Student Profiles

Matilda Rhode – Conversion Course

Here you can find out a bit more about the individual experiences of some of our students, why they chose Cardiff University for their postgraduate study and what they enjoy most about Cardiff!

Name: Matilda Rhode

Postgraduate Course: MSc Computing

Institution where you did your Undergraduate studies: Oxford University

Tell us a little bit about yourself, why did you chose to become a postgraduate student?

I finished my undergrad and got a job, then another job and after a bit I realised that I was on a career trajectory that I hadn’t actively chosen. I decided to do a conversion course so that I could start afresh with more options open to me.2. Why did you choose Cardiff University for your Postgraduate studies?

What did Cardiff University have that other options you research didn’t?

I chose Cardiff because the course modules seemed more relevant to the skills I’d need in a job market than other conversion courses I looked at. As a bonus Cardiff seemed to have really good student support for postgraduates.

What are the benefits on taking a conversion course? Why?

The conversion course is amazing because it’s a Master’s degree but also a completely new subject area. Having degrees in two different subjects was really useful in writing CVs and applications for jobs because you automatically have a unique educational background. The people on the course are really mixed in terms of previous professional experience, so it was really interesting to collaborate with a diverse group of students.

How did you fund your postgraduate studies and how would you advise offer holders to go on about researching or finding funding for postgraduate studies?

I took a loan from the bank, the Government master’s loan didn’t exist then. I looked at career development loans but the interest rates were worse than the bank was offering, though you don’t have to start paying back until after you’ve finished so it’s still a good option. I applied for a Masters Excellence Scholarship and this cut my fees in half which really helped relieve financial pressure during my degree.

Which accommodation did you stay during your postgraduate studies at Cardiff University? What advice would you give to Cardiff University offer holders who have to find accommodation themselves?

I rented privately, there are lots of postgrads in Cardiff and living costs are really reasonable so it’s worth looking on spare room sites as a first port of call.

How was/is your postgraduate life at Cardiff? Please cover the following areas:
– Start of your course
– Level of studies
– University Services
– Life in the City and Wales

There were lots of induction events at the start of the masters which really helped to get an overview of the course and get the most out of the services offered by the uni over the course of the year. Assessments are frequent and all done online, this was completely different to my undergrad where everything happened on paper and was determined by exams at the end of three years, I much preferred the frequent assessments as it meant you could work on the feedback from the previous one to help improve the next one. I was amazed to find out about Languages For All at Cardiff, it’s amazing to be able to learn a language for free, I also made use of the postgrad centre in the student union, it’s a really nice place to work when you need a change of scene from the department library. Cardiff is a great city because you can walk everywhere and it’s pretty reasonable price-wise. Particularly the food and the music is really good, there are hundreds of restaurants and always new ones popping up.

How did your postgraduate degree help you achieve your career goals?

Because it was a conversion course, the Master’s opened up job opportunities that were just not available to me at all before taking the course.

What best piece of advice would you give to a Cardiff University offer holder who is about to start their course at Cardiff University?

Take advantage of all the student services! There is a huge amount going on in terms of sports, social and academic support, many of the activities are available will only be this cheap and well organised while you’re at uni so make sure to make the most of them.

What best piece of advice would you give to a prospective student considering postgraduate studies at Cardiff University?

Cardiff is a great city to be a postgraduate in, which is why I’ve carried on living here! If you haven’t visited, make sure to take a day trip over or research online.