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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Kate Cooney BA Geography, 2000

Reporter for ITV Meridian and freelancer for ITN national news

Kate Cooney's Photo

Hi, I'm Kate Cooney and I studied BA Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

I was able to choose a variety of really interesting modules - from the political landscape of the Middle East, to the science of shopping.

Why did chose to undertake your studies / research with the University of Southampton?
Southampton immediately impressed me. The Geography department is very highly rated and I was very impressed by the staff there and the components of the course.

Rate the support offered by your lecturers, academic supervisors and/or research assistants, and why.
My tutor was fantastic. He was never too busy to help and I always felt I could ask him if there were things I was unsure of. Likewise, my dissertation tutor was also extremely supportive. During regular sessions I was able to fill him in on my progress and get lots of advice. What stood out for me about the department was the enthusiasm that each and every lecturer brought to their sessions.

What did you enjoy about studying at Southampton?
Most of all I enjoyed the variety. During my time at Southampton I was lucky enough to go on several field trips – to take soil samples in the New Forest, peat bog cores in the Wicklow Mountains above Dublin and look at tourism and pollution in the Venice lagoon. I love both Human and Physical Geography and in no way was I constrained, I was able to choose a variety of really interesting modules in both fields, from the political landscape of the Middle East, to the science of shopping.

What have you been able to achieve as a result of studying at the University of Southampton?
During my studies at Southampton I did my dissertation looking at republicanism in Northern Ireland. I travelled to Belfast to interview lots of different parties, among them many journalists. The experience really fired up my interest in becoming a journalist, so, early in the year after I graduated I moved to Newcastle to enrol on their four month post-graduate diploma in print journalism.

I finished the course in the early summer of 2001 and got my first job as a cub reporter on the Reading Chronicle. I spent two years in Reading, completing examinations towards the end of my time there to become a senior reporter. Shortly afterwards I was offered a job on a big daily title – the Newsletter in Belfast. I spent 18 months in that role, rising to become Social Affairs Correspondent.

In 2004 I was offered a job with ITV as a production journalist on their regional Meridian programme. I’ve since been promoted to become a reporter there. Alongside my role at Meridian I am a regular freelancer for ITN national news.

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