By Laura, BSc(Hons) Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science and MSc Science Communication student.
Our student, Laura, tells us why she decided to stay at UWE Bristol to study for a master’s after graduating from her undergraduate degree. She shares the benefits of postgraduate study and how UWE Bristol is preparing her for a career in science communication. Keep reading to find out more about Laura’s story.
Hi, my name is Laura. I studied an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science at UWE Bristol, which included a placement year at Bristol Zoo. After that, I decided to stay at UWE Bristol for my postgraduate studies, where I’m currently studying a master’s in Science Communication.
Why did I decide to do a postgraduate degree?
When I began my undergraduate degree, I thought I’d graduate and go straight into a job in conservation. However, after spending my placement year at Bristol Zoo, I realised I really enjoyed talking to the public about wildlife and helping them to develop a fascination about nature.
This passion developed through my third year coursework, when I designed and carried out a campaign encouraging people to help wildlife. This gave me the opportunity to work with organisations to help them to improve their practices to benefit wildlife. I also created engaging social media content to motivate people to improve their home spaces for local wildlife.
During my third year, I also attended a talk that introduced me to postgraduate courses that would complement my undergraduate degree. It was at this talk that I found out about UWE Bristol’s MSc Science Communication course.
“I knew I wanted to do a job that allowed me to spark a passion for wildlife in others. I also knew I’d need a postgraduate degree to develop my skills or knowledge in science communication to make this dream a reality.”
Why did I decide to continue studying at UWE Bristol?
After researching and comparing Science Communication courses offered by different universities, I decided the master’s at UWE Bristol was the right choice for me. The course had a strong reputation and was recognised and respected by the science communication industry.
The science communication modules offered at UWE Bristol also aligned well with my career goals. I’d recommend checking out the course modules as it can help you to ensure you’ll get the skills and knowledge you need for your future career.
As I’d already studied at UWE Bristol for four years, I was familiar with the campus and had friends I could share a house with during my master’s. This made the process of settling into my new course much smoother.
How are UWE Bristol supporting me to achieve my goals?
The MSc Science Communication course at UWE Bristol is designed to equip you with the practical skills and experience needed to get a job after graduation. Many of our assignments involve tasks directly related to jobs in the industry.
For example, one of my assignments was to create a hands-on activity to teach a family audience about a scientific topic in a fun and engaging way. This assignment led to me getting paid to present the activity at the Festival of Nature, which is a popular nature festival in Bristol.
I’ve also been able to work with many science communication organisations as part of my degree such as the BBC, Films@59 and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. These opportunities have allowed me to build my professional network and gain valuable professional experience for my CV.
Through my course, I was accepted onto a placement at Films@59 to help with post-production, and another placement to support eCancer with running their social media accounts. I’m looking to become a wildlife presenter or run the social media accounts for a conservation charity, so I was very excited to gain relevant industry experience.
“As part of the MSc Science Communication course, UWE Bristol offers week long placement opportunities, which enable you to tailor the experience you gain to your career aspirations.”
What are some of the benefits of staying at UWE Bristol for postgraduate study?
Studying a postgraduate degree can be financially tough. I found my funding wasn’t enough to cover both my tuition and maintenance costs, so I found the 25% alumni discount at UWE Bristol so helpful.
The MSc Science Communication degree is structured so students can study whilst working full-time or part-time. Lectures are held on Fridays and Saturdays so students can work during the rest of the week if they choose to. I’d recommend working part-time alongside your lectures and independent study to help you fund your studies without burning out.
There are many opportunities for part-time work at UWE Bristol. Throughout my postgraduate degree, I’ve worked as a Student Ambassador, Students’ Union Retail Assistant and Student Content Creator. These jobs are all on zero-hour contracts, so I can pick up shifts to fit around my university work, giving me more control over my time.
Postgraduate study is worth it
I’ve found the hard work I’ve put into my postgraduate study is definitely worth it. Throughout my MSc Science Communication, I’ve developed and tailored my skillset to suit my career goals and gained valuable industry experience. I’m confident the blend of practical skills and relevant experience I’ve gained will increase my chances of finding a job in the industry after I graduate.
Find out more about postgraduate study at UWE Bristol.