Friday, 31 August 2012

BSc (Hons) Financial Mathematics

Laura
My Name is Laura Cook and I am about to go into my final year of the BSc Hons Financial Mathematics degree. Maths was always my strong point throughout my time at school but I never started taking it seriously until I began my GCSEs. After receiving A*’s in both my maths and statistics GCSEs I chose to study maths and further maths at A level. I gained a B in Maths and a D in Further Maths at A level. I then received an offer to study Financial Mathematics at the University of Greenwich. I was really excited to be a fresher at Uni and couldn't wait to see what it was all about. My best friend was also going to study Mathematics at the University of Greenwich too so we arrived for our first day together. We couldn't believe that one of the largest lecture theatres in the Greenwich campus was almost completely full with students.

Over the first week we were introduced to our lecturers, personal tutors and show around the campus. Our first Friday there we were put into group relating to our courses and given our first piece of coursework due in for the following Friday. It was nice to see who was taking my particular course as we had spent the first week as with all the new mathematics students. We had to build relationships quickly as we had to answers questions and put together a presentation ready for the following Friday. We were a lucky group as we got on rather well and managed to successfully present our findings. After the first initial week the real teaching began.

The first year was mostly dealing with the last year of A level Maths and A level Further Maths and if you had taken statistics modules as part of your A level, it was all of that too. As I had taken both I was really lucky and knew majority of the first year topics and had minimal new topics to learn. It was a great refresh for me as I was surprised how much can slip out of your head over the summer! After the first year I felt really comfortable at university and knew my way around (I still don’t know my way around dreadnought library though!)

My second year was a lot more independent learning and it took a little getting used to but learning in this style was a great way to test your knowledge and how much you can remember. Most of the lectures are structured where you are shown what to do and the explanation of it and then you can go and try it out for yourself and see if it works. This is where your tutorials kick in. You can give what you learnt a go in these and if you find yourself stuck or not quite grasping the concept of the topic, tutors are available for you to talk to and get some extra help. I found this extremely helpful as one of my topics included some computer programming and let’s just say it wasn’t my strong point!

The tutors were so helpful when it came to helping me a “beginner” in this particular topic. By the end of the year I can say I’ve definitely improved and it’s nowhere near as scary as I thought it was in the beginning! About two thirds of the way through our second year we were given a talk about our third year options. Your third year gives you the chance to pick areas of mathematics that you have enjoyed the most or found most interesting. Depending on your degree depends on how much freedom of choice you get. With a normal maths degree you get complete freedom of choice. With my degree I have to take two compulsory courses (one in each term), two courses in a particular area of mathematics and then I have free choice on another two courses. If you don’t want to be too restricted on choice you can change your course title to allow as much freedom as you want (providing the first two years of the courses are the same!). This was great help and the talk was really informative and gave me a good idea of what to expect this year…

…And here I am now! Waiting to begin my third year excited to get back, nervous that it’s all coming to an end (with a dissertation on the horizon!) but I couldn’t have got as far as I have without my tutors. They may seem scary but they are your friends! They have given me a lot of support over the two years and I will be sad to say goodbye at the end of it. I chose the University of Greenwich as I can tailor my degree to my individual needs. There were a number of courses or opportunities available to me to choose between. I could choose to take a year out after my second year and spend a year working within an industry that I would be interested in. If I didn't want to take a whole year out but still wanted to gain some experience, there is an opportunity in the final year to take a course known as the Mathematics in Industry course. This allows you to base your coursework on work experience gained by spending a minimum of 13 hours of work experience within an area of your interest. Also if you think that you would like to go into teaching, there is another course in your final year that allows you to spend time within a school (primary or secondary) assisting teachers and also teaching yourself. There are also great connections within the Mathematics and the Guidance and Employability Team that can help you with your CV's and help you get on the right track to find a graduate placement. The career options within a maths degree are endless. It can range from staying on for further study and gaining a Masters or a PhD, or going into the city, or taking a PGCE and training to become a teacher. With a degree in Mathematics, the opportunities really are endless.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology

Rifat
Hi there, my name is Rifat Ara Chowdhury and I’m a student of Business Information Technology at the University of Greenwich. I would like to share my experience as a student and why I have chosen to come here.

Before getting in to the university, I spent a lot of time researching on which universities have the best teaching standard and facilities on my preferred program of study, as I knew that not all universities have the same level of standard in all programs they offer. I found that University of Greenwich is one of the best universities for studying Business Information Technology. I went to the university web page and found that it has professional and up-to-date information about each module that I am going to study and gives an insight of what I will learn from that particular module. It also explains how I will be able to apply my knowledge in the industry. There’s also an option available for students to choose between a normal degree and sandwich degree (1 year of your degree that you will spend working in the industries). I personally find the sandwich degree very valuable and our teachers always encourage us to do it as this is where the university provides lots of support to the candidates starting from applying till the end of the placement.

