Tom Richards

Tom Richards

United Kingdom
BSc Materials Science and Engineering

I came to Swansea University in September 2021 through clearing. My A-Level results were not what I was predicted, and I was concerned about getting a place at university.

The University clearing staff were on hand on results day to reassure me about my grades and suggested that after completing an Engineering Foundation year, then I would be at a suitable standard to join my chosen engineering discipline. I agreed and haven’t looked back, completing the Foundation Year, and enrolling on the Materials Science & Engineering undergraduate course. I highlighted Swansea during clearing because one of my best friends did his engineering degree at Swansea too. He graduated, found a high-quality graduate job very quickly, and had valuable feedback on the teaching, projects, practical work, and campus. After being offered my place, I visited the Bay Campus and was impressed by the brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities. I believe that having access to these would make me perform at a higher level.

When I moved to Swansea I arranged to live in private accommodation, which was easy to arrange. When offered my place on the course, I was guaranteed a room at the university, which is unique, however, a quick search on Facebook, or a visit to the bountiful number of student-letting companies made it simple to find somewhere to live. Swansea has been a great city to live in. The beach is walkable from any area of the city. There is an abundant number of gyms, bars, and restaurants. My favourite thing about living here is the access to the Gower region. Having such a beautiful area on your doorstep is such a luxury and makes me want to stay in Swansea over the summer!

I picked my course (Materials Science & Engineering) for several reasons. When doing the foundation year, there was a module dedicated to Materials Science which I found really engaging. Before making a final decision, I asked engineers from other disciplines, who had graduated and were now in the workplace about the course and they said that it would be a smart decision to study Materials. As well as that, I spoke with academics and focused on my specific strengths in education and how the course would suit me. When doing my research, I looked ahead and noticed there were plenty of practical elements to the course and I really enjoy the hands-on learning. The academics told me how many opportunities there were for placements and internships, and that there were huge research grants from big companies such as Rolls Royce that could provide me with opportunities when it comes to my third-year project. The number of students in the cohort is low; therefore, I thought I would get a personable experience with my lecturers. Each student is assigned an academic mentor which is someone whom you can meet with to raise concerns about the course or whether you need any kind of support. It’s nice to be able to have this student support available as it makes me feel comfortable that I can find help regarding my studies.

Overall, when selecting my course, I saw plenty of opportunities for industry experience, great relationships with academics and high chances for employment. So far, I have been proved right, made great friends on my course, and arranged a placement over the summer!

There are loads of societies and sports clubs to be part of. I joined cricket, badminton, and baseball. I’ve also joined the Materials Engineering Society. Most engineering disciplines will have their own society so it’s easy to find like-minded students and it’s helpful because you can often talk to people who are further along in their degree, and you can ask questions about modules or future opportunitie

I would thoroughly recommend studying Engineering at Swansea University to other students. I think the University has a great assortment of clubs of societies to join and meet people, there is plenty of academic and non-academic related support available, the assessment methods benefit all styles of learners, there are amazing opportunities for studying abroad and industry placements, and there are so many amazing places to see and to visit whilst studying here, inside and outside of the city.