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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Caitlin Ford MSci Ecology and Conservation*

Undergraduate student

Caitlin Ford's Photo

My favourite memory here was the 2-week field course I went on to Spain. I really enjoyed working in a field environment and it gave me a taste of what it is like to be a field scientist.

I chose to study Ecology because of the fascinating relationship that exists between organisms. I first saw Southampton University as an opportunity at a careers fair at school, since then I knew I had to go to there. It’s a campus-based University, yet not ever over crowded and looks beautiful in the sunshine! It has great nature areas to relax in the summer months and the convenience of everything being located in one place is great for when you’re trying to find your feet.

The biological sciences staff are great – very approachable and are very willing to take time out of their day to answers any queries or point you in the right direction. There is a lot of humour in lectures, which helps with those Monday morning 9ams! The staff appreciate your ideas and thoughts, if you’d like to try new things or have certain speakers a lot of staff will do their upmost to accommodate this – really opens your opportunities! Working with the academics in the faculty has really fuelled my passion for this subject area and I would like to go on and do a PhD somewhere in the world. I’d love to go on and conduct ecological conservation research that will make a difference to the health of the planet. However, my main goal once I graduate will be to pass on the passion that people have within this field to younger generations to help save this planet, just like my lecturers have done for me.

My favourite memory here was the 2-week field course I went on to Spain. I really enjoyed working in a field environment and it gave me a taste of what it is like to be a field scientist – I think it was a trip that really ignites a passion in those that loved the degree and it was a great place to meet like–minded people. My favourite part of the Spain trip was waking up on the beach and surveying the marine organisms in the sun. I learnt a lot but also made some life long friends. I also really enjoyed my New Forest field course. We were able to plan our own projects, which help contribute to the local New Forest data sets and also visit the area on a weekly basis to conduct our research. Both Jake and Judith took a really hands on approach to this module which made it very enjoyable. Additionally, we got to listen to guest speakers every week that not only exposed us to areas but also gave us new contacts and opportunities for the future. 

The thing I enjoy most about studying at Southampton is the number of opportunities we are exposed to here – there is literally a society or sport for everyone. It is a university that caters for everyone which is great for us as we get to meet such a variety of amazing people from all different backgrounds. I spent my first three years on the Southampton University Vixens Game Day squad and will continue my fourth year with them as coach. As well as loving the sport and relaxation, I have made some amazing friends. The socials are also a lot of fun as you get to not only hang out with your sports team but also mix with other teams for great nights out!

*Course formerly titled MEcol Ecology.

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