Postgraduate

Ecological Consultancy MSc

Beth

Student Profile

About me

Name: Beth
Course: Ecological Consultancy MSc
Study mode: Full time
Where I’m from: UK

Choosing Newcastle

"The Ecological Consultancy course is only provided by a couple of institutions in the UK, and Newcastle University offered the best combination of modules for the specific skills I require, including Ecological surveying, writing reports, and working with clients, for future employment and additionally boasts excellent employment rates in comparison to other universities offering similar courses.

"We also have the ability to do a project for a client as our dissertation and write a report for them, unlike other similar courses."

Studying at Newcastle

"The induction to my course was warm and friendly, during this I was introduced to my personal tutor, Professor Mark Whittingham (who has already been a great advisor for my dissertation), department head and lecturers. In addition to this a local employer, E3 Ecology, performed an introductory talk and offered great opportunities for work experience.

"Many of my modules are very hands-on, involving weekly fieldtrips to nature reserves, such as the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve, and the University farm for me to practise my skills, such as bird surveying techniques. My statistics module, which I was actually dreading, was run really well and I have made better progress than I have ever done before. During the computer workshops we were given plenty of advice and time to practise the computer software, the lecturer was considerate and passionate about teaching us.

"In comparison to my previous studies the workload has increased, but only because my course is structured very differently. Instead of modules that last all year, this course runs short intensive modules that last for a month, so I tend to be incredibly busy for short periods of time. After that we are given time to complete assignments and extra reading before the next modules begin. I prefer learning this way, as you get a more constant assessment throughout instead of big exams at the end."

Postgraduate community

"The postgraduate computer rooms, both in my department and the University library, are very well equipped. They offer exclusive access to postgraduates meaning there are often spaces available at computers and chances to talk about projects and lecture material in a quiet environment. It’s also nice to be able to talk to my cohort about similar things and what they’re doing as part of the course whilst using these resources."

Funding my studies

"I received a Postgraduate Opportunity Scholarship from the University. Without this I wouldn’t have been able to do an MSc, and it has proved to be an excellent chance to improve my career prospects and research skills. The application process was also relatively easy, which was good.

"I was in constant contact with the student financial support team about my scholarship; they provided assistance all the way through – from the initial application to the first payment.

"In addition to receiving the scholarship I also funded my studies by working part time at a call centre. This experience proved to be incredibly important for increasing my communication, office based and multitasking skills. It has proven difficult to do both, so I had to stop working in order to focus on my studies."

Career aspirations

"I’m hoping to apply for graduate jobs in the environment sector, including ecological consultancy. Having this MSc will give me an advantage as it provides me with the skills needed to enter into these jobs."

Accommodation

"I’m currently living in Durham, and I travel by bus into university every day! It’s worth it, although I didn’t estimate how long it would take to get to Newcastle very well. I chose to stay in Durham because this is where I did my undergraduate study and I found really cheap accommodation."

Living in Newcastle

"Newcastle offers a diverse range of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that cater for all needs and experiences. The University has a lot of support available and the library has more casual space than at Durham."

Remembering Newcastle

"As part of my Ecological Survey Techniques module we had a field trip to Lindisfarne Nature Reserve on the Northumberland coast. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, it was the warmest day in October, and so the island was beautiful. Upon arrival we received an introductory talk from the reserve warden, welcoming us to the island and briefing us about bird conservation. After this we performed bird surveys through the sand dunes and then viewed the seals from the harbour, which was lovely."