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Tshepo

Tshepo

Geotechnical Engineering: MSc.

Choosing Newcastle

After studying a few modules in this subject as an undergraduate, I enjoyed the technical aspects of it and wanted to learn more. The career prospects were also an added bonus. I found the information posted on the University’s website very useful. It is important to know exactly what each module involves within your choice of programme and the career prospects.

Choosing Geotechnical Engineering

From living in mining towns, I had an interest in working in the mining industry, and engineering was always an interest. I chose Newcastle University because of the module choices offered. They cover a range of technical skills as well as developing an environmental awareness.

About the programme

I have enjoyed the block modules and various activities. I had never before done block modules so it was an experience when starting out because I didn’t know what to expect. I am now used to the system and enjoying it. It gives me enough time to consolidate what I have learnt during the off weeks. These provide time to do the assignments for each module without taking time away from another module.

The lecturers try to avoid PowerPoint presentations all day. They arrange site visits, lab work, guest speakers and so on. Our programme is more taught than research but the research aspects of it are great. It’s an opportunity to go beyond what we learn in lectures. The choice of dissertation topics gave us more ground to do research and help us think about where we want to end up as a career after the programme.

Fieldwork

I enjoy how practical it all is. I can see everything we learn outside. Buildings and foundations, bridges, embankments, and so on are all around us. Learning how it all works as an engineer makes it much clearer for me.

Industry engagement

Seeing the equipment we discuss in lectures in real life makes the programme more real. It’s the feeling of knowing that what we are learning is relevant and applicable to industry. We often have guest speakers from industry within each module week. We learn so much from them. We find out how to apply what we learn more effectively in assignments with practical knowledge. Our lecturers make the effort of teaching industry-related skills and knowledge. So we get to enhance our employability skills from all sides.

The professional body, the Institution of Civil Engineers, also comes in to talk to us. This resulted in me learning how to gain membership and how to use the tools they provide to aid my future career path.

Facilities

It is a great University with plentiful resources to help in your learning. The library is very impressive, especially in the number and range of books. I particularly enjoy the fact that students have a say in how the University is run and their individual programmes as well. I haven’t seen that much faith and responsibility given to students anywhere else.

It is a very conducive environment for learning. The University caters for all student needs, academically and socially, from the various libraries to Dominos and Starbucks on the premises.

The MSc Suite has stood out and has helped in a lot of our studies. It’s a great study space and just for us. The library gets very full at times and the constant movement is distracting. Having our own room enables us to carry out our work with like-minded people. We can help each other where everyone in the room benefits from whatever is being said.

Accommodation

I live in off-campus, rented accommodation. I’m fitting in well. We all knew each other before we started at Newcastle University, therefore we are very familiar with each other.

Living in Newcastle

The city life here is not so overwhelming. It provides all the basic city needs, from entertainment (cinema, clubs, restaurants), with fun activities at reasonable prices. Everything is within walking distance.

Hobbies and interests

I enjoy reading, swimming, gym and cooking.

Clubs and societies

I’m benefiting from the African Caribbean Society as it provides for my social needs. I go out on occasion and meet new people outside of my programme of study.

Support

I have seen the Careers Service to discuss my CV and how to improve how it looks, what information I should present and its relevance. It was very helpful as I was starting to apply to a few graduate programmes. Also, they gave me useful links to guide me in my future applications.

Career aspirations

I’m hoping to start a graduate programme after completing my studies. This will give me the time and experience to start my ascent into being a senior engineer or a partner in the company that I will be working for. I would like to work abroad at some point of my life, Dubai or Qatar, working on difficult yet beautiful projects. At the end of it all, I would like to be a lecturer.

Remembering Newcastle

I would like to remember Newcastle University as the place where I started achieving all my dreams. To proudly say that it helped me become the person that I will be in 5+ years. I would like to remember my programme as my passion. I want to learn and know as much as I can so I can go forward in this programme and beyond.