Student Profiles

My Cardiff Postgraduate Experience – Joanne, MSc Applied Environmental Geology

Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University?

I chose to come to Cardiff for serval reasons, which include the specific components making up my MSc Applied Environmental Geology course, as they are only offered by a handful of universities across the UK. Another reason was the amazing reputation of the University and the wide variety of facilities it has to offer, both sporting and socially. Lastly, just to expand my global horizons, moving away from home to experience first world life, living in an exciting, busy and eventful capital city and to meet new people.

How was your experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff University, in terms of the programme?

My programme has been intense to say the least, but looking back now on my first few assignments, I can’t believe how much I have developed my critical skills and writing skills in one year! The initial stage of my MSc AEG was filled with lectures, field trips and lab work, so there was always a nice change in scenery allowing us to interact with the topic in a more hands on and practical way.

The second stage is a dissertation stage, where individual work and independence is encouraged allowing us to assess a problem or project on our own, with guidance and help whenever needed. This has allowed me to develop my confidence in my work, as well as create better one on one relationships with my lecturers which has been great. This second stage is also less intense, so I have been able to really take advantage of my time here in Cardiff.

How was your experience of living in Cardiff, in terms of the city, social life and accomadation, again specifically as a PG?

Cardiff is an absolutely incredible city, as it has the buzz and excitement of a capital city without being too overwhelming or inaccessible. Cardiff is also very reasonably priced in comparison to other cities which allowed me to do more, explore more and try cover as many of the tourist attractions here as possible.

Socially, the university provides a lot of ways to meet new people, such as postgraduate pub-quizzes which are loads of fun. The city also has a wide variety of things to do, from pubs and restaurants from all around the world, to sporting and music events, so you’ll definitely be able to find something different to do with all kinds of people.

Living in a University residence, housed with other international postgraduate students allowed me to meet new people, and made the stress of house hunting much easier during the application process.

What was different about your postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to your previous degree?

My previous undergraduate degree was done at Rhodes University, South Africa, in a tiny town, with approximately 7000 students, so Cardiff has been a huge change in almost every way.

The laboratories and other facilities at Cardiff University are incredible and have allowed me to take a more practical approach to my degree. The student life is more exciting in terms of different events offered, which has been amazing. Also having everything in walking distance from each other makes life easier.

How did you fund your postgraduate degree?

I was lucky enough to have amazing parents who were able to support me financially through my studies.

How do you think that your postgraduate degree is helping prepare you for the future – job aspirations, career development, future study, etc?

Just having a Master’s degree in general opens up so many doors for employment opportunities and career development.

The different skills, programmes and experience I have been exposed to on this course has definitely enhanced my CV. My degree has definitely prepared me more for the working world, in terms of facing real life situations, handling myself in a professional environment and dealing with not only people in my field, but interactions with cliental and other non-scientific personnel.