Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MSc

Natasha A

Student profile

About me

Name: Natasha
Course: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MSc
Study mode: Full time
Where I’m from: UK

Choosing Newcastle

"I chose Newcastle because it is a vibrant city known for its strong community culture, which meant I thought it would be easy to make friends as well as integrate with local communities. Another factor was that the University is part of the Russell Group and working on interesting research, particularly organic farming and sustainability at Newcastle helix. The University farms and real time trials were a big pull too, and organic farming is a research area in which Newcastle is particularly strong."

Studying at Newcastle

"The study facilities at Newcastle are brilliant, there is a variety of places to go and work and study such as the new Marjorie Robinson Library, Peter Robinson Library and common rooms which all offer different types of study spaces. I really like the fact that, on my course, we have a great mixture of modules, fieldtrips, and the fact that the department is at the forefront of organic farming research.

"We were taught by an Emeritus Professor for one of our modules, which was very unusual, and the variety of fieldtrips (which I didn’t have during my undergraduate studies) has been invaluable in giving me context to what I’ve been learning. We also get a lot of contact time as our class sizes are much smaller than in my undergraduate degree.

"Postgraduate study is more intense but more interesting than undergraduate study as you can tailor it to your own interests. You have less obvious social time but that just pushes me to organise my time more effectively. I have a really good relationship with lecturers, it’s more personal and that relationship motivates you to study and do well."

Postgraduate Community

"There is a good postgraduate community within the Agricultural Department. It is large enough to meet a variety of people to learn from and socialise with, but is not so big that it is overwhelming. The University has programmes like Give it a Go and Go Play which allow you to try new things and meet new people."

Funding my studies

"I received information about funding opportunities via email before I started my course. I applied for the Clyde Higgs Scholarship, which was awarded by the Agriculture Department and covered £5,000 of my fees, and this has really helped me to fund my studies."

Career aspirations

"I would like to work for a food company to bridge the gap between agricultural producers and commercial needs. The fieldtrips we have the opportunity to go on give us a different perspective on our work and the chance to work with local farmers. The people who lead the course have plenty of connections in the industry, and farmers and businesses give lectures for the course. This is great as it gives me a chance to talk to people about their experiences and make connections of my own."


"NU Homes is a helpful and easy to contact organisation. The staff are extremely helpful and it’s based on campus and run by Newcastle University. I live with people from other MSc Degrees in Jesmond, a really nice area which is perfect for students as it’s very convenient and has all the facilities you could need. Living with my housemates has also helped me to learn about other research and disciplines."

Living in Newcastle

"Geordies are as friendly as people say they are! The city is extremely convenient and compact so it is easy to navigate around. I like that it is a vibrant city but not a ‘24 hour’ city. I feel safe and have been able to go to a wide variety of free educational, cultural and arts events. Travelling to Northumberland, to the coast or the countryside, is great to get away from the city on the weekend."

Remembering Newcastle

"Newcastle will be hard to forget! The random conversations with locals, the stunning architecture and the fantastic staff at the University who care about student welfare have made my time here fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed the fieldtrips I’ve been on and the community events I’ve had the chance to attend. Many universities often have a disconnect between the city and the student population, but in Newcastle the two communities are completely connected and it’s fantastic."