Tamsin Sealy, MSc Urban Planning
Why did you choose to study MSc Urban Planning?
I chose to study this course because I wanted to change careers and I had felt for a long time that planning looked like a really interesting and varied field. I chose this particular course because it was RTPI accredited and my research showed that this is essential for becoming a chartered town planner at a later date. The department also has a very good reputation in terms of teaching and employability.
What have you enjoyed most about the course?
I have enjoyed the variety in terms of module content and assessment methods, which allowed for me to develop a wide set of skills. Also, while it is sometimes challenging, the high inclusion of group work was excellent for learning because of the group's mix of newbies to planning and experienced practitioners.
I really enjoyed this mix of other students on the course and the wide range of experience and opinions they brought with them. I think the teaching has been excellent, with staff who genuinely care and have a real interest in planning. The use of real case studies and local site visits was also helpful for learning.
What has been your favourite module and why?
I enjoyed the Conservation Planning module most because I have a personal interest in heritage and architecture, so I found it especially engaging. I also liked how it combined more theoretical/philosophical debates with practical application, such as carrying out a Conservation Area Appraisal. I would also have to say that in terms of the most useful module, the IDQ module really provided the most tangible practical planning skills and knowledge.
Can you sum up your overall experience of being a UWE student?
It has been a great year, with the opportunity to meet lots of lovely people and be part of a university that does really seem to care about the student experience both during and after their studies. I did feel very supported by the faculty and that if I had any concerns, I would be listened to. It was obvious that previous feedback had informed the course design and will in the future.
What’s the best thing about studying in Bristol?
Bristol is just the best city in the UK right now. It has so much going on all year round, particularly centred around food, music and the arts. It's a creative, young and exciting city which I have never felt bored in. It's also really pretty in lots of areas, with loads of character. It often feels quite small and friendly, which is great for newcomers – I settled very easily when I moved here a few years ago.
What extra-curricular opportunities have you been involved with?
Not too many, as I needed to work part-time as well. I did join the RTPI and took part in an RTPI South West consultation event.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I have started a graduate town planner position with the consultancy Arup in Bristol, so I hope to develop my skills, contribute to some interesting projects and work towards getting chartered n the next few years.
What tips would you give to new students?
I would say go in with an open mind and say yes to lots of opportunities that come up; it's a chance to develop your people skills and life experience as much as to get a degree. Don't ignore the future and post-graduation plans - try and reflect as you go on the bits you are enjoying, to help direct your job hunting once you finish.