-pay MBA program has in turn caused me to reconfigure the entire focus of my postgraduate 2.0 studies and sharpen it up, so to speak.

As with the No-Pay MBA program, I have now refined my Postgraduate 2.0 Studies to adhere to a traditional Masters course of study.

I have called it an MTA a.k.a a Masters of Transdisciplinary Application.

Transdisciplinary, because that has been the nature of all my independent studying, i.e. not adhering to one specific discipline, but rather rising above them and mixing and matching areas of knowledge as I see fit. The whole point is to move away from the one-track-career-and-life mentality which is completely ineffectual in the 21st century and will increasingly become so as the century progresses.

Application, because it’s not a passive course of study, the point is to proactively apply this knowledge… in a transdisciplinary fashion.

My MTA has 3 Majors. A major is the focus of your degree, so mine has three degree majors that I have rolled into one (again transdisciplinary) and those Majors are…

Major 1: Global Citizenship

Major 2: Mass Communications

Major 3: Business Administration (No-Pay MBA)

So the full title of my self-constructed course of Postgraduate 2.0 Studies is a Masters of Transdisciplinary Application (MTA) in Global Citizenship, Mass Communications and Business Administration

Global Citizenship is a range of knowledge and competencies that enables you to be a proactive world citizen in the 21st century.

Mass Communications is the extension of what I started in the final year of my BA (Hons), but opposed to just focusing on film, this one focus more broadly on the whole media field.

Business Administration is an expansion of my entrepreneurship studies, with entrepreneurship being the main focus of this Major… employing mass communications as a proactive world citizen in a transdisciplinary style.

The study content of the Majors are drawn from a wide-range of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) I have been studying since September, 2013, I have done 114 with a further selection of 70 or so left to choose from. However, this disperse range of courses I have a arranged into 30 Concentration Clusters (or Modules) of my MTA and they are…

  1. Entrepreneurship (starting and running a business)
  2. Marketing & Branding (generating ongoing relationships and revenue for a succinctly recognisable venture)
  3. Emerging Technologies (forward-thinking in regards to widely used technologies that are just around the corner and offer many opportunities for wide-ranging innovation and business creation)
  4. Logical & Critical Thinking (bullshit detection and how to dispose of it; as well as effective decision-making)
  5. Film Studies 2.0 (Constructive Film Studies)
  6. Emotional & Social Intelligence (recognising and regulating one’s emotions in order to effectively guide one’s thinking and behaviour & reconsigning other people’s emotions and appropriately regulating one’s emotions in order to effectively and fairly guide thinking and behaviour of yourself and other people)
  7. Scientific Research Methods (reality and how to go about revealing its intricate workings)
  8. Finance & Accounting (Finance: the usage of money & Accounting: the tracking of money; they’re actually not the same thing, but they are still a massive headache)
  9. Creative & Flexible Thinking (thinking outside of the box for creative problem solving, innovation, ideation and general life improvement and satisfaction by utilising various different modes of thinking, such as: divergent thinking, lateral thinking, aesthetic thinking, systems thinking and inspirational thinking, etc.)
  10. Global Affairs & International Business (global politics and business)
  11. Progressive Education & Digital Learning (education for producing proactive individuals, not passive factory drones & utilising digital technology to help achieve this)
  12. Biohacking (health, fitness, nutrition, wellbeing for peak-performance a.k.a. do-it-yourself biology, such as fasting and meditation and green tea, etc.)
  13. Cultural Intelligence & Multilingualism (Cultural Intelligence: Emotional and Social Intelligence positively applied across cultures that possess different or contradictory customs & Multilingualism: the ability to speak multiple languages, laying the theoretical foundation for this)
  14. Storytelling & Play (Stories: how humans make sense of the world & Play: how humans interact with the world – this knowledge is applicable to children and adults and in any situation of human life)
  15. Media Studies 2.0 (Constructive Media Studies)
  16. Negotiation & Conflict Resolution (Negotiation: how to achieve mutually agreeable and productive results & Conflict Resolution: more Emotional and Social Intelligence combined with Negotiation skills)
  17. Independent Filmmaking (especially dealing with the legal and financial aspects)
  18. Reading, Writing & Arithmetic (filling in the gaps of my formal education, not that it was much of an education)
  19. Psychology (the study of the mind and behaviour)
  20. Neuroscience (the study of the operations of the human nervous system and brain a.k.a. physically how the body and brain can do what they do)
  21. Transhumanism (transhumanism is humans, technology and intellect combined to better humanity and the planet as a whole; it’s not a new thing, the transhumanism movement started when the first pre-historic human used a rock as a tool)
  22. Political Thought & Intellectual History (political, moral and philosophical history)
  23. Web Science (Web Science is to the world wide web what Film Studies is to cinema)
  24. Ethical & Sustainable Practice (human rights and environmental concerns for fair and logical application)
  25. Leadership & Management (leaders inspire and direct the overall direction, whereas managers handle and implement the nitty-gritty, these are skills that are applicable even outside of a business setting)
  26. Project Management (very dull and tedious, but necessary for bringing a project to a successful conclusion)
  27. Economics (describes the factors that determine the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services, its not just about money)
  28. Constructive Journalism (positive news reporting for cultural improvement, not for making people feel depressed and hopeless about the world)
  29. Digital Arts (art as created in the digital medium)
  30. Big History (World History is a whistle-stop global tour from the dawn of man right up to the present day; whereas Big History supplements this knowledge with data from other disciplines, such as Archeology, Cosmology and Quantum Physics in order to present a view of human and natural history that dates all the way back to the big bang… hence Big History)

