I looked into the areas that were most important to me as an Undergraduate; degree reputation, employment statistics and a good range of course and University social events. The Guardian and Times newspapers ranked Newcastle’s Chemical Engineering department 2nd and 4th in the country, and being a local resident I had experienced ‘a night on the Toon’ before which is unrivalled in the UK.
Course so far
I’m not going to lie to the future students, the course is tough at times; however, Newcastle have managed to strike a good balance between the work load and social activities helping you to relax and blow off steam. The staff are all very friendly and always make themselves available if you require help, guidance or just a chat.
Before selecting Newcastle, I was aware of the Chemical Engineering Department's links with Industry for year-long Industrial Placements and Summer Schemes. It was not until I started the application process for these schemes that I realised how highly regarded the work carried out by Newcastle Undergraduates/Graduates is. This has been built up over years of hard work by lecturers and students of the past providing excellent opportunities for future students.
The department has recently invested in new interactive lecturing facilities that help to incorporate the students into the lecture structure. This significantly helped my concentration span during some of the longer lectures. They have also recently revamped a number of the laboratory facilities, computing clusters and the design suite to ensure that high standards are maintained.
Field trips projects
I took part in a year-long Industrial Placement in the Oil & Gas industry obtained through the University. I would definitely recommend an Industrial Placement Scheme as it enables the application of knowledge picked up at University and presents excellent learning opportunities for future engineers, plus the money is good. Newcastle is now one of only two Universities in the UK to have an accredited 4-year degree including an industrial placement scheme, adding to the already diverse range of degree options available.
The city of Newcastle has numerous bars, restaurants and shops catering for all different kinds of students, not to mention an ‘excellent’ football team. The Geordies are very friendly, even after Newcastle United lose; I think we have just got used to it now. There are excellent transport links in the form of trains, buses and designated cycle lanes for students commuting in from surrounding areas. Most of the students leaving Newcastle will all have picked up a bit of the local dialect, or at least understand what 'we’re on aboot' when they finish their degrees with many starting careers in the area.
There are many activities available, University societies and local clubs that students can join. I personally spend my time playing football and badminton at the University sports centre and for clubs outside the University. The University has an excellent range of sports and gym facilities which is heavily subsidised for students.