Course: Computer Science MSc
After receiving such excellent support and encouragement throughout my previous three years of undergraduate study, it was a no-brainer to continue to remain in such a warm and welcoming environment. I wanted to further my knowledge in a different area of study, like Computer Science. The course itself looked dynamic and piqued my interest, but above all I was confident that I would experience the same calibre of teaching from lecturers who were passionate about teaching their subject.
Studying at Newcastle
I definitely enjoy the diversity of topics. With my course being a conversion course there can be the tendency to feel like you are only going over the basics. However, after experiencing the volume of interesting content and encouragement of developing practical skills, I realised this wasn’t the case.
This course is perfectly suited to anyone with an interest in computing, human interaction with technology, or who is looking for a greater variety of career prospects after finishing their undergraduate degree.
Workload, as expected, was a lot higher than that of my undergraduate. My contact hours doubled from 10 hours a week to 20. This didn’t intimidate me, however, as I felt I was learning a great deal within a short space of time. I soon got to the stage where I could write some of my programs successfully. This proved to be very rewarding when demonstrating to others what they could do.
Something that was nicely carried over from my undergraduate was class size. Although I am now in a much larger class of students, we are still being taught in seminar rooms. This makes lectures feel a lot more intimate and personal, unlike the large lecture theatres where there are lots of other students.
I regularly work with other postgraduate students within my group assignment. There is a real sense of community within my course, as there are not very many of us so we got to know each other quickly. It is nice having a private postgraduate study space in the library. This has proven invaluable when cracking down with coding.
Funding my studies
I received regular emails that kept me in the loop as to what scholarships were available for my course from March. This meant I had enough time to size up my options for the year ahead. These proved to be very helpful as they gave clear information as to what I would be eligible for. They gave clear deadlines as to when applications would close, with further contact details if I was stuck at any point in the process.
I was successful in being awarded one of the 'Women into Postgraduate and Engineering Scholarships' which contributed £10,000 towards my degree and living costs. I chose to pay for my degree up front and spend the remainder on my rent and living costs. I also had a summer job to make up any extra living expenses that the scholarship might not have covered.
I am currently looking into doing a PhD in my undergraduate degree of Philosophy, with an angle towards human interaction with technology. I hope to stay within academia. Newcastle University have facilitated both my degrees extremely well and the teaching staff have provided me with a great deal of support in my studies and career aspirations.
I am currently renting a flat through a private letting agency in Heaton with my boyfriend. I sorted my house out successfully last April with no major problems. The rent is extremely cheap at £65/per week and bills aren’t too much either. There are supermarkets, cafes and restaurants less than a five minute walk away. As I am now living slightly further out of the city this does mean that I cycle into campus rather than walk, but there are always facilities to ensure that my bike is safely locked up during my full day of lectures.
There are always houses on the market, so there’s never an issue of finding a reasonably priced house close to campus in Newcastle.
Living in Newcastle
There seems to be a constant friendly vibe in the city, a vibe which I haven’t experienced anywhere else. The fact that the whole city is on your doorstep is also an added bonus. Campus is so close to town that you can nip in and out whenever you feel like it. There are excellent transport links to places that are just that little bit too far to walk.
It’s a city unlike any other and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It always seems to have something going on and its prices are unbeatable when it comes to rent and maintenance.
I love being back studying at Newcastle University and in a city I thoroughly enjoy being in. Experiencing a whole different side to the University with new common rooms, facilities, teaching staff and activities is extremely enjoyable.