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Madeleine’s blog

Aspiring to conquer life's challenges - or maybe just my degree for now!

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Insider Interview: Looking back on my Geography & Planning degree

1.   What makes Cardiff such a great place to study Geography & Planning?

I didn’t choose Cardiff, Cardiff chose me!  (*laughs*) Seriously, I chose Cardiff School of Planning and Geography (CPLAN) for a few different reasons.  It’s known to be one of the leading research centres in the UK with a 95% satisfaction rate in the National Student Survey, and lots of other great rankings.

One of the best things about our department is the amazing staff.  They continually listen and remodel and upgrade things to make the experience better. It’s the same throughout the university; facilities are continuously kept modern. Like the Students’ Union nightclub; Solus is having a glass atrium roof put in this year, very trendy!

The city was a big draw, the university buildings are built right into the city and it’s all very walkable. I love the quiet and quirky places to work or study as well as the shopping and restaurants.  I guess mainly it’s the renowned department and the beautiful city that drew me most.

2.    What were the course modules and teaching standards like?

Smaller classes, great relations with staff and a close connection to everyone on the course are the things that have made my degree as enjoyable as it has been! There’s a huge variety of modules, one of the aspects that really differentiates this course from most others. The School of Planning and Geography is a really small department, definitely one of the reasons it thrives.

We’re taught by leading UK researchers and academics.  If you choose to specialise in their field for your dissertation it’s an amazing opportunity to work with well-known academics. Personal favourites included Development and Underdevelopment, a first year module it looked at the Third World in contrast with the First World, building on material from my Geography A-level.

My dissertation module was great as it gave me the opportunity to research an area that I was interested in and work closely with leading researchers in the field. I’m now a master at giving presentations!

4.   What were your most memorable moments?

Easily the most memorable moment for me on my course was going to Hong Kong for a week as a field study visit as part of my Geography and Planning module. An amazing week with a lot of practical application from material in our lectures but also lots of time for sight-seeing and getting to know students and lecturers.

Of course there have been other highlights, getting 78% in my dissertation; a high first! The dissertation was worth lots of marks and I worked on it for six months.  It was amazing to see my hard work pay off!  My time in Halls and with Snakecharmers cheerleading society was very memorable.

5.   What will you miss and what’s next for you?

Apart from the obvious things I’ll miss Roath Lake; the lighthouse, trees, boats on the water, my place to escape to for some peace and serenity.  Cardiff is lively, a smaller version of London.  That’s where I’m heading now, London. To work in Marketing and PR.

6.   What advice would you offer a student applying to university?

My advice, be open and flexible in what course you do. Listen to other students, their advice really is the most valuable you will get.  Carry your student card for copious savings everywhere and find a part time job quick or financing will be hard!  Waitressing is great because you get paid wages and if you find the right place you can double your money for tips!

 

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