Postgraduate

History of Medicine MA

Sam M

Student Profile

About me

Name: Sam
Course: History of Medicine MA
Study mode: Full time
Where I'm from: Britain

"Hi, I’m Sam. I’m 22 and originally from Nottingham. I am currently working towards an MA in History of Medicine but my academic background is not in history - as an undergraduate I studied Natural Sciences."

Choosing postgraduate study

"I took a module in the History of Medicine as an undergraduate student, and I fell in love with this area of academia. I found that a module was not long enough to be able to fully appreciate the field, so I decided to do a Master’s course in it. As an undergraduate I actually studied science, so I also saw an MA as an opportunity to expand my current skillset and improve my job prospects."

Choosing Newcastle

"I fell in love with the city the first time I visited Newcastle - there’s something about the friendliness of the North which I couldn’t resist. Not just the city, but the campus boasts a bustling and friendly atmosphere, and the university is constantly there for support and to ensure personal development. The buildings and facilities at Newcastle are both beautiful, and top of the range, and provide a perfect platform for students to engage in a healthy work-life. It was this work-life balance which was an important factor for me in choosing Newcastle."

Studying at Newcastle

"I enjoy the collaborative working environment which my course uses. The majority of the teaching is done through seminars where case studies and primary sources are presented to us. As a group of students (with the guidance of the lecturer) we discuss together the implications of this source for an overarching theme. It feels like a joint effort in learning, and the seminar environment means that we can work together with the professors and discuss things which is not so easily done within the realm of a lecture. The teaching staff in general are friendly, open and honest and there’s a genuine feeling that they care and want the best for us, and for future students. They care about our feedback and want to improve the course to make it more suitable and accessible for students from a wide range of academic backgrounds. These aspects are the reasons that I would definitely recommend this course to my friends!"

"Postgraduate life is completely different to what I expected. Everyone I have met is so relaxed and has a genuine passion for the subject that they have chosen to study, which is infectious. History of Medicine is a very small course, which was completely different to my undergraduate experience. However, it allows in depth discussions which there would never have been time for at the undergraduate level. I would say that at the start of the year, there was a shock to the system in the amount of work expected. But it is something that you easily adapt to – I still have some time off to enjoy societies, social events and any career events that I want to."

Postgraduate community

"As a postgraduate student you feel like you are integral within the academic community of the university. As part of my school (History, Classics and Archaeology) there is the Postgraduate Forum. As a group of students, we present papers and ideas to each other in a social and informal way. There are always calls for papers for external conferences which allows us to engage with the wider academic community, beyond Newcastle, and we are strongly encouraged to submit our work. As part of the History of Medicine course, there are overlapping modules with other history students and this allows an engagement with students beyond the immediate subject area."

Funding my studies

"I managed to obtain one of the “Newcastle University Postgraduate Opportunity Scholarships” which was £5,000. I am using this to pay for my tuition fees and then I have taken out the Postgraduate Loan to pay for my living costs. I also worked for a year in a café and I managed to save a little bit of money to help towards some of my funds for this year."

Career aspirations

"I do not necessarily know what I want to do when I graduate, but the career service here is invaluable. It runs workshops to improve CVs, covering letters and interview techniques, as well as organising specific career events where companies from around the world visit and talk about their opportunities within specific fields. I have used the Careers service for help with my CV and continue to use its vacancies online section to search which jobs are currently advertising."

Accommodation

"I currently live in Easton Halls, which I applied for through the university accommodation service. It was a simple application, where I gave my order of preference of where to stay and what aspects about the accommodation would I prioritise. My budget for this year is relatively small, so I prioritised a small cost of living over having an en-suite and being very close to the university.
I live in a flat of 5 people, where we share 2 toilets and 1 shower, as well as a communal area/kitchen. I hadn’t met any of these people before I moved in, but they are all lovely, and come from all around the world (Bournemouth, Greece, Thailand and Vietnam) so there is always some interesting food being cooked in the kitchen! Easton is in Jesmond, which is a nice area with cafes, bars and restaurants and there is always something to do there."

Living in Newcastle

"Newcastle is a relatively small city, so it is easy to navigate around and it’s relatively hard to get lost. The city centre boasts an amazing nightlife including bars, clubs and pubs which are all cheap and I have had some of my best nights out here. There’s also a wide range of cafes, shops, leisure parks, bowling alleys, cinemas and theatres to diversify your social life. Newcastle is relatively close to the beach as well, so days out to the beach are relatively frequent. It is also a stone’s throw away from other big and historical cities (like York and Edinburgh), so it is good if you want to travel to different parts of the UK. I have had a few friends to come and visit Newcastle, as there is a lot of hype surrounding it, and none of them have been disappointed!"

Remembering Newcastle

"So far, it has to have been the people that I have met. Everyone is genuinely so friendly, and come from all walks of life and every corner of the world. It’s a diverse community which works well, and everyone interacts and learns from each other in a way that I have never had before.

"Academically, it was probably the first time I had handed in some written work which I was actually proud of, and I felt was original and could contribute something new to my field. There’s a strong emphasis on originality in research and the sense of personal achievement and pride because of this are nothing beyond compare."

Advice

"I would definitely say come for an open day or a visit and really see for yourself. Newcastle is not something that you can really read about, you have to experience it."