Friday, 5 September 2014

BSc (Hons) Economics with Banking

Hi! I’m Liam and I have just finished my first year in BSc Economics with Banking.

When I speak to people about my course, they often say it ‘Sounds very Maths-y,’ or ‘Must be difficult,’ but as someone who did Maths at A-level (even though I didn’t do brilliantly), the Maths side of things has been easy to pick up. Out of 5 modules, only one of them is purely focused on Maths: Quantitative Methods for Economists 1. There is no coursework in this module; instead it is assessed by a few short tests throughout both terms, and then one exam at the end.

The other four modules were: Macroeconomics I, Microeconomics I, Personal and Professional Development 1, and Banking and Finance in a Global Context 1.

For me, the most interesting module was Macroeconomics 1. I like looking at the big picture, and thus have always had a preference for macro over micro since I first studied economics in A-levels. Gabriela, the programme leader, is really passionate about Macroeconomics and regularly covers international news at the beginning of lectures, identifying and analysing the economic theories. This helps to give the course perspective, which in my opinion is really important.

Before I started the degree, I wasn’t particularly interested in Microeconomics, but I learnt during my first year that it is just as interesting and relevant in today’s world as Macroeconomics. Much of the new economic theory being developed today is about behavioural economics, which is studied in Micro, and not Macro.

Personal and Professional Development 1 (or PPD, for short) is more to do with how to study and get employed rather than Economics. It is taught across all programmes in the Business School, so there are always other people with the same questions, and answers to them. Your PPD group is your main tutor group, and your PPD tutor also teaches at least one module of Economics, so they are a great resource to ask any questions about anything in general.

As I am on the ‘with Banking’ course, I did not have a choice in the first year (nor will I in the second) and I was on the Banking and Finance in a Global Context 1 module. This was taught by Adotey, who really knows his stuff. He teaches students at all levels, including Masters, and he is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Finance. The essays in this module were the most challenging out of all of the essays in my first year because they require you to completely break down recent economic events and analyse them in detail with complex terminology. This, however, also made them some of the most rewarding, and the feedback was very useful.

The tutors and lecturers are helpful and always willing to answer any questions. Even so, it is really useful to make better connections with them. This way they can put a face to your name which means they give you more in-depth feedback, and being recognised on the course tends to work in your favour.

I have been told by all of the tutors that second year is a big step up from first year, so instead of writing this blog, I had better get up to scratch on everything from last year!

BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance

Hi! My name is Melissa and I have just finished my first year of BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance.

In sixth form I studied A Levels in Biology, Maths and Psychology. Throughout sixth form I was choosing to study in either the science or finance field.

I have always wondered what Accountants actually do; most people mention Maths and numbers. Throughout my first year I have learnt that there is so much more to Accounting and how important Accounting is to every company and individual. Accountants use financial information from the past and present to plan for decisions in the future.

The course involved four exams at the end of the year, assignments and assessments. During the week we had four lectures and four one-hour tutorials for each module and I attended university three days a week.

The modules I completed in the first year were; Introduction to Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Ethics in Organisations, Quantitative Analysis and Systems, Personal and Professional Development (PPD) and Business and Financial Environment. The first three modules were taught throughout the year, PPD was taught during the first term and Business and Financial Environment was taught in the last term.

One of the best things about Greenwich is the fact that there is a lot of help available as the lecturers are approachable and very supportive. Also the Business School offers a great deal of support through the Greenwich Employability Passport, drop in sessions and workshops. I attended the weekly employability seminars and participated in the IBM Mentoring Scheme both opportunities enabled me to know more about possible career choices and improve my employability skills.  The GET Jobshop offers many opportunities for students to apply for jobs; this summer I took the opportunity to work for the university in the enquiry unit during clearing, this gave me a chance to gain experience at the same time as earning money.

I am glad I made the choice to study at Greenwich because I have enjoyed my first year experience, I have met new people, I have learnt a lot and I am looking forward to starting my second year!

BSc (Hons) Mathematics

Hi, my name is James and I’m entering my third year of Mathematics at the university.

Every time I tell someone what course I’m studying I’m always met with the same looks of fear as they remember back to high school and college days and to times when they started to find Mathematics a struggle. This is normally followed by questions like ‘Maths is so difficult, how do you cope?’ or ‘Why did you pick that course? I hate Maths!’ However, despite all of this I’ve kept on going and found that actually, Maths actually isn’t as difficult as everyone thinks!

