"Out of every challenge comes Opportunity. Here at Swansea University we have responded to every challenge that covid-19 has thrown at us. Welcome to the third edition of Pulse magazine." - Professor Keith Lloyd
Post-pandemic, the traditional 9-5 routine seems a thing of the past. More than ever before, work-life balance sits high on everyone’s list of priorities. We recognise that agile working and blended learning are key to achieving this. Not only does flexibility lead to enhanced teaching and learning experiences for students and teachers alike, it also has a range of other benefits, such as financial savings and improved environmental impact. So how do we find the balance in work-life balance?
On-campus teaching is essential for practical and skills-based learning, but what about lectures, revision and group work?
Get to know what’s expected of you so you can plan how you want to use the rest of your time. Colour-coding the different types of activities in your calendar not only ensures you know where you’re meant to be and when, it also helps to visualise your free time.
Setting yourself up with the right equipment, software and work space is essential to getting the most out of your studies
There’s nothing worse than having to clear away your notes mid-session so you can use the table for dinner. Investing (time and effort - not just financially) in setting up a workstation that is fit-for-purpose will give you the designated space you need to get into ‘study mode’ - and free space for your free time.
Whatever the format of your learning experience - make the most of it!
Whether you’re sat at home listening in to a lecture or working side-by-side with your peers in a lab or simulation suite, be present. Our teaching staff have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with you - asking and answering questions is one of the best ways of consolidating learning and expanding your knowledge base.
Everyone knows about the big January deadline for applications but there are lots of other key dates too…
UCAS opens in early September each year so you can start (and submit!) any time you like from then
The UCAS deadline for Medicine (plus all Oxford and Cambridge courses) is 15th October every year…no matter what day of the week it lands on!
The UCAS deadline for all other subjects is in January and this date has varied a little in recent years so be sure to check in advance.
UCAS Extra opens in late-February and you can start making changes again from now right up until Clearing.
Your decision deadline will depend on when you receive your last offer ... if you receive decisions from all your course choices by the end of March, you’ll need to confirm your Firm and Insurance choices by early May.
If you’re not holding an offer that you’re happy with by July, you can pre-register for Clearing. Although offers often can’t be confirmed until results day, it’s worth researching early and making contact with admissions tutors to check if spaces are likely to be available.
You can apply for 5 courses at any one time so be sure to keep your options open by making the most of all five space on your application form.
If you don’t use all 5 straight away, you can add new choices to your application right up to the January deadline – even after you’ve submitted.
You can also add new choices throughout UCAS Extra on a one-out one-in basis so if you don’t hold the offer you want by February, you can apply for something/somewhere else on UCAS until early July.
Clinical Admissions Manager, James Kerr, explains:
“This is particularly relevant for Medicine applicants, who can only choose four Medicine courses. Commonly known as a ‘5th Choice’, more and more applicants are applying for an alternative course as a fall-back in case they miss out on Medicine at interview.
Most offers will be Conditional – meaning you need to complete qualifications or actions before your place is 100% secure.
Conditions will be outlined in your offer on UCAS but we’ll also send you emails with guidance on what you need to do next.
For healthcare courses, this will include getting a DBS Check and Occupational Health Assessment and you won’t be able to take part in any practical elements of your courses until these are complete – at best. Worst case scenario is that you’ll forfeit your offer!
Once you’ve accepted your offer, you’ll be able to apply for accommodation and finance and the earlier you do both of these the better.
“The time between the ages of 11 and 24 is a period of huge change and with that change can come quite unsettling feelings and emotions that are part of normal human experience. One of the most unsettling times is around exam results and what that can do is make you feel really anxious.
Anxiety can present in all sorts of ways. Some people are quite aware that they’re feeling anxious - for example if their heart beats a bit faster - but anxiety can also feel like a knot in your stomach or a lump in your throat and those feelings are almost a human response to what you’re experiencing as a threat, which goes back to quite a primitive ‘fight or flight’ idea.
Often these feelings will just pass but if you’re finding that they’re keeping you up at night or you’re worrying, or it’s affecting if you want to see your friends - that’s when anxiety is getting too much. One of the things you can do is distract yourself - try breathing in and out slowly, make a playlist or do something physical like going for a walk, talking with friends or mindful activities like colouring.
