Rachel Edmunds – MScEcon International Relations23 August 2019
Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University?
At the end of my undergraduate degree, I become more aware of what my specifics interests were, and I wanted to explore these in more detail and at a more advanced level.
I was interested in Cardiff due to the University’s prestigious reputation, and the reputation of the department of Politics and International Relations. As I had visited Cardiff many times, I knew it was a great city to study in, and I was drawn by the Student’s Union and the support on offer for postgraduate students.
How was your experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff University, in terms of the programme?
I have enjoyed every minute of my course at Cardiff. I have learnt so much, and there was a wide range of module choices available, so I have been able to study topics most aligned with my interests, and learn about new areas that I have not covered before.
The staff are all incredibly helpful and approachable, and there has always been good support available.
One of the great things about my programme was that I studied alongside students from many different countries and educational backgrounds, which has brought so many different perspectives to our classes.
During the year, I had the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland, tour the Stormont Parliament and meet with Northern Irish politicians, which was an incredible experience and one of the highlights of my programme!
How was your experience of living in Cardiff, in terms of the city, social life and accommodation, again specifically as a postgraduate student?
Cardiff is a great location for postgraduate students due to its vibrant student life. The Student’s Union often has events only for postgraduate students, which is a great way to meet other postgrads and make friends.
The city has plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes, which are all close to the campus. There is always something going on in the city that covers a wide range of interests, we have the Principality Stadium that hosts lots of sporting events and concerts, and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay where you can see lots of musicals and plays. There are also lots of beautiful parks to get away from the hustle and bustle if you want some peace and quiet.
What was different about your postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to your previous degree?
In my postgraduate degree, I have had more freedom to study topics that I am interested in, both in terms of the classes I chose to take and my essays. In a number of my classes, I have been able to develop my own essay question with the help of my lecturers. Whilst this has meant I have to take more responsibility for my work and work more independently, I have found the experience extremely interesting and beneficial.
The classes at postgraduate level are more student led, and everyone takes part in the discussion, which has resulted in many interesting debates in class.
How did you fund your postgraduate degree?
I funded my postgraduate degree through the Welsh Government’s funding package and loan, and through my part-time job at the University. My contact hours for my course meant it was possible for me to work part-time while managing my workload, which has been a great help financially.
How do you think that your postgraduate degree is helping prepare you for the future – job aspirations, career development, future study etc?
The skills have I developed through my postgraduate degree have been truly valuable. I have worked both independently and as a team, managed my time effectively, and conducted independent research, all of which I believe are transferable skills and will benefit my in my future employment.