As with the holistic nature of a transdisciplinary approach, most of the clusters are applicable within each Major, the point of my self-constructed MTA is to build an aptitude whereby I can apply Global Citizenship, Mass Communications and Business Administration all in accordance with one-another… and beyond one-another.

Pretty much all of the courses that make of the clusters have graded exams and some also have coursework elements, so in-and-off themselves, the courses of the 30 clusters will add up to a portfolio of demonstrable competencies.

However, I am also planning on doing some work placements as part of my MTA, what they are and how many of them there will be is yet to be determined. All I know is that they have to supply experience that satisfies the three Majors, so that could be a work placement for each or a combination. However, Bristol being an international city is very useful for this sort of thing, but for the time being I am more focused on studying enough courses to satisfy the focuses of the 30 Concentration Clusters. However, with 114 done, it is definitely getting there, so I will certainly being doing these work placements (either paid or voluntary) starting this year.

There will be three primary creative application projects to round off each Major and these projects are…

  1. Global Citizenship – PeterO’ – my personal website and the entirety of my online identity and everything that I am doing with it, i.e. proactive education, networking, entrepreneurship, etc.
  2. Mass Communications – The Breaking Cinema Podcast – I have been working on this since this time last year and after trying out various ideas, I am now finishing up a 60,000 word overview document (essentially a business plan) that outlines the direction of the whole thing and outlines the first five feature length episodes that I can start assembling when I finish the writing overview document next week. It’s called Breaking Cinema because it is less concerned with film and more so with media and human psychology as a whole. There are many incentives for doing this, but the primary one is to build an online entity that is independent to PeterO’, but also builds on it in order to really exercise my branding and marketing skills – one of the MOST important competencies to possess, if not THE most important!
  3. Business Administration – Business Plan Portfolio – this is something that I have already initiated in my entrepreneurship studies and the point of doing it is to demonstrate an understanding of what is required in starting up and then running a successful business by thoroughly researching it and detailing its every operation and requirement in a Business Plan Portfolio (writing the overview document for Breaking Cinema has been a practice run for this), which you can then put into action. 

Finally, to round off my MTA as a whole, there will be a final summative project that may be a dissertation paper or a dissertation film, because I have accumulated a lot of footage over the past two years (for my studies and for other things) that I could utilise for a final dissertation film with the ability to shoot more if needs be. I even used some of this footage to edit together and hour and five minute video essay that I used to helped me figure out the focus of Breaking Cinema, so I have a lot of material to play with, so we will just have to wait and see, all I know is there will be a final summative project of some shape or form… all of which will eventually be hosted and detailed on PeterO’ as one giant personal portfolio.

So that’s what I have spent the last month configuring, a Masters created retro-actively and still very much a work-in-progress.

If you want something done right, build it yourself!