I have always felt included within the community of my course
Architecture MArch student Weronika Sielska shares her experience of studying her postgraduate course at Coventry University.
How long did you spend researching Coventry and your course? What channels did you use? An open day, social media, website, recommendations from others?
My journey as a student at Coventry University has started at the beginning of 2017. I have considered applying for the Bachelor of Architecture Course the university had to offer. I have decided to take a big step and take a train to Coventry to see the city and discover it for myself before being influenced by opinions found online. Since being here for three years I have found my place within the local community and decided to look into possibilities to stay further.
My course search has started from the Official Coventry University Course website followed by looking at the Instagram page run by the course representative (covunimarch). Seeing the work produced by the current student was important to me as it provided me with an idea of what is expected of me and what can the course offer. This first part of my research took place between February and May 2020 while I was completing my final year of Bachelor studies and was simple and time-efficient to carry out.
Is there anything in particular that set Coventry apart from other institutions you were considering?
Looking closely at my course, the "age" of my course also played a big role in decision making. Being part of a freshly set up course gives you a lot of opportunities. You get to help to shape the course as it transforms but you also get to enjoy new teaching techniques up to date. Additionally, it is worth a mention of one of the most exciting parts of the Architecture course at Coventry University. Most people love to travel especially students who are offered international trips for great money value. During my bachelor’s degree period, study trips to Rotterdam or Barcelona were amazing additions to the course and were greatly looked forward to after weeks of long hours of studio lectures.
Why did you choose Coventry University to study your PG course?
The city makes you feel a part of the bigger picture as its interconnected with the campus itself.
Coventry University is also known for its high place in student's satisfaction and experience rating. During my time studying undergraduate, I have always felt included within the community of my course. The members of staff always made sure we felt valued as a member rather than just temporary additions to the course. I have also really enjoyed the way the course is being run. Modules were carried out interestingly and excitingly and included opportunities for study trips were included within the study program.
The quality of teaching and the positive attitude I have known from the undergraduate course also carries over to the postgraduate level. I have studied Architecture at the undergraduate level, and it was the main reason why I have decided to continue studying with Architecture Masters. Many factors have persuaded me to remain at Coventry University; those include the culture of the city, the study trips, and facilities, however, a choice of a course was never debatable.
Why did you choose this particular course? What appealed most to you?
I have studied Architecture at the undergraduate level, and it was the main reason why I have decided to continue studying with Architecture Masters. Many factors have persuaded me to remain at Coventry University; those include the culture of the city, the study trips, and facilities, however, a choice of a course was never debatable.
Could you provide an overview of Coventry and what’s available, e.g. City centre, food and drink, nightlife?
Coventry University is located within the heart of the city which makes all of the city’s opportunities easily accessible for all students.
The nightlife of Coventry also shines bright and is widely advertised within the student community. All pubs are really welcoming, and they provide different types of activities like darts or pool as well as offering great food.
Which postgraduate facilities do you use most, for example the library, Jaguar building, Centre for Academic writing etc.? If you are a fairly new to your studies, which facilities appealed to you most during the recruitment process?
Model making is a big part of architectural study. Workshop’s facilities located in the Graham Sutherland building are a great asset for the Art and Design Students. They allow model making on a bigger and more durable scale as well as give us access to machinery like laser cutters, sanding belts, band saw etc.
One of my most used facilities had to be the Library. The Lanchester Library has many resources available for students in physical or digital form, but it also creates study spaces. Each floor is dedicated to a different use. There is a postgraduate lab, a silent study and a group working floor. Many rooms can be booked free of charge, perfect spaces for group meetings or important study sessions.
What do you enjoy most about being a PG student at Coventry University?
While being a postgraduate Architecture Student at Coventry I have noticed a big advantage in comparison to my undergraduate study. Our course is really self-driven and almost self-directed. We have been provided with all the tools now it is up to us to show what we can make with them. This has allowed me to grow as a student and as a person. The course focuses on the importance of decision making and how those decisions influence the outcome.
I believe it is also important to mention the ability to be of help to undergraduate students. In the Art and Design faculty, a lot of undergraduate enter the university with big dreams and a clear vision of where they want to go. They look at the postgraduate students as role models who have already completed this part of their journey. Many of the students eek help or advice, especially in the Design Studio. As a postgraduate student, I now have the experience and authority to give them the help they are asking for or direct them to a place they can get it from.
What hints and tips do you wish you had known before you started your PG studies, which you would like you share with others who are considering joining the Coventry PG community?
- Contact existing students. Do not be afraid to ask people about their experience or advice.
- Coventry Postgraduate has a wider diversity of students than most Undergraduate studies. You will meet people from all across the world; different races, cultures and believes. Always be respectful and kind.
- Postgraduate is a different type of "educational intensity". To succeed you need to treat your studies as a full-time job + overtime.
If you had to describe your experience in three words, what would they be?
Versatile, Enjoyable, Memorable.
What are you planning for your next steps once you complete your PG studies?
At the moment my plans revolve around the idea of securing a job in an Architectural Practice. I believe starting my career in a larger company helps you to learn the basics faster as well as make many useful connections. I hope I can gain some necessary knowledge and skills to Complete my Advanced Diploma in Professional Practice in Architecture (RIBA) Part 3 at some point after that time.