School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Sophie

Sophie

Course: MSc Environmental Consultancy

My Blogs:

Site Visits and Field Trips - Environmental Consultancy MSc

Engaging with Industry - Environmental Consultancy MSc

Research aspects of my degree - Environmental Consultancy MSc

Choosing Newcastle

I wanted to further my studies in Environmental Science, in particular, focusing on aqueous geochemistry and the remediation of contaminated land and water. The MSc Environmental Consultancy here at Newcastle University was perfect for this. I am originally from the North East, so studying at Newcastle enabled me to return to the region. The course at Newcastle combined all of my interests in aqueous geochemistry, contamination and remediation. 

Choosing Environmental Consultancy

I have always had a keen interest in science and in particular Earth Science. Earth and Environmental Sciences combined all the sciences, so I have been able to draw on my skills in chemistry, physics and biology to study the earth systems and its principles and processes.

About the Programme

The block module system used here has been a bit of culture shock compared to semester long modules I had become accustomed to in Undergrad. The teaching is quite fast paced, with a week of classes usually followed by a week of consolidation. This makes the course feel more like a series of short courses and allows you to focus, intensely, on one subject area at a time.

Postgraduate Life

The postgraduate community in the School has been overall, really friendly. There is a lot of cross over in modules across the MSc courses. This has meant I have met more people than just those on my specific course, and been able to meet people from a wide range of backgrounds. 

Field Work

The research activity within the CEG department has really enhanced my learning. Firstly, through the high standard of teaching staff, from lecturers to PhD teaching assistants. Much of the teaching follows themes of the department’s research, which enhances the learning experience. For example, during the Environmental Analytical Geochemistry module, the class visit a mine water remediation site that was set up following research within the department, students are able to sample the waters and analyse data collected.

I have gained confidence in my research abilities, due to the fast pace of the block modules. I have also improved my lab skills and follow up data analysis.  

Industry Engagement

Many of the modules have involved industry talks/guest lectures. We have undertaken site visits to local businesses headquarters such as geotechnical engineers, solid waste management sites and landfill sites. Through these trips we were given an insight to the various sectors, this was a fresh look at things and we gained more than we would have just from a lecture on the same content. The Environment Business module has helped me to understand the sector I am entering and what it takes to be an Environmental Consultant. The course also provides skills and experience that will be beneficial in the workplace, such as undertaking desk studies, using specific software packages and above all working in a fast paced environment. 

Facilities

The high standard of facilities benefits the learning environment, the department is full of bright minded staff who create an environment where students can really grow and develop. The department has good balance between academic and industry focus, which opens doors for students looking in either direction for their later careers.

Accommodation

I live in a privately rented 2 bedroom flat.  It is affordable and in a nice area of Newcastle (West Jesmond) with amazing transport links (5 minute walk to bus or metro stop).

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle University is a brilliant place to study. The city is vibrant and buzzing with activity. There is something for everyone, that makes it an exciting place to live. The university and in particular the School are welcoming and supportive; and the level of teaching is to a high standard. 

Hobbies and Interests

My hobbies and interests include drawing and painting when I have the spare time. Cooking and exploring new cuisines is another keen interest of mine, I am happiest when I am in the kitchen. I also love to travel and I am keen to see as much of the world as I possibly can. 

Clubs and Societies

I am a member of YogaSoc –  a great stress relief from the busy timetable and commitments of an MSc. I'm also a member of CEGSoc – great way to keep up to date with what’s going on in the department as a whole.

Support

Once I received my offer and accepted my place, I received support from the Student Disability services. I have Dyspraxia and the Student Services have been great in their advice, help and processing of my application for a Disabled Students Allowance.

I also won a £5000 Women in Engineering and Science Scholarship.  I applied for this once I had received my offer to study at Newcastle. This has contributed to my tuition fees, and has greatly relieved the financial burden of studying to Masters level.

Career Aspirations

I am currently applying for jobs within the Environmental Consultancy sector, in particular in management and remediation of mine water. I hope to return to undertake a PhD one day in this area of study. 

Remembering Newcastle

I remember Newcastle University as the place that allowed me to grow as a person and achieve my goals.