Student Profile – Louise Mitchell
Louise Mitchell from Rosyth in Fife studied Sustainable Environmental Management at SRUC because whilst at school at Dunfermline High School she had a great interest in environmental geography. This subject allowed the chance to develop this interest further through modules including; pollution, waste management, energy, rural development and biodiversity conservation. Cultivate found out more about Louise’s SRUC journey.
What made you choose SRUC?
I chose SRUC as it provided a close-knit family approach to education. This allowed me to strive as the lecturing staff took a great interest in every student within the class. Due to the smaller nature of the student population, staff were able to assist and tailor lessons to all learning abilities.
The depth and experience of the lecturing staff at SRUC brings invaluable knowledge and expertise to the subjects that you are learning about. Through the staff external connections to regulating bodies, environmental companies and NGOs this also accommodates guest speakers, allowing for another viewpoint to be explored.
What have been your highlights from studying at SRUC?
Graduation has to be the biggest highlight of the four years. There is nothing really that can describe the feeling that you receive when you know all of the hard work has paid off.
Also having the practical elements of study, including the field trips, allows you to understand the theory of lectures come to life in the real world. I believe that you learn more by doing something rather than sitting in the lecture rooms for three hours. The residential field trips that were on offer within my years with SRUC have not only taught me about the surrounding environment in Scotland but have also allowed cross campus friendships to be established and my confidence to be improved. These trips covered the length and breadth of Scotland, including visits to the Western Isles, Glencoe and the Cairngorms, making essay writing easier as we could use examples from our expeditions.
What do you want to do after you complete your course/what are you doing now?
Having graduated in summer I managed to secure funding from Scottish power for a degree in Environmental Sustainability at Edinburgh University. I am currently half way through this degree and looking to move further into research with a PhD.
Any particular obstacles you have overcome?
I studied for four years overcoming various aspects of learning with Dyslexia and dyspraxia. I cannot compliment the staff any more in helping me overcome these. My academic writing was improved by lecturers running essay help classes within the terms, and my physical issue was overcome by lecturers improving my confidence whilst out on fieldtrips (their level of attention can be seen as they continually check on people in the field and make sure anxiety is reduced).
How was life on campus?
Life on campus is generally quite busy and getting busier every year, this helps you make friends on a variety of courses and therefore expanding your knowledge to a variety of different degrees and viewpoints. The library is a good place to go for an element of quiet whilst at a busy campus, but still feeling within the environment.
This campus is greatly situated if you’re interested in the environment, as it provides great access to both the busy city and the quiet of the countryside within the Pentland hills.
How did you find the facilities at SRUC?
Facilities are good as the library provides a great variety of resources related to your courses/modules ran. If you cannot find a physical resource the librarians are great at sourcing it from a different campus or from the online depository where there are thousands of readings available.
Advice or words of wisdom to prospective SRUC students
- Take the Conservation Management Planning (CMP) module in 3rd year, it seems like a massive amount of work at the time, however it sets you up for the dissertation in fourth year. Make the mistakes and then rectify them in the final year – also there is a really good trip with it!
- Start dissertation reading before Christmas as it can become very hectic in term two.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people on the course as everyone works in different ways and speeds.
- Don’t try to cram all of your coursework or exam revision, get prepared to be organised!
- Remember to have a balance between studying and socialising, once again get organised!
- Enjoy your time at SRUC, don’t panic, just ask!
Anything else you would like to add:
All of the staff at SRUC are so helpful and friendly, take every opportunity you’re given to make use of the knowledge they have. They love when students engage with materials and start to critique the information given.