By Dijana,Written on Mar 14 , 2019
Having attended the University some years ago as an undergraduate, the changes which have happened in the interim before I began postgrad study here have been positive-improved facilities, social spaces and the constant reflexivity towards course structure and content as well as student involvement mean that students can be sure that if they are willing to engage proactively with every aspect of their university experience they have the opportunity to make a difference in an environment that appropriates a diverse range of student voices, acts upon student input and collectively isn't afraid to challenge conventions.
As a busy postgraduate parent I have only been involved to the extent of being a course representative which has enable insight into some of the logistical decisions behind the structuring of the courses, teaching and content. However I'm not hugely connected with the undergraduate aspects of the SU which I know organise multiple and interesting events, have campaigned for and built a 24 study and play space, and help to organise multiple student run groups.
I have no direct experience of these unfortunately but there seem to be quite a few!
The library is a good space with separate sections for quiet and silent study and laptops for hire; although many texts are now being sourced online. there are new labs and the Science building hosts an excellent standard of lab for psychology and the biomedical sciences, as well as having specialist optometry facilities and the eye and hearing clinics. However as a social sciences student my experience has been with this faculty for which the facilities have been adequate (we don't need too much in the way of equipment!) There s a gym and plenty of student focussed spaces being developed which allow for more mobile study than just the library, which works particularly well for group work and informal meetings.
As a mature student at the postgraduate level my expectations and requirements from the course have centred around the ability to develop higher level research skills, the capacity to produce publishable academic output as standard, and the opportunity to develop a cogent prospective doctoral thesis. Due to the course leaders’ academic and professional expertise, and willingness to engage with and help orient students beyond mere academic supervision, all of these criteria have been met. On top of this, the newness of the University enables a rigorous yet creative and often non-canonical approach to the subject. There are great links with other universities through interdisciplinary research clusters, the opportunity to attend research student focussed employment events and training.
Cambridge is a growing town with a vibrant scene for students from both of the Universities here; there are plenty of green spaces and interesting social and academic events throughout the year for example the Festival of Ideas, the Science Festival and so on and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with these at ARU. Outside of this, there is a growing leisure scene which has been long in the making in Cambridge, with climbing centres, pools, and an ice rink due to open this year. Its a good time to come and be busy in Cambridge!
The employability service have an accredited pathway which increases your employability skills in a targeted fashion, and allows you to register accomplishments to this end. they also host various events and careers fairs throughout the semester. There are coordinated opportunities for volunteering which are also logged and recorded enabling you to chart the skills you have gained and connecting those to your employability profile. Registering with the Employment Bureau, which is different to the Employability service, enables you to search for internal and external vacancies to fit around or following your studies. Lecturers also speak about potential progression opportunities connected to either voluntary roles or for example to research based employment in your field of study.
The academic tutors I have had experience with have always gone over and above requirements both to make the process of studying clearer, to help with future directions and discuss feedback and assessments etc. the wellbeing service is well used and well represented and there is the option for both group sessions, online support as well as one to one counselling for a range of issues from academic to highly personal
This review is the subjective opinion of a user and not of postgraduatesearch.com
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