There are few things that I found quite exceptionally exciting about my program like once we had to do a ‘Business Game’ where we were given practical problems what companies face in  real life and we had to find solutions to resolve those problems. The game went on for one week and on the last day we had to do a presentation on what we did, why we did it and what lessons we learned.

Another time we had to do a presentation where we were representing our own systems (a simulation) to our clients (Not real!) and had to answer their queries about it. It was really a fun thing to do and we all enjoyed doing it.

Although these were only ‘made-up’ situations I feel that these kind of activities really help students to understand what problems they might face in real life and helps to learn how to get over those challenges.
The other reasons why I like Greenwich is it’s fantastic view, transport links and the huge cultural diversity.  I am based on the main (Maritime Greenwich) campus and I love the campus and its surroundings.  My second year classes will start on 17th September and I can’t wait to be there!!

Friday, 24 August 2012

BA (Hons) Physical Education and Sport

Alex
My name is Alex Woods and I am studying BA Hons Physical Education and sport.

After spending a year working in a local comprehensive school as a Teaching Assistant I was certain I wanted to complete a degree in Physical Education which would allow me to eventually become a P.E teacher.

I attended a few open days around the country and found the academics at Greenwich particularly helpful and passionate about the subject. They have an ability to transfer their own passion for the subject into the subject through lectures and practice sessions; this makes a huge difference in a student’s commitment to the course.  The Greenwich campus is full of historic buildings steeped in beautiful architecture and is next to the Greenwich Park which makes it a lovely place to study.  Initially I was rather upset at being based on the Avery Hill campus but after making use of the free shuttle bus to the Greenwich campus and Avery Hill Park I found it hard to complain. Also the campus has a community feel to it which makes you feel very secure.

My course is a particularly popular one and it’s nice to study with people who also share such an interest in sport, although daunting at being in a lecture theatre with 80 other people! Dance sessions quickly bring practical groups together and help you form friendships; even if it is through embarrassing yourself!

The lectures are taught in a professional manner but do not include the jargon you can expect in other subjects; the tutors also supply you with lots of discourse and opportunity to read around the subjects you are studying. I particularly enjoyed the Policy module this year, although I’m aware many others found it to be dense and perhaps even boring I enjoyed learning about how the curriculum is structured the way it is and what forces change. The way a political ideology can influence sporting success and participation is something I haven’t looked into before. Policy in sport changes all time and the coalition coupled with the effects of the buzzword ‘legacy’ (referring to the Olympic legacy) make policy an extremely interesting area to study. The second year brings more practical work and a more detailed look at theoretical aspect of Physical Education. Studying biomechanics and physiology can be very confusing but after apply yourself in the first year you should be able to cope by drawing on the knowledge you have already gained.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the first year of my course and am really looking forward to starting the second year. The tutor’s willingness to support you and the positive, friendly atmosphere the staff and other students create on course motivates me to achieve and reach my potential.  During the third year you are given the opportunity to pick modules of study and conduct an independent which means you get the opportunity to further study the most enjoyable parts of your course.

After graduating I hope to complete a PGCE and become a qualified teacher. I goal is to use the knowledge I have gain over 3 years and my qualified teacher status to travel the world whilst physical education in developing countries.

BSc (Hons) Computer Systems and Software Engineering

Danielle
Computer Systems and Software Engineering had always been the course for me.  I have a background of IT professionals within the family that have encouraged me in pursuing a profession in the IT industry.  My interest in software engineering came to me at the age of 14.  I didn't know much about it but in order for me to gain a better understanding; I did some research and gathered information. 

The information gained was helpful.  It directed me on my path through education i.e. what subjects to do at A-levels and what the entry requirements were in order to get a place at a good university.  The A-levels that I decided to take were:  Maths, Chemistry and ICT. These subjects were decided based on the relevance to the Software Engineering course that I wanted to do.  Unfortunately, I did not get a place at my chosen universities as I did not meet the entry requirements for the course there.

Luckily, going through Clearing, I first contacted University of Greenwich and got a place on my desired course “Computer Systems and Software Engineering”.  I was overly excited about the offer and thankful that University of Greenwich were able to give me a place on their degree course.

I attended the university with an open mind but had one or two doubts that the course would be hard especially as I was making the transition from college doing A-levels to University doing a degree. I had heard stories from past graduates that went through the same experience as me. They were a mix of feedback/ stories about university but I wanted to make my own judgements. 

