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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Amy Peters BSc Education and Psychology

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Hi, I'm Amy Peters and I am studying PhD Education after graduating from BSc Education & Psychology.

I didn't start my undergraduate degree thinking that I would go on to do a PhD. The variety of modules I had the opportunity to complete during my degree inspired me to work towards a career in research or academia.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton? What attracted you to the University of Southampton?

I chose to come and study at the University of Southampton because I loved the look of the course, the campus and the city. When I visited the university for the first time, I was excited at what the course had to offer, and I could picture myself at the University. Southampton’s reputation as a Russell Group, and my course being in the top 10 on the league tables, also motivated me to come and study here. I was excited by the variety of career and future study options available to me after I completed the undergraduate course.

I chose to remain in Southampton to carry out my PhD because I value the research, teaching, and support I received from Southampton Education School during my undergraduate degree, and I knew this would continue during my postgraduate studies. I felt settled living in Southampton and had a great network of people around me.

 What is it like studying here?

Studying at Southampton has been, and continues to be, a great experience, with a variety of things to do both on and off-campus. The city centre is great for pubs, clubs, shopping and restaurants, and other things to see, such as my personal favourite place to visit, Ocean Village. I felt safe within the city and in my accommodation throughout my degree, especially in my first year where the University halls of residence team were around whenever I needed some help. The University campus has a lively atmosphere with a community spirit, whether that be during Stag’s Karaoke night on a Thursday or the events that take place during Fresher’s week.

During my undergraduate course, I could tailor my learning to the topics that I was interested in, and complete a variety of assignments such as essays, academic posters, presentations both independently and with a group of other students. The small cohort size allowed me to get to know my course mates really well, and the lecturers got to know us on a more personal level, which I felt was a real benefit of studying here.

My positive experience studying at Southampton would not be without the incredible support from the academics within Southampton Education School, and this was a key reason for my decision to continue my studies in Southampton at postgraduate level.

So far, studying as a postgraduate has massively exceeded my expectations. I am surrounded by staff and other PhD students conducting incredibly interesting research and I am excited to delve deeper into my research area over the next few years.

How do you rate the study facilities at the University?

I highly rate the facilities available at Southampton; there is a large variety of places you can study such as the library, and more informal spaces such as coffee shops. I particularly like that students can book rooms across the University to study with other people, which is great for assignments involving group work. The library provides all of the resources I have needed during both my undergraduate and postgraduate study, whether that be a training course on systematic literature reviews, or a journal article or book.

What are you most proud of from your time at Southampton so far?

My proudest moment from my time at Southampton so far was graduating with a First-class degree in BSc Education and Psychology. Graduation day was the perfect day to celebrate my work throughout the three-year degree, surrounded by my friends and family and staff from the Education School.

What do you think you have gained from your studies that you wouldn’t have developed without them?

Studying at Southampton has massively increased my confidence as throughout my undergraduate degree. I have had to present my work to groups of people, something which I felt uncomfortable doing before university. Receiving my grades for assignments showing that my hard work had paid off made me feel more confident in my own abilities. Opportunities such as being as a student ambassador and a course rep have helped to develop my leadership, teamwork and communication skills. My undergraduate course also developed my academic and life skills to allow me to progress to studying for a PhD.

How have the people you have met at Southampton changed your life?

My PhD research area was a predefined project by my third-year dissertation supervisor.

Have you undertaken any extracurricular activities? How have they enhanced your experience?

I have enjoyed working as a student ambassador for Education, which involves meeting prospective students and parents interested in BSc Education or BSc Education and Psychology at open days and visit days. This role thoroughly enhanced my experience at Southampton as it enabled me to meet other student ambassadors in other stages of their Education degree, who have become my good friends and a support network for me during my studies. Being a student ambassador has enhanced my communication and leadership skills, and I find representing the Education School a very rewarding experience. During my third year as an undergraduate, I ran the Education and Psychology society, with the aim of organising social events to support Education students and provide a network for us to meet students in all stages of their degree.

What will you do with your degree/research after you have finished your studies?

I didn’t start my undergraduate degree thinking that I would go on to do a PhD. The variety of modules I had the opportunity to complete during my degree inspired me to work towards a career in research or academia. In particular, I found research methods modules and my dissertation the most enjoyable and rewarding, which gave me confidence that embarking on a PhD was the right path to take. The skills I am developing, personally and academically, during my PhD will help me succeed in any opportunities that come my way in the future.

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