Wednesday, 23 July 2014

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Hi, my name is Raeesah or Racer. When people see how my name is spelt they automatically pronounce the last three letters as ‘sha’ not ‘sah’ and its ‘sah’. Anyhow, back to the point.

I have just completed a BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science and will be graduating later in July.

I came to Greenwich via Clearing, which initially was a daunting experience as I had not visited the campus and knew nothing about it, other than what I had read online. Only after accepting my offer did I realise that Greenwich has three campuses and I was to be spending my three years at the Medway campus in Kent.

In order to make the most of being at University, I moved out of my parents’ house and moved to Kent. Adjusting to life away from home took some time; however, looking back I am really glad I made this decision. In the long run, it made settling down and studying much easier.

The first year of my degree was quite fun. Our timetable and number of assignments/assessments were at a number that we could handle and because of this we got the opportunity to go out and have fun, alongside studying.

Second year was much harder. It was manageable but it’s important to remember the ‘jump’ that is constantly referred to, that occurs from first year to second year, exists.

During my second year a lot of third year students told me that third year was not as hard as second year - DO NOT BELIEVE THIS! THIRD YEAR IS BY FAR THE HARDEST, MOST DEMANDING OF THE THREE YEARS.

Make sure you are on top of things from the start of third year. You need to see your supervisor every 2 weeks (regarding your final year project). Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, tell him/her. They will help! The coursework deadline demands are also much greater.

Now, with assessments/exams being held in January and May, the burden will be a lot less, but it won’t be easy but it is doable.

Good Luck and have fun. Try not to be a student J

Monday, 21 July 2014

BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Computer Science is arguably the “bread and butter” course to get into the IT industry, and the one that had the most flexibility in terms of career paths. This is at least what I thought which is why I chose the course in the first place. I wasn't really sure what part of the IT industry I wanted to go into.

I've met a lot of people like this, and it’s safe to say you’ll have a much better idea once you start. By the end of the first year you will probably know.

You will learn programming, database development, as well as practical knowledge on making good quality software in a scheduled manner. A lot of people find programming difficult at first, I really recommend you go through some video tutorials on-line if you're new to programming as it can really make a difference if you know a little beforehand.

There are two courses that logically follow on from each other which I think are the hardest courses in all of first year across the department of Computing and Information Systems. The first is “Communication Systems”, which isn't too hard, but there is a lot of work, every week you will have a supervised lab session and 9/10 you won’t finish the work due the following week and will be doing extra work in the lab with your groups. You learn about how information is sent between computers, and lots of other cool stuff like shell scripting etc.

There’s also a bit of maths, and people usually try to avoid this maths by taking courses like Business Information Systems/Technology. These are good courses in their own right, but I think it’s a shame as going through these courses properly will make a huge difference to your understanding of computers.

The second course is called “Computer Systems Architecture” which demystifies the inner workings of a CPU practically from the basics. You use breadboards to make circuits which can be used as memory or to add numbers and then you learn the basic electronics of a computer. Then you have to code in assembly language, which is a fair deal harder than Java, if you complete this course with a high grade, I genuinely think you have great career prospects.

By second year you will be more proficient in programming and you’ll be able to work on cooler projects. This year I made a London-Underground style journey planner for Prague, Czech Republic, A network-based Ping-Pong game using C++, A shopping web app in ASP.NET etc. The more time you give it the more you can create.

So the last thing I will say is, I've fooled you if I've made the course seem ridiculously hard, but it is fairly harder than some other IT courses, but it’s definitely worth it for what you get out of it. If you’re not half bad at maths and like computers, Computer Science is the way to go.

BA (Hons) Drama

Hello, my name is Terry and I have just completed my third and final year of my BA (Hons) Drama degree. Two words to sum up my whole degree would be exciting and wonderful. I have really enjoyed my time as a Drama student at Greenwich for many reasons. The main reason is the people I met, I found myself socialising with people I wouldn’t usually socialise with so it was nice to meet loads of new people who are now some of my closest friends. The second aspect of the degree that I have really enjoyed is the modules I completed.

In first year my favourite module was Making Theatre, this is where we learned about all the other aspects of putting on a show such as lighting, sound, set, costume, stage managing, props etc. In the first term we would learn all the tricks of the trade and then in second term we would be split up and we would be assigned a job role to work on one of the third year final performance. The role I was given was Stage Manager for a production of Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertolt Brecht, I absolutely loved the job role and tasks I were given. Just as a quick insight, the Stage Manager is the person who organises the crew and makes sure they know what they’re doing.

Other modules I completed in first year were Early Stages: Theatre, Carnival and Community, where we learnt about theatre from Ancient Greece to seventeenth century England with a main focus on how theatre was made and how it was created for the community who watched it. In this module we looked at plays such as Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and Antigone by Sophocles. I also did Introduction to Film Making, which is exactly that, we learnt how to make our own short films which was very new to me but fun and exciting. The final first year module was Writing for Stage and Screen, in this course we spent the first term learning how to write for stage with a final script submission and then in the second term we learnt how to write for screen and had to follow it up with a screenplay submission. In term 3 we then had to pick either stage or screen and write our final project either as a play script or a screenplay.

