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FAQsGeography and PlanningMy postgraduate experience

Eleanor – MSc Spatial Planning and Development

20 March 2018

Geography and Planning

What have been your impressions of Cardiff University so far – starting from the application process, enrolment, induction and the start of your studies?

So far I am enjoying being at Cardiff University. The application was uncomplicated with an easy to follow online process, it was great that you could save changes and submit it when you are ready. Decisions on my applications for both the course and the Masters Excellence Scholarship were prompt and any email correspondence informing progress were very useful.


Online enrolment made it convenient to enrol as soon as possible to ensure my student loan was paid in good time. The process of collecting ID was very efficient and organised where the student reps were friendly and helpful.


Overall I have enjoyed the start of teaching of modules; access to learning central and syncing my timetable to my phone have proved useful in organisation. Lecturers are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and topics covered very interesting.

Overall, I’m very pleased I have chosen to study at Cardiff and have enjoyed my first few weeks here.

Did you attend a Postgraduate Open Day?

Yes, I attended the postgraduate Open Day at Cardiff University. From my experiences of attending postgraduate open days at Cardiff and other universities they differ from that of undergraduate open days i.e. it’s much quieter and the day is catered to a different type of student.


There was plenty of information on the school,department and extra curricular activities as you would expect and there were plenty of staff and students on hand to speak to about a number of aspects of the student experience. I had done a lot of research about the university and the course beforehand and much of the information given at the open day was available online.


My main aim of visiting the university was to get a feel for what it offers in terms of the overall campus, buildings, people and city and whether I could see myself enjoying studying at Cardiff.


My advice to prospective students would be to research before you attend the Open Day and have a list of things you want to find out more about and go to these talks or stalls and ask lots of questions! As part of my visit to Cardiff I spent the remainder of my day exploring the city to see if it was somewhere I wanted to be which I think is a really important part of choosing a university.

Why did you choose Cardiff University and Postgraduate study?

Once I had decided I wanted to commit to a career in town planning I began to look at job adverts for graduate and senior jobs to determine the requirements for these posts and how close I was to being able to reach their criteria.

When looking at job adverts many of them stated that you should be a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Through desk based research I found that in order to become a chartered member – the fastest and easiest route would be to study on an accredited RTPI Masters course which would allow me to complete my APC within 3 years.

I have always enjoyed learning and been keen to progress academically and a postgraduate qualification was a natural next step. The prospect of completing a PhD has always been a consideration of mine and an Msc would offer the potential to pursue this.


I looked at the list of courses that were accredited by the RTPI as a combined qualification which could lead to chartered membership – Cardiff was on this list and is close to home.
I also looked at the learning style and I like structure so wanted to study on a taught masters. I also wanted to carry on living at home. I went to a welsh secondary school and have a GCSE in Welsh so was excited by the opportunity to improve Welsh language skills whilst studying here.

Interesting city in terms of relationship with subject area – lots of development going on e.g. Cardiff Bay.
The university has teaching staff with similar interests. Other reasons why I chose Cardiff were:

– Master’s Excellence Scholarship and funding opportunities.
– Modules which offer specialism in areas of interest relevant to my chosen career pathways.

What was your student life experience during Christmas at Cardiff?

I aimed to complete all pending assignments before the weekend of the 22nd December so that I could take the entire of Christmas break off from work and study to return rested for the New Year. Due to working two days a week and then studying for my Masters full time, it meant that I wasn’t able to do this like I had done in previous years at University. I have continued to work on my assignments due in January over the Christmas break which, was unfortunate in that it meant I had less time to do other things.


I am very strict with my time management, due to having such a busy life with lots of different commitments, and this allowed me to foresee this and reallocate my time accordingly. This enabled me to complete my assignment in time without getting behind whilst being able to enjoy my Christmas. I was at least able to take a few days off, even if less than I’d hoped! As lectures don’t start until the last week in January, I am utilising this time to prepare for the semester ahead so there is less pressure once my schedule is busier again.