Postgraduate

Speech and Language Sciences MPhil, PhD

Siti

Student Profile

About me

Name: Siti
Course: Speech and Language Sciences MPhil, PhD
PhD Title: Visual Word Processing in Non-Arabic-Speaking Qur’an Memorisers
Study mode: Full time
Where I’m from: Singapore

Choosing postgraduate study

"A doctoral degree is a requirement for my career path to be a researcher and/or an academic in a university, so I decided to pursue postgraduate study with a specialised focus on honing my research skills while engaging in a deeper level of study of my research interest."

Choosing Newcastle

"Based on my background in psycholinguistic research, I was interested in pursuing a PhD in Speech and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, which would give me the required training to pursue a research and academic career in this field. For my doctoral dissertation, I wanted to work with Dr Ghada Khattab in Newcastle University as my supervisor because her research interests in phonology and Arabic learners closely align with mine."

Studying at Newcastle

"I would recommend my course to whoever is interested in this field and would like to have a career as a researcher and/or an academic. I have learned so much from my research work and from my supervisors; it has been an excellent opportunity to train myself as a researcher under the tutelage of experts who have a lot of experience training other students and who are able to help me be a successful researcher in the field.

 "Being a postgraduate student is very different from being an undergraduate student; it requires more independence and initiative from the student to manage his/her own workload and to seek answers to what he/she does not know. Unlike undergraduates who have to take modules and exams, PhD students get annual progress reviews to see if we are on track to graduate. Since being a postgraduate student, I have had to change my mindset from solely seeking knowledge that I do not know to also seeking how to contribute new knowledge to my field and disseminate that new knowledge. That is the goal of a doctoral degree and what researchers should aspire to do."

Postgraduate community

"Postgraduate life at Newcastle University has been very productive and everyone in the School is like a big family. There is a lot of support from the HASS Faculty in terms of providing useful workshops that not only provide research training, but also other useful skills such as self-motivation, time management, and working with one’s supervisors. This may be school-specific, but I work in a research suite for doctoral students, and everyone tries to help one another out whenever necessary. It is a great working environment to be in; otherwise, postgraduate life could have been a sad and lonely one!

"A huge part of postgraduate life is one’s relationship with one’s supervisor, which could either make or break your entire postgraduate experience. I am very blessed in that I love working with my supervisor! She has been fantastic in terms of giving me encouragement and support for my research work and funding applications, which just motivates me more to work harder so as not to disappoint her!"

Funding my studies

"After I began my PhD, I applied for and received bursaries from my School as well as a studentship from my research group.

 "I am a self-funded student but I have been blessed to have received various bursaries, grants, and scholarships from foundations (e.g. Lee Foundation, Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Memorial Scholarship and Bursary Fund), my School (School of Education, Communication, and Language Sciences), and my research group (Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences). These have managed to cover almost all of my tuition and living expenses. To supplement my living expenses, I work as an instructor and postgraduate demonstrator for a few modules, as well as a Student Ambassador and Student Mentor."

Career aspirations

"My goals are to be a researcher and/or a lecturer after I graduate. Studying at Newcastle is helping me to achieve my dream career by providing me with the relevant research and teaching skills I need to make my CV attractive for future job applications."

Accommodation

"For my first year, I stayed in Leazes Terrace (University accommodation). This was very easy to sort out by an online booking and all first-year postgraduate students were guaranteed University accommodation. All I had to do was to choose Leazes Terrace and my room preference, and then place a deposit. I really liked it as it was just a five minute walk to my office in the King George VI building, as well as to the city centre!

 "Following that, I moved into a studio at St James Point via a private rental. This was about a 10 minute walk to school. I like the area as it was nearer to where the halal meat shops were but it was still within walking distance to school. Again, this was very easy to sort out. I just did an online search and contacted the management, who then sorted the lease for me. One big plus of staying in a place with a reception means that you do not have to be around to sign for nd receive parcels!"

Living in Newcastle

"I love being on a city campus because it means that everything is in walking distance—the supermarket, shops, bank, post office, cinema, etc. I also love the fact that it is easy to find shops that sell halal meat as well as restaurants that serve halal options. It’s not as hectic as London or Singapore is but it’s also not too quiet like in the countryside. I would definitely recommend Newcastle to friends!"

Remembering Newcastle

"My paper was accepted for a talk at an international conference, so it was quite an experience to be giving a talk on my work in front of so many renowned researchers in my field! I am grateful to my supervisors for their feedback and support for my work."

 Advice

 "It is always good to ask people who have had experience in the postgraduate application process and find out what factors played a role in their decision-making. Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself, so do your research and make a well-informed decision!"