The first days of lectures came.  They were a big eye opener.  I felt slightly unknowledgeable about the actual degree course and some of the module contents.  As time progressed, I developed the skills and knowledge from the course.  I gained new friendships from both students on my course and students around the campus.  I found that the lectures and the lecturers were understandable, helpful and informative.  I only have good words to say about the lecturers.  They are always around if you need them.  I also found it nice that the people within my course were friendly and willing to help whenever in need.  The group as a whole are very supportive, work well in teams and very sociable.  I would have never imagined. 

The experience overall was amazing.  My first year went very well, I learnt a lot. The course was made up of exams, assignments/ projects and assessments which I liked and did well in. There was hardly any pressure to get everything done.  As I am an organised person, I like to get things done straightaway.  Some advice though:  ‘Never wait for last minute’.  The work will pile up on you.

Thank God I PASSED!!  Now for 2nd year, I wonder what that will begin.

The Computer Systems and Software Engineering course definitely is AMAZING!! 

If you’re interested in computers, technology, have a broad idea of programming and software, then Computer Systems software engineering is for you.  

BA (Hons) Marketing

Christeena
Some people may consider marketing to be all about people who try and manipulate people into purchasing items which they may not necessarily need by using multiple techniques. On one side it is true but on the other there is a totally different story.

When I first came into contact with the whole academic side of marketing I was only 15 and doing my GCSE’s. At that point like most young teenagers, I had never considered that, this was the road I would be going down in the future. During college when I was doing a BTEC National Diploma I came across the subject again, but in more detail. This was really the stage that made me open my eyes to the vastly growing topic that is marketing. By having simply a taster of the different directions in which it could lead into in the future, I took the step and decided to do it as a degree at University. When it came to choosing where I would study my degree for me personally there was no option except for Greenwich. This was because of a mixture of mainly personal reasons as well as the wide range of courses offered for marketing, the way they taught it (presentations, lectures, real campaign building, stories and case studies) and the deal was sealed when I attended one of the open days and spoke to the head of the department.

For me, I consider marketing to be like the Chinese yin & yang, made up of complimenting forces that help create a dynamic system. On one side there is;

YIN –  the regulations which guide and create the rules of marketing to ensure the safety as well as protection of consumers, their rights and to ensure that all forms of marketing are ethical and in compliance to the set regulations.

And,

YANG – companies who are using marketing to communicate with consumers their messages and products or services.

I never thought about how complex marketing was before I started studying the subject, but it is a subject which draws you in and manages to entertain your mind through the wide variety of different aspects it includes. Whilst studying marketing I have learnt that it is highly regulated and whilst studying the topic you learn and expand your knowledge of the rules and regulations stated by numerous regulators, the ASA being one of them. You also understand the processes behind the reason for marketing campaigns.  Not only do you learn about simply marketing but also the business world, how companies’ hierarchy affects marketing, logistics, branding of products, communications, and the list is endless. Marketing can be the strongest form of communication between consumer and organisation if done right. It is not only for profit organisations marketing is also a vital part in helping charities spread their awareness.

Social marketing is just one area which you learn about and this is the area which has captivated my interest. Being able to guide people to making choices about helping not just themselves but other through their behaviours including their decision process, to me is the best form of marketing.  Marketing is such a powerful industry to be a part of, as everywhere you look there is some form of marketing, whether it is a logo, a slogan, a poster or a T.V campaign. I aspire to be part of the industry which can help make a difference not simply financially but in a general positive way.

The course at Greenwich gives you a unique take on the subject with the tutor’s incredible background in the topic some of which have worked for companies like BT and Honda and they are all amazing at teaching and introducing the students into the world of marketing by teaching us from the experience they have gained.
This is a quote I was introduced to by one of my tutors; to me this is a perfect way to explain what marketing is all about and what we do. For me it explains that although you may think you know yourself it is with the help of others around you that lead and guide you to the places and decision you take in your future.

“…Since you always lived inside your own head, you were much better at seeing the truth about others than you ever were at seeing yourself. So you navigated your life with the help of others who held up mirrors for you. People praised your good habits and criticized your bad habits, and these perspectives – often surprising to you – helped you to guide your life. So poorly did you know yourself that you were always surprised at how you looked in photographs or how you sounded on voice mail.”

