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Geography and Environmental Science

Eleanore Heasley BSc Geography, 2015

Studying for a PhD in Environmental Research at University of London

Eleanore Heasley's Photo

Hi, I'm Eleanore Heasley and I studied BSc Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

The thing that attracted me most was the flexibility of the programme. Optional modules are available every year unlike other universities I looked at, as well as a huge diversity of modules.

Q: Why did you choose to study at Southampton?
The thing that attracted me most was the flexibility of the programme. Optional modules are available every year unlike other universities I looked at, as well as a huge diversity of modules. There is also a focus in the second year on GIS (Geographical Information Systems) which is an important skill to gain from a Geography degree.

Q: Are there lots of opportunities/places to socialise and relax here?
There’s a huge variety of societies at Southampton. In terms of places to relax there are lots of cafés on campus but also Southampton Common nearby which offers a change of scenery when studying.

Q: How do you feel about the University’s efforts to increase the flexibility of degree programmes and introduce more choice for personalised learning?
I think it’s brilliant; it suits me perfectly. I’ve been able to choose optional modules from other courses such as Geology to enhance my understanding of Geography.

Q: What do you think of the support available for students on campus in terms of pastoral support, health services and student safety?
Pastoral support is really good with both your personal tutor to answer any questions but also services like Night Line to give advice and help you adjust to university life. Health services are readily available on campus with the University Health Centre and after a night out the Safety Bus will pick you up and make sure you get home safely if you can’t find a taxi.

Q: Does the University help its students get ready for employment?
Career fairs for different career paths are regularly advertised and also the Excel Placement Programme advertises internships on campus, in the UK and abroad.

Q: What are the benefits of living in halls?
In your first year I would definitely recommend halls; not just for the social aspect but also convenience. With the bus pass included in your accommodation fees it allows you to explore Southampton and familiarise yourself with the routes to and from campus for your second year. It’s also a good starting point when making the transition to uni life as everyone is in the same situation as you so making new friends is easy.

Eleanore was awarded a Royal Geographical Society apprenticeship award. The RGS offers this bursary to a limited number of Geography students from across UK universities each year.

Q: What has this award mean to you?
I was absolutely thrilled. I was really excited to join the Stelar S2S team to study the way climate fluctuations affect the transfer of sediment along the Mekong River. It was an amazing opportunity and has shaped everything I have done since – I have chosen every module available on rivers! The experience also helped me to get an internship with an environmental charity looking at freshwater quality.

Q: How did you find the application process (including the interview)?
The application form was quite straight forward but I was very nervous about the interview. I did a lot of preparation though, and once I got into the Royal Geographical Society Building in London, I was fine.

Q: How have your tutors supported you in the application process?
They were really helpful. Professor Steve Darby gave me advice about my application and some very useful interview tips.

Q: How do you think this will help your chances of finding future employment?
Putting yourself forward for an extracurricular activity is a valuable addition to any CV but being selected for this award will help me stand out, no matter what field I decide to enter. Also it gives me field experience which is a pre-requisite of other fieldwork opportunities that I’ve seen advertised. I’ve been accepted to do a PhD in environmental research and in future I’d love to work in river management.


Collecting Mekong sediment samples
Collecting Mekong sediment samples
Filtering suspended sediment
Filtering suspended sediment
Monitoring velocity measurements
Monitoring velocity measurements
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