In the first few weeks, you are taken back to the basics of maths and bit by bit brought up to speed with the complexities of modern day mathematics and its different uses. In your first year you are taught some of the basics of calculus, general number theories as well as focusing on the world of mathematics and its uses in different fields. This is really useful as Mathematics can take you on to virtually anything! We also have support teams who are there to try and advise you as to where to go with your degree and how you can get to the job you may be looking at going in to.

Lecturers are there from the start to settle you into the university life and are always really friendly and happy to help with your concerns. There’s also a few drop in sessions the course put on where you can go and speak to the lecturers for advice and help, as well as getting to play games with your fellow student. We also have a maths society where different talks, trips and opportunities in the Maths world are presented, (as well as a trip to Thorpe Park in the first few weeks!) I also joined American football as a way to keep fit and to meet more people which has been an amazing experience. I’ve met so many people and had many different and exciting opportunities given to me through it, as well as now being the President and one of the coaches for the team!

In years 2 and 3, your are more focussed on your courses, the work may get harder but it’s nothing to stress about! By this point you’ve gained the skills for more research and the work is nothing too overwhelming. You are also supported in gaining work experience and graduate jobs, with workshops on CV building, interview skills and what the world of work would be like. You get to tailor your course in your final year through the different options of modules that are available so that are doing topics that you enjoy and want to know more about, which in turn will mean you’ll work harder to do well and land that job you’ve been dreaming about! 

BA (Hons) Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Hi! My name is Amanda and I will be going into my second year. I study BA Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation – sounds super complicated but it actually isn’t. When I first started my course I was told that I will have to work long hours, put in a lot of work and always try my best. Yes all of those three things are true, but ‘long hours’ doesn’t mean working 12 hours a day every single day. Organisation is the key thing, without it you’ll drain yourself in all the work that you have to do, because there is a lot of it. Obviously everyone will tell you to prioritise your university course over your social life as those will be very intense years so it definitely is worth it.

My degree has a number of courses including Economics in the first year which was my favourite. We have both lectures and tutorials (these are just like lessons, going over things from lectures and completing activities). Do take advantage of the tutorials, they help a lot. Whenever I was unsure of something I would ask straight away before the next point was mentioned. There may be others in your tutorial who would like to find out the same thing as you so don’t be scared to raise your hand and hand. Remember the staff members are there to help you so do make good use of their skills and knowledge.

Most of my assessments are presentation and coursework based; I only had two exams at the end of my first year. I find the presentations most exciting especially that my group won the International Water Day presentation! When doing presentations I was able to use my personality as a part of it, which made it easier I reckon because I could be me (well a bit more formal whilst presenting but you know what I mean). As I didn’t have many exams to do, it meant I had more time to revise and prepare for those days because most of the end of year coursework was due at the end of March and exams a few months later.

So I was thinking about getting into banking or being a secondary teacher specialising in Business Studies. I’ve been an SEN teaching assistant in a secondary school for six months and really enjoyed it because I also have an interest in youth work, so this was such a great experience.  However because I also have an interest in banking, I went for an insight day at HSBC to see what type of roles they offer, how they work as a company and to decide whether it is still something I want to do. Honestly, there are so many things that you can go into with a Business degree, just depends what you are most interested in.

Also, the Business Faculty have a really good programme called the Greenwich Employability Passport. You will be provided with a booklet looking like a passport and each time you complete an activity within the criteria, you will be awarded with 5+ points. This is recognised by employers and it is an easy way for employers to see what you have done outside of your studies. Not forgetting the reward that students get for gaining a lot of points!

As a whole, I’ve enjoyed my course way more than I thought I would which is always a great thing.

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Hello, my name is Aiste and I study BSc Biomedical Science. I have just completed my first year and I am looking forward to start the second year, even though I was told by everyone that it is going to be extremely difficult and busy.

Coming to study at University of Greenwich for me was a big challenge. Firstly, because I had not been to England before so I did not know what to expect and I did not know anyone here. Secondly, I had to leave my family and travel here alone; I am from Lithuania – a tiny, but very nice country in Europe. However, so far I have not regretted this choice. I met the most amazing people I could ever meet; I have friends from different parts of the world and I am sure that with some of the people we will stay friends forever – now we are a big family.

