Postgraduate

Agricultural and Environmental Science MSc

Jonathan

Student Profile

About me

Name: Jonathan

Course: MSc Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Study mode: Full time

Where I’m from: Guyana

Choosing postgraduate study

"Upon obtaining my undergraduate degree in Agriculture, the first thing I thought about was going further both academically and professionally in this field. This is an ambition that I am currently fulfilling in my current MSc programme and, to me, it mostly represents perpetual and relentless personal development rather than collecting another degree or title.

"As a Guyanese, I believe I will be well-placed to help develop a sustainable agricultural sector in my home country as I am training to become a sustainable resource manager, which is one of the many career paths embodied by this programme."

Choosing Newcastle

"I heard about the prestige and quality of education offered by this university even before I did my long and arduous ‘university selection and application quest’. I was seeking a university that was not only academically excellent but also one that offers a good student experience because it would be a place to call home for quite a while. Newcastle University ticked most of these boxes and most importantly it is ranked highly in the life sciences field, particularly agriculture."

Receiving a Scholarship Award

"My application for a Chevening Scholarship was one of the hardest and testing experiences of my life. The untold amount of written and oral applications readily equals the patience and resilience that were required to be selected for this scholarship, as it is an extremely competitive global award. After a waiting period of one year, I was informed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK of my successful application and this signalled the beginning of what is turning out to be a very fulfilling academic experience so far. With this award I can say I attend a prestigious university that is part of the Russel Group, which means that it is recognized for its academic and research results. I am also grateful to be able to pursue studies in the UK because its diverse demographics allow me to interact and network with people from all over the world."

Studying at Newcastle

"What I most enjoy about my course is the range of modules that are offered. You have the freedom to tailor your curriculum according to your preferences and for me I’ve chosen an agro-ecological concentration. This means that I have a mix of modules that focus on both farm practise and ecology. I also appreciate the unorthodox nature of learning in that many modules are supported by a lot field work and not only traditional classroom lectures.

"As a postgraduate student, a greater level of discipline and responsibility is required, especially in this programme because the heavy work load means that time management is very important. Even though work comes thick and fast, I do find that I am acquiring practical skills in a short period of time compared to my undergraduate studies. Assessments are mostly assignment and are based on real-life scenarios. Hence, much more critical analysis is required and it has improved my software competence as well as problem-solving and decision-making skills."

Postgraduate Community

"I believe Newcastle is truly an international student city because I have met persons from all over the world. The University facilities are excellent and I particularly enjoy the postgraduate common rooms as I am able to get respite from a schedule that is full of lectures and workshops."

Accommodation

"As a student of Newcastle University, you are offered a range of accommodation options. Being meticulous, I spent a long time trying to choose a flat that would suit me. I eventually settled on private accommodation that is in a very convenient location---a mere 20-minute walk from campus, a stone’s throw away from convenience stores and a breezy jog away from the beautiful quayside and Tyne Bridge."

Living in Newcastle

"I would describe Newcastle as a cosy and small metropolis. I like the fact that it’s not too big to overwhelm a foreign traveller but at the same time it has a lot in the way of European-esque architecture, entertainment and friendly locals. It’s a true gem of Northern England."

Career aspirations

"My immediate aspirations after graduation is to enter into the fields of rural development and resource management in agriculture. This means that my path leads to NGOs or government agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture. I have built upon my agricultural background with practical skills in environmental management such as GIS and ecosystem assessments for pollution, nutrient management and habitat integrity."

Remembering Newcastle

"The greatest highlight is the collaboration between my programme cohort and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) for an upcoming field to its headquarters in Rome, Italy. It will be a chance to network with policymakers who hold significant sway in policies and projects for agriculture around the globe and in my country, Guyana."

Advice

"The most important thing to pack for this trip is an open mind and a fervent heart. An open mind is necessary for any potential culture shocks both in and out of class. For times when work seems insurmountable, your passion will be more important than any amount of coffee because you remind yourself why you there in the first place."