Naomi applied for her MSc in Neuroimaging because she didn’t yet feel ready to study at PhD level. Thanks to her Postgraduate Taught Studentship, she is now confident that she has picked up the necessary research and transferable skills to pursue her ambitions at a higher level.
Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“My course involves learning about the physics behind neuroimaging methods such as MRI, fMRI, MEG and EEG, learning how these methods are implemented in current research and gaining practical experience with such techniques. This is provided in the form of seminars, practicals and lectures from international experts visiting from other universities in addition to those at Cardiff University.”
What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?
“The Postgraduate Taught Scholarship allows me to undertake my Masters with minimal time spent in paid employment so that I can focus more on my academic work. This has had a massive impact on my learning experience as now I have more time to develop and learn without the time pressure of a job.”
Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?
“I am currently applying for further funding from a range of sources, including some of those advertised in the ‘Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding’. If I am unsuccessful I will have to take on further work. The work that I have previously undertaken has been advertised via the university JobShop and I have always had positive experiences so I expect I shall use this service again!”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“I decided to apply for a taught masters as although I achieved a first in my degree I felt unprepared to undertake a PhD without gaining further experience. My MSc is allowing me the opportunity to learn further about the techniques I hope to use for a PhD as well as gain practical experience. This will not only be a massive advantage in conducting experiments of my own but also stands out when applying for PhDs.”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“I chose to do my MSc at Cardiff as Cardiff was one of the few institutions to offer practical experience in the field of neuroimaging. In addition, the possibility of gaining funding towards the fees at Cardiff was a massive influence on why I chose to continue studying here.”
Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?
“As my course is a fairly small group of 13 I think the thing that has stood out for me is how quickly we have gotten to know each other and become friends. Because I feel comfortable in the group this has allowed me to develop on points more in seminars and organise social events for the group.”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“This is my fifth year in Cardiff and I still think it is a wonderful city. It is perfect in that it is big enough to have a wide variety of things to do but still be small enough to get around easily on foot or by bike. I am currently living about 15-20 minute walk away from university in Roath which is a lot quieter than some of the more student-y areas and has the park and lake that you can escape to when you need a bit of quiet time. I have also found that the Graduate Centre is excellent for meeting new people as they put on a variety of exciting events.”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“My course has enabled me to develop my knowledge in my subject area as well as other vital skills. For instance, I am learning how to create contacts and liaise with academic staff in addition to enhancing other academic skills such as report writing, creating academic posters and presentation skills.”
Has studying for a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University lived up to your expectations?
“I think studying for a postgraduate degree has surpassed my expectations. I have learnt so much more than I ever imagined I would and have developed an analytical perspective when looking at neuroimaging research which is a real benefit for the course and future research of my own.”
What are your biggest achievements as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University so far?
“My greatest achievements as a postgraduate so far include giving a presentation on Diffuse Axonal Injury to CUBRIC and receiving a grade of 85 for my essay on the same topic.”
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