What have been your impressions of Cardiff University so far – starting from the application process, enrolment, induction and the start of your studies?
I attended Cardiff University for my undergraduate degree so coming back has been great.
During your postgraduate studies in Cardiff are you living on campus or in private accommodation?
I’m living in private accommodation which I’m happy with because I’ve worked in Cardiff for 2 years before starting postgrad so have my own place (rented).
Tell us about the process you went through to secure your accommodation and also any advice you would give to prospective students when they are choosing accommodation for their postgraduate studies.
I’d encourage PG students to look at halls or shared accommodation with other postgrad students, as if they are coming to Cardiff not knowing anyone it’s a good opportunity to make friends and live with people who have similar work demands to them.
How are you funding your studies?
I’m funding my studies with the UK Government Postgraduate loans for master’s study (I took out the full amount). I didn’t use the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. I got the Cardiff University Master’s Excellence Scholarship Award, I didn’t apply for any other scholarships. I also work a few hours a week part time in a library. I would advise students to apply for as many scholarship type opportunities that they are eligible for – you never know!
Why did you choose Cardiff University and Postgraduate study?
I chose Cardiff because I came here for undergrad, and after working for 2 years after finishing UG I didn’t want to move somewhere else. Also I knew that the staff from the archaeology department were friendly and had good connections (and would teach the course well).
I chose to study the new MSc in Archaeological Science because I wanted to study osteoarchaeology and bioarchaeology and this course covered both and more.
What are the differences between UG and PG study?
It’s definitely a big jump from undergraduate to postgraduate. More resources are available and tutor interaction is greater. The workload is significantly greater and assessments are more difficult. But then I’ve moved from undergraduate Ancient History and Archaeology to postgraduate Archaeological Science so more lab resources are needed. Class sizes are smaller which is nicer as you get to know everyone. I definitely feel I am getting more out of my postgraduate course than I did for my undergraduate.
What also stands out when I compare my experience with my undergraduate experience is the level of support the teaching staff offer, and the level of support my fellow course mates off. We have a close-knit network, with a community feel, ready to support one another, bounce ideas around and discuss employment opportunities.