I would like to ask if and how the course coordinator could be of help in the application process, and if there was any way you could be of help in this process too? Geography has always been my first love since my secondary school days and your help would be really beneficial for me.
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I am glad you're interested in studying Geography at the University of Birmingham.
The Course Coordinator would be happy to provide you with any information you need regarding your application.
Please send a polite email. The subject of the email should be 'Inquiry: Name of Course'.
You should find the Course Coordinator's email address on the course profile (on the university's website).
Feel free to contact me if you have any further queries. I'd be glad to help.
Being a Nigerian student, how would you describe the admission process?
Apologies for the belated reply.
The application process is easy and can be completed in a day if you have all the requirements. You should receive feedback within a month for Masters programmes (and two months for PhD programmes).
Below are some of the requirements for the application: a. Certificates/transcripts of degrees you've completed. b. A personal statement explaining why you want to study the course. c. Two references (can be from a previous academic tutor).
This is not an exhausted list. For more information, please visit the course profile of the programme you wish to study on the university's website.
What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?
I am someone who is always hungry for knowledge, and I believe we never stop learning until the day we die. Moreover, the constantly evolving world we live in necessitates continuous growth. To deal with life's exigencies, one must develop oneself physically, intellectually, and socially. As Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it "there is no knowledge that is not power". This power is there for the taking, and so, I want to acquire it to be productive to myself, my family, and the world.
My reason for studying my present course was born out of a passion for the environment. I feel responsible for the environment to protect it for future generations. That is why I pursued a Bachelors and a Masters degree in the area of the environment.
As to my reason for pursuing a PhD, I developed an interest in research in the 3rd semester of Masters program (research project). I realised research helped me understand why things are the way they are, along with what can be done to change them. I also believed studying towards a PhD would equip me with skills applicable to a career in either academia or industry, including critical thinking, research, writing, time-management, and problem-solving skills.
What, for you, are the best things about the course?
The best thing about my course is the flexibility. As a research student, I have the opportunity to dictate how my day goes. Of course, this means I must be someone who possesses good time management skills. This is something I always had but has improved significantly since I started my PhD. I can choose which lectures, conferences, training, or meetings I want to attend and fit them nicely into my weekly schedule.
I have also developed the ability to read and analyse text quickly as I do a lot of reading to understand my research area. Ultimately, constant reading translates to writing better more critically. On completion of my PhD, these skills will be extremely useful in my career in academia or industry.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?
The first advice I would give the person would be to read, read, and when you are tired of reading, continue reading.
On a more serious note, the course is one that requires a lot of reading to keep oneself informed of new developments. I also found that setting targets always helped me, including daily, weekly, and monthly targets.
It is also worthwhile to network with people in your field, both people studying or who have studied your course and people working in your field as you can gain benefit from their experience.
Also, in terms of a postgraduate research study, do make out time to socialise with friends and have fun to avoid getting too isolated and engrossed in your research. When things get difficult having someone to talk to and share your concerns with helps clear your mind and elevate your mood. Watch a movie, go to the gym, visit friends - take some time off to have fun. It definitely helps.