Eagleman, D (2009), Sum, Edinburgh: Cannongate Books

BSc (Hons) Sports Science with Professional Football Coaching

Junior
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very
disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more
 important than that."
(Bill Shankly) 

Saturday 11th May 1996 is probably the most significant day of my life. It wasn’t my birthday or my first day at school, nor was it the day I first fell in love with a girl. It was a day far more significant and important than all of them moments combined. It was the day that my life changed forever and the day I knew life would never be the same. It’s the day that guarantees every man in the country is busy at 3.00pm. It was FA Cup Final Day! Liverpool vs. Manchester United!!! I was 6 years old but remember watching the games with my uncle like it was yesterday. My eyes were glued to the television before a ball was even kicked. I remember really wanting a cream suit with a red tie after seeing the Liverpool players sporting the outfit before the game. During the build-up coverage before kick-off, then was a tribute to God himself ‘Robbie Fowler’.

Showcasing all the wonderful goals he had scored in his career at the time.  He had black hair with blonde highlights and made scoring goals look like the easiest thing in the world. He was so cool and I wanted to be just like him. Michael Jackson was no longer my idol…. It was all about Robbie Fowler! I am not really sure if I liked football before that day, but by the final whistle I had become a Liverpool fan, a Robbie Fowler wannabe and a lover of football. (Liverpool lost 1-0)

I spent the next 12 years of my life playing and watching football. It started off recreational and eventually became my main focus in life. Education often took a back seat to football as I couldn’t imagine going to college, let alone university. I was going to become a professional football, I HAD TO BE! Until I was called into the office for that dreaded meeting with the youth team coach at MK Dons, who told me I wouldn’t be offered a youth team contract (YTS). My life was over… at least I thought it was. After an unsuccessful trial at Leyton Orient a month after being kicked to the curb by MK Dons I started to dislike the beautiful games. ‘Why does the game I love so much, not love me back?’ I’d often ask myself. I was 17 with a bruised ego, battered confidence and most importantly… No football team! College was my only option. I signed up for a Sports Science course at Southgate College which also had a football academy which I joined. Although I was still playing football every day, my past experience helped me to realize I needed a plan B. I took college really seriously and started to excel on the course. I was fascinated with science and astonished by how little I knew about the human body and the science of football. I was thirsty for more knowledge and wanted to know more. ‘University maybe…?’ If my dream of becoming an elite professional athlete was no longer an option I still wanted to work in the industry as a coach, physiotherapist or a sport psychologist.

I applied for Sports Science with Professional Football Coaching at the University of Greenwich and it is the best decision I have ever made. I took my attitude from playing football into my studies.

· Hard work
· Mental Strength
· Preparation
· Consistency

All attributes to become an elite athlete and an elite student. I needed what I had learnt from playing football to succeed academically. Sports science is a tough subject, with far less sport than you might think.
Sports Science. Keyword: SCIENCE!!!

Don’t be under an impression that you’ll be playing football, rugby, netball or tennis 5 days a week. Sports Science is a science degree. The course is heavily theoretical and practical sessions are few and far between unless you’re willing to be a guinea pig in a vigorous laboratory test. With the entry requirements among the highest of any course at the university, its gives a clear indication to the how tough the course is, but the course is thoroughly enjoyable, interesting and captivating.

The course consists of the following subjects;
1. Anatomy
2. Physiology
3. Biomechanics
4. Nutrition
5. Sport Psychology
6. Movement Sport Injury
7. Coaching
8. Science of Football

There are three types of sport science course;
1. Sports Science
2. Sports Science with Coaching
3. Sports Science with Professional Football Coaching

The courses are the same and most classes will include all three groups in a lecture/seminar together. The two courses that include coaching will have their coaching related lectures in the chosen groups away from the non-coaching group.

Sports science is the ideal course to study if you’re sure you want to work in sports but not too sure what actually it is you want to do in sport. Unlike other degrees, sports science doesn’t ‘pigeon hole’ you to one professional or career path. You can even go into teaching secondary biology, P.E or teaching primary school children after the 3 years if you have a change of heart.

I may have never became the ‘New Robbie Fowler’ but I have graduated from my Sports Science with an excellent FA Coaching qualification and experience to work in any professional football club in Europe. I hope to become a football scout and discover the ‘Next Robbie Fowler’.

Saturday 5th May 2012, I met Robbie Fowler….. at the FA Cup Final.(Liverpool lost, again!)

BA (Hons) Drama and English Literature

Blaze
Spending my early childhood in Africa I learnt about the importance of theatre and the written and spoken word to people; its ability to transform communities; transcend boundaries; and provide power to the powerless. Throughout my schooling I have always had a passion for Drama and English, thus it seemed a natural progression to carry these subjects through to higher education. My older sister studied medicine in England and now works as a scientist… so the pressure was on from my family to study a ‘more academic’ subject as my dad liked to call it! I was torn - do I study physics for three years and make my dad happy or follow my heart. The heart won (thank goodness).