In second year we had four different modules again, but they were very different to the modules in first year. One of our core modules was Modern Stages, this was a follow on from Early Stages, we picked up where we left off and looked into the transition into naturalism in the form of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Other plays included Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht, Cloud9 by Caryl Churchill and Angels in America by Tony Kushner. My favourite plays of the module were Cloud9 and Angels in America. Other modules in the first year were Physical Theatre and the Body, which is basically a course full of jumping around and being physical, it was so much fun. We also did Applied Drama where we learnt about the different types of Drama outside of the natural theatre space such as Reminiscence Theatre (theatre for old people), SEN (Special Educational Needs), Theatre in Prisons, Museum Theatre and Forum Theatre. It was really exciting learning about all the different forms of drama that can be used to help people from different lifestyles and backgrounds.

The final course was Theatre Studies which was one of my favourite modules; it was split into four different sectors of theatre. Eco-Critical Theatre looking at Lungs by Duncan Macmillan and The Contingency Plan by Steve Waters’. The second segment was Theatre Criticism where we looked at Harold Pinter’s Moonlight, Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children and Richard Bean’s England People Very Nice. The third part was Women’s Plays since 2000 looking at plays such as Bola Agbaje’s Gone Too Far! Debbie Tucker Green’s Born Bad, Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses and a few more. The final segment looked at Revenge Tragedies where we once again looked at Shakespeare in the form of Hamlet. We also looked at plays such as ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Revenger’s Tragedy and White Devil.

Before I knew it I was in third year and one step away from completing my degree. In my final year, once again we had four modules; these were Work Placement, Other Stages, Contemporary British Theatre and Drama Production. I’ll start with Work Placement, for this course we had to find our own 100 hour work placement; I found this course quite hard to manage with my other modules as well as my other job, but it worked out fine in the end. My second module was Other Stages, this course was split into two sections which were called ‘Avant Garde Theatre’ and ‘African Theatre and Performance’. I enjoyed Avant Garde more as it was ‘freer’ and you covered a lot more in terms of theatre.

The third module was Contemporary British Theatre where we looked at plays such as A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney, Saved by Edward Bond, Sarah Kane’s Blasted, Mike Bartlett’s Earthquakes in London, Laura Wade’s Posh and about thirteen more. This was my favourite module of my final year as I learned so much about different playwrights and different styles of writing.

The final module we did was Drama Production. This module began with some of the class pitching plays they wanted to direct, I was one of them and pitched the play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco. After this, four of the directors got picked and then the rest of the year had to audition for which play they wanted to be in. After this I was given a cast of nine lovely people and from then on the play was born. I was so lucky as my play got picked to be performed at Greenwich Theatre which was very exciting and an amazing opportunity.

Overall I would say my experience at Greenwich has been such a good mix of theory and performance and I have loved every bit of it. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

BA (Hons) Film Studies

Hey guys! My name is Stacey and I've just completed my second year studying Film Studies! J I really, really enjoy it and literally cannot wait to go back in September! That may seem a bit weird but university is really fun when you enjoy what you’re studying.

Film Studies wasn't actually my first choice, when I first applied I initially wanted to study Media and Communications, which is what I studied in my first year. Unfortunately my heart wasn't in it and it wasn't what I expected. Not because the course was bad, it just wasn't in my interest as much as I thought it would. The career I wanted at the end of university changed as at first I wanted to be a journalist. I didn't do as well as I expected in my first year either and I was really disappointed in myself, I was lucky to pass and decided that I needed to pull my socks up and make some changes for the second year! Fortunately for me I was given the chance to change my course and decided to make the move to Film Studies. Now I'm really grateful for that choice.

Media and Communications wasn't all bad though, two of the classes I really enjoyed and did quite well, but the other two I was just scraping through as it wasn't in my interest. I also met some really great friends on the first day who I’m still in contact with and see them in some of my classes and I’ll also see them in my final year as we’re doing a class together. It’s nice meeting friends at university because they all have similar interests as you. In my second year I also decided to join the universities’ cheerleading team The University of Greenwich Mermaids and I really love it. I've met some great people on there who I’ll be friends with a long time and cheerleading is so much fun, I love the competitions!

Film Studies has been amazing too, it’s more in my interest and I love it! I'm even looking forward to writing my dissertation as it’s going to be on Disney!! This year we looked at foreign cinema, animation, American cinema and we made our own Documentary. It’s been great fun and really hard work but in the end it was rewarding and I worked hard to get the grade I wanted at the end of the year. Next year is going to be even harder but I can’t wait for the challenge. Roll on September!