The important thing to remember is that all things pass. If you’re worried about your results give us a call as we have people here to help you. Just talking your options through can really help to clear your mind” - Professor Ann John
Professor Ann Johns research focuses on people's mental health.
“I was initially apprehensive about my course turning to a blended format as I was unsure how it would impact my studies. However, I soon found benefits to this style of learning and enjoy having face-to-face sessions which are complemented by the virtual format other lectures take.
“Online sessions can make it easier to plan other events in my day, where I would otherwise have to commit to being on campus for long periods of time between face-to-face lectures. Many virtual lectures are recorded, meaning taught content is more accessible and I can easily re-watch these videos later to aid my exam revision. Online teaching offers a different perspective to education, which can feel strange at times, but when paired with face-to-face teaching they make for a powerful learning experience.”
“When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I had no idea what the future held for me academically. Fast forward two years and I have completed my Master’s and received an offer to study a PhD at Swansea University under a research scholarship. The ESRC only awarded two psychology students in Wales, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. I am so excited to continue my next educational chapter where I am on the path to becoming Dr Randall.”
“I chose to study at Swansea to continue my training set up in Wales - it’s a positive environment to be based at and supports both my sporting and academic needs. I represent Wales at an international level in athletics and have been nominated to compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. I use off season in winter to prioritise my study, so when competition season arises I am ahead of my work.”
“I had a big shock on A Level results day when it turned out that my exams had not gone quite as well as I had hoped. Everything felt like complete chaos until I received a phone call from Swansea University, who talked me through my options. I accepted a place on a Pathway to Medicine course as studying Medicine was my ultimate end goal. I can wholeheartedly say that this was the best decision I have ever made.”
“I hadn’t studied any science since doing my GCSEs. I am so grateful to Swansea University for putting faith in me and giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams of being a doctor. All of the staff are amazing, supportive and inspirational and have created an incredible foundation year that covered everything I needed for the BSc.”
“I took part in a six week summer internship in Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. I honestly expected that I would be fetching coffee or just shadowing people without really participating. In reality, however, it was the complete opposite: I was treated as an equal and was encouraged to speak my mind about any ideas I had. The experience has made me much more confident in speaking to others and presenting my ideas.”
“Seeing young children die from high fever and women die during labour were the most traumatising experiences of my childhood. I felt I had to do something about it, no matter what it took.
“As I was raised in a community where girls were not generally sent to school, I had to challenge the status quo to believe I could study pharmacy and one day help mine and other remote communities. I look forward to delivering on long-term, strategic projects and initiatives in Nigeria which promote inclusive and quality healthcare and education.”
“Psychology has changed my thinking and given me a more profound and precise understanding of my people, things, and environments. Studying at Swansea University has provided me with a multicultural learning environment, allowing me to study psychology from the perspective of other cultures.
“Swansea University offers a variety of support for international students during their studies in the UK. For example, psychological support, covid-19 financial assistance, and much more. The city is beautiful; the locals are friendly; the university has an intense academic atmosphere and offers a wide range of employment opportunities. It is very friendly towards Chinese international students here and I recommend to my friends back home to join this open and inclusive university.”
“Work placements are an excellent way of gaining first hand experiences in different fields of work. During my studies, I undertook a paid internship through the University’s SPIN programme. As part of this, I helped to develop and deliver a networking event to help other students explore career opportunities. I am now in contact with organisations who attended the event so have started to build my own network - it’s been well worth taking on the little bit of extra work load.”
“I completed my Biochemistry BSc in Swansea in 2017, where I was introduced to the world of immunology. I stayed to undertake my PhD, investigating the changes the immune system experiences in pregnancy. As a result of the pandemic, my research has grown to encompass COVID-19 and pregnancy, lipidomics, and obesity as part of a collaborative research project with the University of Aberdeen.”
Exploring Global Problems
Exploring Global Problems is our podcast series, where academics from across the University talk about how their ground-breaking research help tackle a variety of global challenges.
The first series topics include Health Innovation, Climate Change, Green Energy and Human-centred digital technologies. Our contribution to this came from Dr Amira Guirguis whose research has explored the challenges of Novel Psychoactive Substances and how we detect them, our second episode came from Professor Paul Dyson who spoke about his work manipulating the genes of bacteria in order to potentially cure cancer.
Visit our podcast page to listen and subscribe to the series. We hope you enjoy!