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Business Studies

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Date of Review May 2011 Go Back
Year of Study 1st
Student Type Traditional
From Offaly
Social Life
Academics
Campus
Sports
Entertainment

Why did you choose to study in this course?

I chose my course because I have a huge interest in Science and Engineering. I found that Applied Physics in UL was the best choice for me because it offered a good balance between practical labs and theory in the lectures. The Co-op side of the course was also a big influence in me choosing UL over other Universities because it gives you an advantage after you graduate when you are being interviewed for a job. It also offers you hands on experience in a working environment and makes you aware of what carriers you would like to further pursue. The offer of choosing a special elective in fourth year in particular field of Physics was also a reason why I applied for UL, but sadly the University has decided to take away our choices because of new rules for minimum students per module. Hopefully they will undo this change.

Are you happy with your choice of course?

Yes

On reflection, what made it the right or wrong choice for you?

On reflection the reasons I gave for me choosing my course (part 4) mostly lived up to what I had expected and the best aspects of the course greatly outweighed the bad. I'm on co-op at the moment and have found that I'm more aware of the career options I have after I graduate. Modules like semiconductors and optics conveyed sides of Physics that I didn't consider before I chose Applied Physics. But on the other hand some aspects of the course were poor. Some modules that would have been very useful in a career in Physics could have been run allot better. For example maths was run through the maths department and not the Physics department. Most of the time it was difficult to utilize those modules fully because they were either taught after we needed them for other modules or they were taught in a purely abstract way that was not very useful when trying to apply to real world problems. Overall though, I'm very happy with my decision to choose Applied Physics with UL.

How many hours of organised classes do you have per week?

30+hrs

Are your lectures/labs mainly based on or off the main campus?

On

Is your course weighted more on continuous assessment or end of year exams?

End of year exams

Is there an option to study abroad on your course?

I don't know

What are your favourite aspects of your course?

My favourite parts of the course were modules run purely through the Physics Department. This was because they were taught well, had enthusiastic lectures and were given allot assignments and projects that thought you how to go about a task in a scientific way without being spoon fed. Some modules were very intensive time wise and difficulty but there was a great satisfaction completing them and the skills gained by this effort paid off in all different areas of the course. Co-op is also both invaluable in terms of gaining real world working experience but is also very enjoyable.

What are your least favourite aspects of your course?

My least favourite aspects of the course were modules that could have been run better but weren't. Most of these modules were ones that were run outside of the Physics department and there seemed to be less interest by lectures for students outside of their departments to achieve a high standard. For example one lectures approach was to run through the material as fast as she could and refused to stop and rephrase something even if everyone could not understand the concept she was trying to get across. Another lecturer hardly ever showed up to his lectures and left students to learn purely on their own with the equipment and notes given. This could have worked until there was a point where when we got completely stuck with a problem, we couldnt ask for help. The most annoying aspect of my course though was the fact that when we were prospectus students being told about the course we were told about many elective choices that either did not exist in the course or where taken off us before we got a chance to choose them. I dont think it's fair to advertise one thing and then take it away when you are nearly through your course. Especially when students have to paying a lot of money to study at a University.

Was your course what you expected?

Yes

What do you wish you had known before choosing this course?

I wish I had known that not everything that was advertised to be in the course would be given. Like I mentioned above I don't think the University should be allowed to tell someone that they can do this that and the other over the four years and then keep changing the rules when you are committed to the course. Saying that though I found that every college and University is guilty of the same as on opendays you find very contradictory statements given when trying to compare course that are competing for the same students.

Why?

The library has all the books I need. I have never had to go out and buy a book because they didn't have it. The computer and printer services are excellent mostly throughout the year with the exception of during study week and exams when the building can sometimes get over crowded. I have been easily able to access online journals in the library even when I bring in my own laptop. Opening hours are excellent and make study so much easier late in the evenings.

Rate your course in terms of difficulty

Difficult

Please rate your course in terms of workload

Much more than other courses

Are you an active member of any societies?

No

Are you a member of any sports clubs?

Yes

If yes, please name the sports clubs?

Rowing

Are your training facilities easily accessible?

Yes

Are your training facilities at a good standard?

Yes

What would be helpful to know before joining your sports club?

The huge commitment expected. There is a real danger that if you have a course that has a large workload that you can overwork yourself if you are not carful. I found that joining the club was one of my best experiences in college but because the club has such a high standard of athleticism, it can start to compromise the time and energy you have to focus on your course. Saying that I would recomend this club to everyone.

Would you recommend getting involved in college sport?

If I could do it all again I would have given the sub aqua, sailing club or some club or society that was less completive a try. Even though I loved being in the rowing club it would have been nice to give something a bit more relaxing a try. Still another year to go so there is still time.

How much do you spend on living every week (going out, food, transport etc.), excluding rent and bills?

80-100

Do you or have you lived away from home during college?

Yes

How much does your rent cost per month?

150-250

As a first year did you live in college halls?

Yes

Would you recommend living in College Halls?

Yes

Would you recommend living in College Halls Why?

I would recommend staying on campus in first year. When you don't know much about the city and where are the best places to look for accommodation you will find it more secure to be staying on campus. Everything you need is available and nearby to you. You don't have to worry about having difficulties with landlords, utility bills etc because they are all included in the bill you pay at the beginning. For someone who is moving out of their home for the first time, it is a great stepping stone into getting used to be more independent without stressing you out. Everyone living with you are students and most will be even be in the same year as you. That way everyone is more likely to get on because they have the same things in common. Even if you are having serious problems with the housemates you live with there are possible solutions to the problem on campus that you would not have off campus. For example a friend of mine had housemates that were extremely messy, noisy and little respect for her belongings. She went to her village manager who inspected the house more often to see if the others were doing their fair share of the cleaning and keeping the noise down. When they didn't she found another apartment in the village that was much better and offered her to change.

If yes, where and why?

Cappavilla,Thomond or Dromroe. The other villages have been known to get out of hand with parties, bad housemates and noise.

If yes, where and why?

Plassey village, I have heard it has got better but what I have seen so far it’s not worth all the hassle staying there. You will find many people who have no interest in studding there course end up there drinking day and night. That’s good fun but when you need to work on a report or need sleep before a exam, it’s not going to happen.

How would you recommend this college to a friend?

My favourite thing about college life is meeting people likeminded and have the same interest to me. It is a huge difference from living at home as in rural Kerry where you don’t meet many people who know what physics is not to mind having a conversation about it.

What advice would you give to somebody coming to ULknowing nobody?

I would recommend to join a club or society and stick with it. Some of the nicest people I have met in college were people who I met with at training or on club trips. I would also recommend going out as much as you can in first year without putting your course in jeopardy. I worked too hard on my course in first year and didnâ't really take much time enjoying my time in college which I regret.

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