Coming from overseas and looking at universities was a very daunting prospect. For me University of Greenwich really stood out. It was not only the beautiful and almost historically tangible landscape but also the approachable and supportive academic stuff that really sold it for me.  Greenwich offered me the perfect combination of courses I was looking for in the BA Honours Drama and English Literature. Not only could I indulge in my passion for the theatre, both in theory and practice, but also delve into literature from the 18th century to the present. Throughout my three years of study all my courses have complimented each other and allowed me to further my understanding of certain subjects and broaden my approach to individual study. At Greenwich English and Drama can be combined with many other subjects. Combined/joint degrees can be perfectly suited to the individual and at the same time broaden job opportunities (which is never a bad thing!) J

In my first year I had to choose two compulsory subjects; one from the English subject list and the other from Drama, the other two courses I could pick from a long list of electives. My core compulsory course for English was Literary Forms of Representation - a course that taught me to assess and interpret different forms of representations, including reading lots of novels and watching many films, which is always a bonus in lectures! I can still remember the feeling of uncertainty when I first started my degree; I was nervous that I would not be able to keep up as at school I had not read many  ‘old- fashioned books with lots of pages’ as I used to refer to them by. The way the course is structured is excellent – I never felt out of my depth as throughout the year you build gradually on your foundation of knowledge and I fell in love with most of the books that we studied. The first book I read on the course was Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations and I will always remember reading the part in the novel where the main character, Pip, helps the convict Magwitch to board a boat along the banks of Greenwich pier in order to protect him from the authorities. It’s a great pleasure to study on a campus so wrapped in literary richness!

In my second year the English course focused mainly on literature from the 20th and 21st century literary canon. Lots of my study focused on Virginia Woolfe, and now I can safely say Mrs Dalloway is my favourite novel.  Studying in London is a great advantage. I have access to countless theatres, performances (ranging from the traditional to the avant-garde), libraries and an all-area access pass to one of the cultural hotspots of the world.  Greenwich for me was the best of both worlds – the tranquillity of the Thames and Greenwich offset with the easily accessible energy and bustle of the city centre.

The Drama courses over the three years spanned from the traditional Greek dramas to avant-garde theatre performances. What is great about predominantly all of the drama courses that the university offers is that they all have a 50% practical and 50% theory component. Students are not only assessed on practical work but study the development and evolution of drama in great depth (often something that a pure acting course/degree doesn’t allow). Over the last three years I have lost track of the amount of theatre I have watched. It is great to study a play then see it live on stage, something that can be easily done in a London-based institution.  Also, many of my drama peers pursued a placement in their third year. Embarking on a placement is a great opportunity to get some hands on experience in your potential field of employment and is something that the university staff are keen to advertise and facilitate.

I will be graduating in October with a first class honours degree. I believe my hard work should be attributed to the fantastic course and the teaching staff.  I have received a scholarship form the Arts and Humanities Council to study a master’s course at Greenwich, the MA Theatre Practices. I am really looking forward to continuing studying in this dynamic and innovative field.  

If you are interested in any subject concerned with the creative industry take a look at our degrees we have on offer. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Greenwich and invite you to do the same. Personally, I see obtaining a degree like receiving a passport – a passport that enables one to see things from a new perspective, to challenge preconceived notions and schools of thought, and in my case a passport to becoming a more mature, confident and self-assured individual J

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Kelty
This is one of my favourite subjects to write about, not only do I study it for my degree, but it’s a subject that I’m really passionate about (as geeky as that makes me sound). I previously did a blog about the first year modules (http://gre-kelty.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/year-in-life-of-first-year-psychology.html) but I haven’t actually spoken much about the modules I did in my second year, so it’s about time I start :). Just be aware though, that my opinions of the modules are just that, my opinions, everyone is different and some of the modules I hated, my friends loved, and vice versa, so it’s always best to experience/research them yourself  in order to form your own opinions :)

Having done psychology for A level, I had a good basis for starting the first year, as I was already familiar with a lot of the key studies like Milgram, Bolwby, Piaget, Zimabardo etc…although A Level psychology isn’t a requirement for the course, so if you haven’t done it I would suggest just getting a general psychology book before you start and brushing up on the most famous studies, as those studies do crop up repeatedly throughout your first year, and even your second!

