How I furthered my skills at UWE Bristol

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By Soleiman, MSc Façade Engineering

UWE Bristol student, Soleiman, tells us about his experience as a mature international student living in Bristol. He shares the factors that influenced his decision to study a master’s degree, the impact it will have on his career prospects, and what his scholarship meant to him.

Why I decided to undertake a master’s degree

I think that before selecting a master’s degree, it’s important to do your research, study the curriculum, and choose the right course for you. It’s also very important to think about your future career or further education and how the course will help you get there.

“With my background in engineering, I knew I wanted to undertake a master’s to upskill and increase my career prospects.”

I had researched the Master’s in Façade Engineering around the world, and through Google found that UWE Bristol’s course is unique and offers benefits that others don’t. The collaboration with the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) was a huge benefit, and I had seen publications from the lecturer delivering the course before I applied. This convinced me that UWE Bristol was the best choice for me and my career.

My scholarship

I was very happy to receive my scholarship as it meant I was able to finance my degree. My decision to come to UWE Bristol was based on the content of the course and the opportunities it could provide, but the scholarship was a helpful deciding factor as my income was a barrier once my country’s currency was converted to pounds.

My experience of UWE Bristol

Overall, I’m very satisfied with the course, including the content. The volume and depth of content, and the variety of modules provided useful and relevant information that I can apply to future projects. Most of the learning is gained through lectures and presentations.

“Industry experts often presented to my class and would bring in samples to give us a feel for materials and design, which will also be very useful going forward.”

The online facilities and services are very user-friendly, and an added benefit is the access to recordings of lectures and presentations, particularly for me as I moved myself and my young family to the UK from Iran.

I received support from UWE Bristol right from the start. I had some issues processing my visa, but the Confirmation for Acceptance of Studies (CAS) team and the Admissions team were really helpful in getting that resolved and getting me started.

Career impact

I’d been working in the engineering sector for 14 years and wanted the master’s degree to enhance this knowledge and make myself more desirable for world-leading façade engineering companies around the globe.

The course taught me more than I had expected and made me feel much more career-ready. As well as building upon the skills and experience I’d already developed in my career, I found the process of writing technically a real learning-curve.

This was especially true when writing for contractors, employers and architects, as this was something I hadn’t previously practised. I’ve also became more familiar with industry standards – a skill that will benefit me for the rest of my career.

How I moved from Nigeria to UWE Bristol

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By Adewale, MSc Engineering Management

UWE Bristol student, Adewale, tells us of his experience as a mature international student living in Bristol. He shares the factors that influenced his decision to move to the UK and study at UWE Bristol, the impact his degree will have on his career prospects and what his scholarship meant to him.

Why I chose UWE Bristol

It’s been a lifetime dream of mine to study in the UK. A former engineering colleague graduated through UWE Bristol and I’ve always respected his work ethic, conduct and professionalism. He also gave me some experiences of what it’s like to study here which helped me pick UWE Bristol.

I was able to fund my place on the MSc Engineering Management course after receiving the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. It was a crucial factor for me to receive my scholarship as I’d been trying to study at UWE Bristol for the last three years but couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t have come here without the scholarship, so it has undoubtedly changed my life.

“Now I’m here I can see that UWE Bristol makes sure that the needs of everyone are met – no one is left out. The facilities are fantastic too; I’ve mostly used the 24/7 library and the Information Point on campus when I’ve needed support. The lecturers are all supportive and always answer any questions we have.”

Studying here has also improved my communication skills, particularly in the group sessions where we work with lots of other students from different cultures. I’ve also received emails from the Global Centre telling me about things I can get involved with, so I’ve never been short of exciting opportunities.

Studying in the UK

I’m really enjoying my course, especially the mode of delivery which allows lots of interaction with other colleagues. The other students on my course are from lots of different backgrounds. It’s good getting to know them and their different cultures, which is also beneficial when working on group case studies.

In my home country the mode of delivery is very different. You work individually so there’s no group work or discussions, no sharing experiences or case studies – you’re expected to work on your own. I get a lot more support from my colleagues and lecturers here and I’m able to share experiences and learn from other people’s views. The way of learning here is much better for me.

The industry connections in the UK, particularly in Bristol, are a huge plus too. I’ve learnt about the high performing companies within the UK and how they evolved to where they are today. You definitely feel like you’re gaining practical experience while you’re here.”

And Bristol is great in general – it’s a very calm, multicultural city and also very secure. Everyone has been friendly and the city is beautiful.

Being a mature student

As an engineer, I hope my course will help me to progress up the managerial ladder within engineering. I’ve gained a better understanding of industry costs, and what the responsibilities and challenges of an Engineering Manager should be, including the scope of their work.  Also, information on how engineering differs in developed and developing countries has been particularly useful to me as an international student.

My advice for other international students

I have three key pieces of advice for prospective international students:

  • Be prepared for your learning and you’ll receive the right support. You cannot expect to come here and just do what you like.
  • You get a lot of emails from UWE Bristol about the support you can get as an international student. Make sure you check your emails regularly and read them thoroughly to maximise your time here.
  • Keep an open mind, adapt to the new culture and the new knowledge this will bring.

How my PhD at UWE Bristol has helped me to pursue my passion.

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By Anna, PhD student.

Our PhD student, Anna, tells us how she pursued her passion for community-led housing and social change through postgraduate research study. Anna shares how she gained funding for her PhD and how UWE Bristol have supported her as a mature student. Read more about Anna’s story.

Continue reading “How my PhD at UWE Bristol has helped me to pursue my passion.”

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