Postgraduate

Archaeology MA

Student Profile

About me

Name: Cameron
Course: Archaeology MA
Study mode: Full time
Where I’m from: UK

Choosing Newcastle

"I chose to study at Newcastle University for my postgraduate degree for several reasons. The primary reason for choosing Newcastle is the fantastic archaeology department that is based here. The staff are friendly and approachable, as well as being extremely knowledgeable in their subject areas. Consequently, I have developed several fantastic relationships with the members of staff which have helped me to find opportunities to further my own knowledge and research both inside of the University and externally. One example of this is that my lecturers helped me find a work placement at the Great North Museum, involving artefact handling with children.

"Furthermore, a second reason for why I chose to study at Newcastle was the accessibility to higher education funding in the form of the 2015 Postgraduate Opportunities Scholarship. Without this scholarship my ability to do a postgraduate course would have been severely limited or completely impossible at all."

Studying at Newcastle

"What I enjoy most about my course is the distinct continuation of content from my undergraduate degree to a far more advanced level. I have come to appreciate the value of seminars far more over the past few weeks than I ever did in my undergraduate degree. The course has also allowed me to explore how archaeological theory has swayed the works of many previous scholars in my particular research area, and as a result my own research is becoming far more advanced and competent.

"The course at Newcastle University has also allowed me to become involved in national conferences and has allowed me to become known within the archaeological community. One such example is the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Research Student Symposium, which has been organised by the department, and I was directed towards by a PhD student in my department at one of the drinks events arranged by the School.

"I would, without a doubt, recommend my course to any of my friends.

"In terms of the workload change from my undergraduate degree, I find that the best way to describe the change is by making a comparison with the amount of work that is required for your dissertation as an undergraduate in your final semester but it lasts for the entire year. With that in mind, I would however state that the workload is enjoyable and has really bolstered my archaeological knowledge.

"The class-sizes are about 20 people, smaller than my undergraduate degree at Newcastle which has made for excellent discussion within seminars. I am also finding that the smaller the class, the more engaging the seminars have become, as people clearly want to be here at postgraduate level and as such everybody gets more from the class. As a result there is more discussion, more to be learnt and classes are far more rewarding.

"The opportunities that have been made available to me by the department include various fieldwork sessions in Northumberland that have allowed me to develop skills in geophysical prospection techniques which involve the use of expensive and generally inaccessible equipment, such as laser scanners and magnetometers, to a student. As a result of this, I now feel that I am better equipped as an archaeologist to go to a commercial unit and be better qualified and suitable for a job."

Postgraduate community

"The postgraduate presence at Newcastle, especially in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, is one that is highly prevalent and noticeable in the form of the Postgraduate Forum, which is run by students and arranges social events, guest speakers, and skill sessions within the department. The community is very welcoming and several PhD students have offered to involve me in their research as well as offering to help with my own.

"My particular postgraduate degree cohort is very active in discussing seminar readings together and discussing the nature of archaeology as a whole. Furthermore this discussion is bolstered by the presence of the Postgraduate Forum, in which there are social events which can lead to opportunities within the University and externally, as well as plenty of entertaining and thought provoking external lectures on topics that I would not usually have access to, for example a discussion about Egyptology.

"I have not made much use of the common room available to me. I have, however, made use of the postgraduate cluster within the Armstrong Building, which has provided me with a well-lit and comfortable room in which to pursue my research."

Funding my studies

"I have funded my postgraduate studies through obtaining a Postgraduate Opportunities Scholarship from Newcastle University. This scholarship has covered my tuition fees and has paid for my accommodation this year. In terms of general living and socialising, I am using money that I have saved over the past three years by being efficient with my money in preparation for doing a Masters."

Career aspirations

"My primary aspiration after I graduate will be to continue my research into British Prehistory by undertaking a PhD. I would also like to go into research assistance in the next few years.

"Newcastle University is helping me achieve this by providing me with information about PhD funding within the North East of England and Ireland, as well as helping me formulate a thesis proposal and taking me through it step by step. This is mostly supported by the department through one to one sessions with my lecturers."

Accommodation

"I currently reside in the Barker House accommodation provided by the University. There are undergraduates in this accommodation, but my floor in particular is postgraduate only. The accommodation is modern and well equipped, as well as being in Shieldfield, a nice and quiet area, something that was a key factor when I was choosing a location to live in.

"Sorting out my accommodation was fairly simple; I received an email from the postgraduate admissions team about it and the online application process. It required a few phone calls to sort out some minor details, but on the whole it was simple, easy and fast."

Living in Newcastle

"I have lived in Newcastle for over three years now and I still find that I am in love with the city. There is always something new to do in the city centre and the accessibility to the countryside via the Metro system makes life very pleasurable. I use it to go to Tynemouth quite often, including for skill sessions with my department.

"The night life in the city centre is always vibrant and I have never felt unsafe when walking around the city. The cinema in The Gate is also one of my favourite haunts in the city, especially on a Tuesday where the prices are extra cheap.

"Every friend that has been to visit me from different parts of the country has expressed how much they love the friendly and vibrant nature of Newcastle and as a result I would recommend it to any of my friends."

Remembering Newcastle

"Up until now, my highlight of my postgraduate experience is finally realising how much I still have to learn in my subject area but also that I have a deeper rooted love for archaeology that I previously thought. This has been helped by meeting many new people who have made the experience so far very enjoyable."