So anyway, having already had that basic knowledge of psychology from my A level, I began to think the course was a bit of a breeze and managed to coast through my first year without encountering anything too challenging, and I naively thought that the second year was going to be equalling unchallenging. Yet, within the first couple of weeks starting the second year, I began to realise just how wrong I was. Not only were the subjects harder and more in depth, the standard of work we were expected to produce had rose dramatically, yet the time we had to it in had decreased!!  In January we had 3 assignments due in, in the space of 3 days!!

In second year we weren’t allowed to pick what modules we studied, as certain ones are essential to study if you want to be eligible to register with the BPS (British Psychological Society) once you graduate. In line with this we studied 4 modules, Brain, Behaviour and Cognition, Research Methods 2, Individual Differences and Abnormal Psychology and Developmental and Social Psychology.

Research Methods 2, was set out very similar to the Research Methods from the first year. We had to complete 3 lab reports again, although one was qualitative rather than the quantitative ones we had gotten so used to. This was a bit of a shock to the system so to speak, as it had to be researched and laid out in a very different way to the other ones we had to do. The main differences between the two, is that quantitative revolves around a hypothesis and you collect data which can be analysed statistically to support your hypothesis or not. Whereas a qualitative one, has research questions rather than an hypothesis, and the data you collect is ‘rich’ data (i.e. words not numbers) normally collected through methods such as interviews, or diaries, and then the data is coded and analysed in a very different way. The statistics part of this course was slightly different as well, as in first year the majority of it was all hand calculations and then looking up whether the results were significant in various tables etc, whereas in second year, the emphasis was on analysing the results from an SPSS output (A statistics programme, similar to excel but more advanced!) rather than having to work it out for ourselves, which sounds easier but believe me, when you have like 6 different tables to look through just for one little piece of information it can become confusing.

The next module was Brain, Behaviour and Cognition. This was probably my least favourite modules of the last two years, as it is very heavily science based as it involved neuroscience and learning about various parts of the brain and neurons and nerves etc. I’m not a very sciency person by nature, I’ve always excelled in Maths, but when it comes to science I just tend to switch off and let all of those technical terms wash over me, that’s not to say the course wasn’t interesting, as it was, especially learning about why we forget and things like that, it was just a little bit too technical for me. Because of my diminished interest in this module, it was also the module I got the lowest grades in, just managing to scrap a 2.1, although I think the only reason I even managed that was partly due to some of the assessments within this being easier than others, as we had to do a reflective account of what we had learnt from the course and others, as well as a reflective assignment, based around a question we had devised ourselves. Both of which were slightly easier than the essays we had to do based around neuroscience topics. One good thing about this course though, was that there was no exam wooooh.

Developmental and Social Psychology was another module we studied. This was split over two terms, with the first term being devoted to developmental, and the second term social. I really enjoyed this course, as besides being interesting and focusing around a person’s development from a baby to adult, the only assignment we had for the developmental side of things, was a portfolio consisting of 10 questions from all aspects of developmental psychology. This assignment was worth 50% of the module so doing really well on it would give a big boost overall and personally I’d much rather do one big assignment and focus all my time and energy on that, rather than 3 or 4 essays only worth 10% each. The social side of the course was really interesting as well, as we learnt things such as how and why stereotypes are formed and people’s attitudes towards certain things. I especially liked the crowd behaviour topic as it tied in directly with the London riots from last summer, so it made it more relatable than some of the other topics. Our assessments for this side of the course, consisted of how to complete a research assistant job application and a three hour seen exam. A seen exam means that you get given the questions about 2 weeks before the exam and then you have to prepare and memorise the answers for it. This particular exam required us to answer 3 completely different questions and write them in three hours!! Needless to say, my hand hurt sooo much afterwards!! Despite the exam, I enjoyed the social side of the course so much I decided to pick it as one of my third year modules.

The final module we studied was Individual Differences and Abnormal Psychology. Again I found this course really interesting as part of it revolved around mental health, which is an area which really interests me because of the diversity and complexity of it. This module was very article/journal based, whereby we had to read at least one article a week and then discuss and critique it, as well as writing a critical review about a specific personality journal, which was something the majority of us had never encountered before, although having started on my dissertation, I can see why it is a very handy skill to have!! Besides the critical review we also had to complete 2 mini essays, as well as another seen exam. I found this exam to be a lot easier than the Social one, as this one was only 90minutes long, and we only had to prepare two answers, which is a lot easier to memories than 3 extra long ones!!

So that pretty much sums up my second year :) I’m really looking forward to starting my third year, as all the courses I’ll be studying will be of my own choosing!! Besides my dissertation/third year project which is compulsory, and is pretty much the same as a lab report, except 10x the length and you have to come up with the study on your own! But it’s worth 45 credits over all, so just over a third of the course!! So I’m going to put in as much effort as I can into it!!