I found it very helpful to participate in international students events. In Medway campus there is lady called Lynne – she works at university chaplaincy and takes care of all internationals. We have meetings every Tuesday where we discuss different topics, play games, have theme parties and in this way have our English improved. On Wednesdays there is ‘World CafĂ©’ – free coffee, cakes for all the students, games to relax in between lectures and chance to meet new people. So if you will be studying in Medway campus do not be afraid to come to Blake building where the Student Centre is! Lynne also organises Sunday lunch – students go to different local families where they can familiarise with British culture, traditions, eating habits :D .

But now about the course…  Personally I found it much easier than studying at college. Maybe because I already knew most of the things I was taught, the only difficulty was just to learn everything in English and to get use to new teaching system. As a student you are a grown up; it means that you are the only one who is responsible for your future. Lecturers won`t remind you all the time about upcoming deadlines or coursework you will need to do. They will just give you the date of when it has to be handed in and it is up to you on how you manage your time effectively around other things you do. But if you will constantly work from the beginning of the course, if you will be able to manage your time and there won`t be any problems. Also at university we do not have such a busy timetable as at college. Usually there are four modules each term, so for each subject there is just one lecture per week that takes about two hours. The rest of the time is for your personal study. As I said before, everything now depends on you.

When I saw the titles of my first assignments or when I got a task to write a lab report I was quite scared. I have never done anything like this before and I thought that I will struggle a lot. But professors, lecturers, personal tutors are really helpful; they are trying to do their best to help students and I found it very nice of them. Throughout my life until I came to university, I thought that all the professors are very arrogant, I felt that they try to prove that they have achieved much more than the students sitting in front of them, but coming to Greenwich changed this misleading opinion about them. It’s like there are no boundaries between students and professors, that you can become really good friends with your lecturer or supervisor and it really impressed me.

So really do not be afraid to come to university. If I could ‘survive’ here despite all the changes and difficulties I had to face, you will find it really easy and exciting. Facing any problems I had only helped me to become more independent, responsible.  All the challenges helped me to grow up as a person.  If I would need to think again – where to go, which country or university to choose I would not change anything. I feel that this is definitely the place I have to be and hope that you will have this same feeling too.

Now I just need to expect that I will be able to enjoy the rest of the years of studies and I am sure it won`t be easy, but hope it will be exciting and I will be happy with what I am doing J

Thursday, 4 September 2014

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science (Medway)

When asked what I study at University, people are surprised when I say I study Paramedic Science… No one has heard of it! The course itself hasn’t been around for long and there are not many universities that offer it however with the constant increase in 999 calls and the ever-growing pressure and demands on the NHS, it was necessary to find new ways to recruit paramedics.

The role of the paramedic has advanced dramatically over the last 25 years, going from the ‘stretcher bearers’ to carrying out advanced procedures and administering life-saving drugs on the road before the patients even reach hospital.

I decided that I wanted to be a paramedic when I was 12 years old, and even now I still don’t have a reason why I wanted to pursue this career, it just seemed right to me. Before starting though, I decided to take a gap year to South Africa after completing my A-Levels to get some voluntary experience in another country and to earn some money before starting university.

However before flying out on my adventures I needed to choose the right university, although as there were only 15 in the whole country offering this course that narrowed it down a bit! It was then down to choosing 5 universities to apply for, knowing that this would be where I spent the next 3 years of my life so I applied to University of Greenwich on both the Avery Hill Campus and the Medway Campus, Portsmouth, St Georges London and Hertfordshire. Being in another country and trying to organise interviews and documentation was a bit complicated to say the least but I received conditional offers from all the universities based on passing the interview, fitness test, C1 driving test, English and maths tests, police and occupational health checks… nothing much!!

Nonetheless I passed all the elements required for me to take my place at University of Greenwich at the Medway campus, 1 of only 15 places offered and of course I was over the moon J

So unlike other university courses, we spend a lot of time doing practical skills and training in our labs (or the car park… or at the bottom of Nelson building stairs) to provide us with the applied knowledge of what equipment or drugs to use for different scenarios. We have all the equipment that we would have available to us in the back of an ambulance so we can be assessed as if it were a real patient.

Over the 3 years we are required to undertake 1500 hours of placement out on the roads with paramedic mentors who advice and train us on the job. And yes we get to wear a very fetching green uniform!! During these hours we are constantly learning all areas of the job, which include the rule that students must bring in cake or biscuits on shift!

