The application process
The application for the master’s degree was relatively “straight forward”. In addition to general information and the final bachelor’s grade, a letter of motivation and two letters of reference were requested. MicroEDU supported me very well in writing the letter of motivation and gave me helpful key questions for the formulation(Why UK? Why Newcastle? Why this university? Why this course?). In the UK – in contrast to Germany – references are very popular and therefore very important. In terms of content, there are good examples and useful tips on the Internet. Usually two references from Academics are expected. Since I worked two years prior to my master’s degree, I was able to replace an academic reference with a letter of recommendation from my boss.
In addition, a study in the UK nor a proof of language skills demanded. This is usually done as a TOEFL or IELTS test. Since my bachelor’s degree was already taught entirely in English and I was working for an international company, I no longer had to provide this proof. Otherwise there is usually still the option to apply without the test result and if you are offered a place at the university, you can submit it later. So you can save the money for the very expensive test (and preparation time) if the application does not work out. But that always depends on the university in question.
” Transport Management ” belongs to the ” School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences “. Sometimes the course was more reminiscent of school than a classic course of study. Direct exchange with the lecturers, small courses and attendance checks are just a few examples. The course size was 28 people from all over the world. The largest group were Chinese and the smallest group were Europeans. This internationality enabled interesting discussions with different perspectives and experiences in the classroom. In group work (so-called “coursework”), different approaches were mostly clearer and often required learning intercultural competence, which was a very good experience. Only inadequate knowledge of English with some international fellow students could sometimes be unnerving in this context.
Regular courseworks and examination phases as well as the processing of the master’s thesis kept me busy. Independent work was very important. The modules were held in weekly blocks, ie one week of lessons followed by one week of coursework processing and reading, then the next module began. This was sometimes very intense, but also practical, as you could fly home the free weeks and work from there.
The course content was very varied for one year and gave me a good overview of the professional direction I can take with this master’s degree. Sometimes my “school” maintained good contact with companies that came directly to the university (or even to class) to search for applicants and to do job interviews. So if you want to gain a foothold professionally after completing your Master’s in the UK, your chances are good.
In general, there are different ways to find accommodation in Newcastle. The university has a very good housing service and arranges accommodation itself. On the one hand, you can rent a room in the dormitory, which is not always the best idea (too expensive, poor facilities, poor location, etc.) and, on the other hand, rent a room in a so-called “postgraduate house”, which is a typical shared apartment with others Master’s students.
On the other hand, you can also look for accommodation yourself. There are various websites on which you can post and read searches. I found my room myself through “gumtree.co.uk”.
For neighborhoods, Jesmond, Heaton, Sandyford, Fenham and South Gosforth are typical student neighborhoods. In the city center itself, I had the impression that the housing options were rather limited.
I myself lived in Jesmond, which is more like “posh”, but the price was still okay (monthly rent 310 pounds warm). I bought a used bike on site and was on campus within 10 minutes.
Life in Newcastle
According to maternityetchic, Newcastle was the perfect size for a yearlong stay: Not too big and not too small. There is a wide range of shops, restaurants, pubs and sightseeing opportunities. As everywhere in England, you will find very good restaurants from different countries and cultures in Newcastle that you should definitely try. Newcastle also has a lot to offer culturally with various event venues (e.g. Theater Royale, Sage) and museums. The “Quayside” on the river in particular is a modernized and very nice section to go for a walk or to stroll through the Sunday market. Newcastle is particularly well-known within England for its party mile, which attracts many groups from outside on the weekend to celebrate their stag farewells there. In addition, the individual districts offer different streets to explore.
Furthermore, Newcastle is an ideal starting point for day trips and short trips to the surrounding area. The metro goes directly to the coast and in summer you could have a day at the beach in Tynemouth (be sure to stop by “Marshalls Fish and Chip Shop”!). In the hinterland there are different places from which you can visit parts of the “Hadrian’s Wall” and its “forts”. In addition, Newcastle is well connected to the rail network so that you can be in Edinburgh in 1 ½ hours and London in 3 hours.