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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

George Allen MSci Marine Biology (4 year course), 2020

George Allen's Photo

I chose to study at Southampton because of their outstanding reputation as a great University. Furthermore the Marine Biology course is run at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. The facilities and lecturers available there are very impressive.

Why did choose to come and study at Southampton?

I chose to study at Southampton because of their outstanding reputation as a great University. Furthermore the Marine Biology course is run at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. The facilities and lecturers available there are very impressive.

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton?

Rather than anxious, I was excited to come to Southampton. Before attending University I asked the opinion of recent graduates and they assured me that University was a fun and enjoyable time. As a result, I went in with a positive attitude and was rewarded with good friendships and enjoyable lectures.

Once at Southampton, how were your fears overcome?

I feel like I managed my time well. I put my work first and gave myself ample time to complete assignments. This then allowed me to spend time with friends without having an impact on my work.

What is it like studying here?

Lecturers were friendly and engaging. If I had a question about the content I could either approach them after lectures or via email and they where glad I was taking an interest in the content. The campus and City is very open and has lots of green spaces for when you want to relax.

How do you rate study facilities at the University?

The National Oceanography Centre provided a great resource for me to carry out my masters project. The Libraries at the NOC and on Highfield campus were excellent. Study spaces and computers were always available to work on.

You really do feel that you are at the centre of UK marine research with research ships like the James Cook. docking at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences) so far?

The course trips gave me the chance to put into practice the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from this course. In Bermuda I was able to help out in mapping coral reefs to assess their recovery following a ship strike. It further stoked my interest in Marine Biology and showed me were a career in this field could take me. Going out on the research vessel from the oceanography centre also provided frequent opportunities to see marine life found in the UK and learn many practical skills and data gathering.

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

I feel like I have a much-improved knowledge of Marine Biology. I feel like my analytical skills have improved and I can approach tasks with much greater confidence. My research skills are much better and I can approach a new topic with confidence.
In addition I joined local scuba diving clubs, gaining BSAC qualifications and I am now an assistant instructor.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

Southampton take a holistic approach to Marine Biology where you learn to value the importance of each interconnecting segment.
It was fantastic to be studying with a group of likeminded individuals that share my passion for Marine Biology. Also having Lecturers who support my enthusiasm for subjects that interest me.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

Yes, I had the opportunity to take oceanography modules and biology modules. I found this beneficial as it introduced me to topics I wouldn’t have initially chosen, but I ended up enjoying them and learning a lot.

Did you stay in University accommodation?

I was in Glen Eyre halls for my first year. Here I made many friends that I have maintained throughout my time at University. Laundry facilities were close and easily accessible. Staff were always on hand to provide assistance when needed.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

It is an enjoyable city to live in. There are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to explore. Being close to the New Forest was a delight, with a short train ride me and my friends would be off exploring the natural world. Furthermore Southampton is in a convenient location, being able to do day trips to Brighton, London and Bournemouth.

Do you have future career/study plans after graduating?

I hope to continue to be a part in the marine biology community hopefully having an active role in conservation tasks.

What one word sums up how you feel about your experiences so far at Southampton?

Rewarding

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