I am now about to start my second year, I can’t believe how quick the time has gone but with the workload increasing I am looking forward to a busy but rewarding year J

LLB (Hons) Law

Hi, my name is Jane and I have just completed my first year of studying the Law LLB at the University of Greenwich.

I have always known I wanted to attend University and when it became time to start applying I was adamant the University of Kent is where I wanted to study, I had heard so many good things about the University and all my teachers encouraged me to go. However, three days after sending of my UCAS application, the University of Greenwich phoned me to give me a conditional offer and invite me to an Open Day; I was not expecting to get any offers that quickly. Within the next few weeks/months I also received conditional offers from my other choices (including the University of Kent); although no other University personally contacted me which is another reason that contributed towards me choosing Greenwich. On arrival at the Open Day, I was blown away by the beautiful campus and where it was located within London. Obviously like any new student, I was extremely nervous but the staff at Greenwich expected and understood that. Everyone was so welcoming that I already felt like part of the University. I did not anticipate just how much I would love Greenwich. This was the first Open Day at a University that I had attended but they made such a good and long lasting impression I didn’t feel I needed to go to anymore. So instead, that night I went home and rejected all of my other offers (even Kent!) and put Greenwich as my firm!

In my first year I studied, Constitutional and Administrative Law (also known as public law), Contract Law, Crime and Problem Solving, Legal Skills, Criminal Law and Civil Liberties. Before I started previous first years had spoken to us and told us how intense they found public law so if you do have any struggles or difficulties with it, it’s completely normal so don’t panic! There are so many people who can help you such as other students, tutors, law parents (this goes for any problem, not just public law). Because I was made aware of the intensity I was prepared to hate public law! But it was actually my favourite thing to study, it is intense and sometimes confusing but it’s also enjoyable if the subject area is of interest to you. I also thoroughly enjoyed civil liberties and criminal law.

The first year did have its tough moments where I questioned whether this was something I could get through but it is doable. Law is an intense and difficult subject but the staff and students at Greenwich are always more than willing to help with any issues anyone has. I personally found it really helpful to ask my law parent for help and they will make so much time for you. Due to the amazing law parent I had, I have now opted to become one myself because I know how frustrating it can be if you’re sitting at home preparing for seminars and literally just want to throw all your books in the bin and give up! Being a law parent means I can help first years in the same way I was helped and any law parent will be more than happy to assist you with any problems (it helps us refresh our memory too!).

I am anxious about going into my second year because obviously things get tougher but I have confidence that I will get through it and it’s my tutors and fellow students that helped me gain that confidence. At University everyone is so helpful, sociable and encouraging; you never have to feel alone!

Overall, my aim is not to scare you about how tough law can be because as much as it can be tough, it can also be fun and enjoyable because the University makes it that way! It’s a tough subject to study but if you’ve chosen that course you obviously have the passion and commitment to proceed. I cannot stress enough how much this University is there literally 24/7 to help you 100% with any problems. The first year is important because you need to pass and the skills taught you will definitely need in the second and third year but the first year is also fun. My advice would be to study hard and no matter how stressed you are, don’t give up. Law is difficult but not impossible to learn. 

BSc (Hons) Digital Film Production

Hey guys! My name is Sophi Marten and I study BSc Digital Film Production. I’m coming back to University this year to complete my Final year project.

My course is completely practical based which is fantastic for people like me who find exams really difficult. Each module is usually made up of a film, planning documents and a short reflective essay.  This means that you are involved for each stage of the film making process; this gives you a good insight into how each department on a film set works.

The first year is when you make the largest amount of films. They are usually quite short and in small teams of 4 or 5. This quick turn around on projects gives you a great chance to get stuck in and try different job roles. I think that your first year is all about finding your feet and seeing which area of Media you want to get into.

There are so many different aspects and specialisms in the Film industry although you might think you know which department you want to get into. University will really help you try each one and even a few job roles you might not of known existed like a ‘Best boy’ or a ‘Spark’.  

I have really enjoyed my time here so far, the course its self is based highly on self-discovery. The tutors and lectures give you the room to play and explore which ideas and techniques you want to use. If you see something that you want to try-out from your favourite film you will be given the room to explore this process but the tutors are always on hand to give you help or advice if you need it.