Having previously visited Newcastle on a summer course at A-level I found the Geomatics suited my interests in geography, mathematics and IT. Having done work experience with two land surveying companies, I found that both managers were graduates of the Surveying and Mapping Science course at Newcastle University, as well as many of their employees.
Living in Newcastle
I find that Newcastle is on one hand an exciting place with lots going on, but also not so big that you could not get out to the countryside and the beach. Most student residential areas are within a short walk of the city centre and there are plenty of green spaces to go walking and jogging, like Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park. When you do need to take transport there is always the bus and Metro. If you want to go further afield then Edinburgh, York and even London are just a short train journey away.
Studying at Newcastle
Having fewer than 40 people on my course has meant that I have got to know my classmates very well. The induction trip and field course were also a great opportunity to get to know everyone. As the group of teaching staff is also small it is nice that lecturers know everyone on a first name basis. A lot of time is spent doing practicals and there can be some very challenging coursework assignments, however I have found the lecturers are always happy to give extra help if you ask for it. As the school has a lot of the latest equipment and software it is also good to know you are using the very best in the industry.
Despite being known for its outlandish night life, Newcastle does have a lot to offer those who prefer a nice quiet drink in pleasant surroundings. As well as a great number of clubs catering to all different music tastes, there are some pleasant pubs that serve local beer in some very picturesque locations, such as The Bridge Hotel that looks over the Quayside. The Tyneside Cinema is also a favourite of mine, showing a great selection of independent and international films in a fantastic building.
In my first year I lived in Richardson Road, which despite what initially looks a little cold and unwelcoming, comes to life when filled with students, each decorating their communal areas and bringing the place alive. It is especially nice in summer, when everyone is outside playing and lounging about on the grass. Richardson Road is in a fantastic location for going into town and of course lectures. In second and third year I lived in Jesmond, which has a great student atmosphere and plenty of bars along Osborne Road, although I didn't go to these that often. It was only a 30 minute walk, a 15 minute bike ride or a short Metro ride from town. Jesmond Dene is only a short walk away, ideal for a morning jog or for soaking up the sun on a summer afternoon. I now live in Heaton, which is a much more laid back that Jesmond with more spacious houses and lower rents. There are plenty of little shops and cafes to visit and Heaton Park is a great place to go and relax.
Clubs and societies are a fantastic way of getting to know people from other degree courses and I have made many friends this way. I have been an active member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, one which I joined in my first year as it was something I had never heard of before and fancied something new. I have also been involved in various bands and the university choir. I have also been very involved in the orienteering club, having been to the BUSA Championships three consecutive years and as president taken a very active role in running the club. In my final year I was a faculty student ambassador, helping promote the University and taking part in activities that encourage school children to study science and engineering.
Best things about
University is a great place to have a go at things you never thought of doing, a chance to really challenge yourself and if it's the first time you've been away from home it is a great time to really gain independence. I find Newcastle such a great location as there are not many places where you can go hiking in the mountains and sunbathing at the beach within such a short time. There is also such a great choice of things to do around the city too.
I have recently graduated and am staying on at Newcastle University to study for a PhD in Geomatics. I would encourage many students to consider continuing to study after their degree.
I have secured funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and from Fugro, an international survey and geoscience company.
I have chosen to do a research degree as I wish to both continue studying an specific area that was of great interest to me, but to also increase my employability and the chance of getting a better job.