If you have any more questions about psychology or any of our other courses we offer here, you can check out our website on www.gre.ac.uk or give us a call on 020 8331 9000  and we’ll try to answer all of your questions :)

Bye for now xx

Thursday, 23 August 2012

BSc (Hons) Mathematics

Farhana
I entered University straight from college as I was really interested in continuing my education without taking a gap year. I’ve always been really interested in Mathematics from GCSE Level. At first I did find it quite hard to grasp the key concepts and ideas, but the one thing I realised is that practice really does make perfect. Admittedly A Level Maths was much more exciting and interesting to study compared to GCSE level. It may seem weird reading about someone with an interest in maths, but if a subject truly interests you, then talking/writing about it passionately will seem perfectly natural. From studying A Level Mathematics, I realised that I was more suited to specific pure modules such as algebra and calculus compared to the more applied or practical modules such as statistics or mechanics. With statistics, I think it’s easy to get confused between the different types of distribution, binomial, normal and Poisson to name but a few. Other topics I found quite tricky would be hypothesis testing and two tailed testing.
The majority of my first year was spent making friends and getting to know lots of different people, most of which are still my closest friends even till today. At the same time I did concentrate on my studies. I had to you see, since the people I formed friendships with were more interested in their studies compared to me, and so from following their examples I felt encouraged and enthusiastic to concentrate in my classes and therefore I was able to study hard and perform well in my coursework and examinations.
Unbelievably, probability and statistics turned into one of my favourite modules of all time. I guess it was taught slight differently at University level compared to college, or maybe it’s because I had such a fantastic and supportive teacher who took time in explaining each topic and gently guiding je, in pointing out my mistakes and helping me to better understand my weaknesses and strengths in this module, so that I can perform well. Whatever the reason maybe, I know that I do this module a lot more than
Other modules which I was particularly interested in throughout my studies would be Calculus, Linear Algebra and Numerical Software for Partial Differential Equations. These subjects are mostly interlinked and are an advancement of one another. The main reason why I enjoy these modules the most is because considering I studied algebra since secondary school, I guess things just click and I find it easier to understand compared to other topics of mathematics.
Overall, I really do enjoy studying mathematics. It was one my favourite subjects at school and college, but I guess that was evident since I continued studying the subject up to degree level. My future plan in relation to completing my honours degree is to study a PGCE in secondary Education Mathematics. I think I do have a lot of experience c considering I have been a student ambassador for the university and did a sustained project for a whole year working with students from the ages of 14-16, so I would say that in terms of working with different types of people my confidence is increasing and I think that is one of the key qualities which will enable me to ne a successful teacher.

BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing

Cherie
At age 25, I wasn’t quite ready to be defined as a mature student. However, when applying for University at that age that is exactly what you are. University of Greenwich handled mature students incredibly well at their Open days and it didn’t matter to them that you weren’t fresh out of College or ready and waiting with you’re A level results on hand. They just cared that you wanted to learn and that you were contemplating their institution to do it in. I’d had a bit of a choppy educational life up until that point; never satisfied and with a hundred and one career choices spreading out ahead of me. The one thing I knew for sure, however, was that I wanted to write. I’ve always wanted to write but I wasn’t sure in what field.

The perfect choice seemed to be in the University of Greenwich’s combined choices. They do a wonderful choice of courses and information on combined courses and how they work was on hand when I attended the open day. English Literature and Creative Writing. As soon as those words jumped out of the page, I spoke to Programme Leaders from both courses and instantly knew what I wanted; to attend the English Literature and Creative Writing combined course at the University of Greenwich.
Now, two years later, here I am. I’m a little sad it’s moving so quickly. The lecturers for both courses all have a wide knowledge base of their subjects and they are always on hand to listen and advise. The classes themselves are extremely interesting; I’ve studied everything from poetry and prose to screen writing and Shakespeare. The lectures have allowed me to soak up the information and give me a starting point with my research while the seminars are great for stirring up debates and sharing observations about novels and scripts alike. For Creative Writing, the workshops are always dramatic and diverse. People write differently; the things you are likely to hear, and to write yourself, are going to be eye-opening and enjoyable. I’ve spent many a lesson cursing people for their writing and wondering how I could ever be as good.
Come second year, the tutors were taking a step back and you learn to master the skills you hone in the first year. Now you’re writing longer scripts, more meaningful short stories and delving into the world of romanticism, and writing from different eras. It can be a little overwhelming at times, especially when you have a lot of books to get through in a short amount of time, or your assignments crop up and up until they overwhelm you. Still, I wouldn’t give up my time here for anything. First year was amazing; I made friends quickly from a variety of classes throughout the writing courses.
There are also great chances to expand your horizons on this course with trips out to different places of interest. We’ve spent a day at museums in London, writing on the fly about different things around you and then, back in class, seeing the many things people can come up with from just a few artefacts and tapestries. We’ve had guest lecturers from famous Hollywood screenwriters to people just like us; starting small and working their way up.
I’m about to start my third year and for my friends and I right now it’s a flurry of dissertations and work experience in various fields, all of which extend from teaching to publishing. English Literature and Creative Writing really is the course of a lifetime and I’m so glad I came to Greenwich.
The course is taught at the most beautiful of locations, the Maritime Campus which is always alive with people, both public and University students. We are sometimes graced with various film personalities as Greenwich is a favourite location for those movies who adore the old-style architecture. We’ve had famous faces such as Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Hugh Jackman. It really is a wonderful place to learn (although not so much when you have someone shouting ACTION! outside your classroom window every afternoon ;))
I am so very glad that I chose Greenwich as my University of choice and even more so that I could delve into the wonders of Creative and English Writing.

BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work

Deavon
When I first contemplated going to university at 18, working in the Youth and Community sector was an area I had not even remotely considered as a potential career. In truth, I did not really have a concrete idea of where I wanted to take my life, so I followed a trend of the time and studied a HND in Business Information Technology. After I graduated I managed to get a really good job with an IT company and was determined to work up the corporate ladder. I don’t know, but maybe by luck, design and hard work, I got a really good reputation within the company, and I was given challenging roles with a wage which reflected the work I was doing. The thing was, I became disillusioned at work and some social problems I saw, such as black on black crime, how drug use was presented in the media and the idea that young people were admiring the wrong type of celebrities, affected me to the extent I actually became depressed.

I had reached a point in my life where I wanted to feel I was making a difference, but I didn’t know how. I was still working for the IT Company, but I began to mentor young males in my spare time. Mentoring sounds like I was giving my mentees some wise words of wisdom, but it really wasn’t like that. Mentoring to me involved lots of fun, going to different places of interest and making sure my mentees were safe in my company. I suppose I tried to make sure that I was good company to them. After two years of mentoring, I knew I wanted to work with young people on a more permanent basis, however I also wanted to ensure I was suitably qualified enabling me more freedom of choice in deciding the eventual avenue I would take. After 12 years of working in IT I had made the conscious decision to resign from work and return to study.

I contacted several universities, before deciding Greenwich was the institution I wanted to attend. I decided on Greenwich for several reasons, some personal and some professional. Some professional reasons were that I liked the idea of placement hours being conducted throughout the academic year as opposed to an intensive block and placement being throughout the three academic years, which in my mind translated to more practical experience I could sell to potential employers.

Within the first three weeks of my course, I knew I had made the right decision. The discussions we had in class, some extremely heated, made me feel alive in a social conscious way that I had not felt publically previously. Throughout the year we discussed and wrote assignments on various issues, some around identity, others on how politics and the law affected people from different social classes and a major talking point being the use of and abuse of power. The second year, building on the first has seen a lot more group work (challenging in itself) around delivering proposal presentations to apply for funding and there has been a lot more emphasis on Community Work understanding what it is and how education in the community takes place.

From day one, my classmates and myself have been asked to question ourselves as well as each other, and whilst this at times has been uncomfortable, I have found it a necessary process because as a youth worker we ask young people to question themselves, and how can we realistically ask someone to question themselves and their own thought processes if we don’t question and understand our own? An ‘in joke’ has started amongst my university class mates as it seems we have to do a LOT of reflection. Although an ‘in joke’ without the practical placement experience I have acquired on the course, I would not appreciate the importance of reflection within the workplace. Placement hours (600+ and counting!) has also made me a more confident worker, able to deal with situations I would not have known how to handle. When a young person approaches you, because they trust you and discloses information which you have to act on, you really do appreciate the hours you have put in and the trusted co-workers who have helped develop you along the way.

I am about to start the third year of my course and I am looking forward to learning more theory alongside placement practice. I already have my research topic in mind which relates to black masculinity / black coolness (I can’t give you more information because it’s a secret!!!) I’m not too sure where I will take my career after I have finished the degree, however some options available to me are youth offending work, working in a pupil referral unit, youth clubs, being a community or sports development officer or doing a Primary school PGCE. Although I am not sure where the future will take me, I am confident and happy I am going in the right direction! Deavon : )