BSc Geography with Integrated Foundation Year
It is still hard to fathom how far I’ve come since that daunting first day of university 4 years ago. When I made that crucial decision to make something of my life, it’ll probably be one of the most significant and life changing decisions I will ever make. I applied to Swansea University with next to no higher qualifications, and with a mind full of reservation and uncertainty.
But I was given a chance, and I took it!
The Foundation year was hard, harder than my first year in some aspects! But it provided me with all the skills I needed to start my first year not only on par with those who came straight from A levels, but with an edge. An extra year of getting to know my surroundings, lecturers, societies, and learning invaluable techniques such as citing and referencing. In addition, the broader spectrum of topics during the foundation year allowed me to get a feel for what I enjoyed, and what I didn’t, eventually leading to the selection of more physical topics for my second year.
My path towards physical geography was truly solidified following my second year field excursion to Austria, so pick wisely! I had such a fantastic time scaling the Austrian Alps and discovering the large glacial landforms that carved the steep valleys millennia ago. It was here I learnt the skill every physical geographer must have, keeping a detailed logbook. This seemingly easy practise was a devil in disguise! But once mastered, can be a tool of real significance in your research.
This was the case for my dissertation, which sought to reconstruct the palaeoenvironment around Cors Carmel, a small nature reserve towards Carmarthen, over much of the Holocene. These reconstructions are particularly important in climate change, and form the basis of many climate models today!
I graduated with a 2.1 this year and will be progressing onto a pgce in geography for secondary school at The University of Oxford in September, something I never would have even dreamed possible 4 years ago. My experiences demonstrate that with hard work and some right choices, it is possible to go from nothing, to something.
It’s safe to say Swansea University won’t be seeing the last of me!