More about James
The desire to study at NTU’s Brackenhurst Campus happened even before I visited by searching through photos and information about the campus online, affirmed when I visited in person on the university open days. The course also strongly advocated the emotional connection and compassion I have for environmental conservation in a wider context.
The small group sizes allowed for lots of interaction, group discussions and friendly support from module tutors throughout in teaching sessions, lab practical sessions and fieldtrips, gaining in-depth subject knowledge.
The variety of modules on offer throughout the years caters for a wide range of interests within the fields of ecology and environmental conservation and allows students of all abilities to develop a plethora of industry-related skills and experience, all within the fantastic open-air classroom of Brackenhurst!
I came to NTU following completion of my A-levels. I have been used to small class sizes and ample outdoor space away from cities or big towns, which made Brackenhurst such a favourite. I also found other places did not have the wide range of specialised courses on offer in relation to the environment, ecology and conservation compared to Brackenhurst.
The course offers a variety of fieldtrip opportunities. On-site, campus fieldtrips include undertaking surveys for taxa and guided walks around the campus. Off-site fieldtrips included a trip to a lowland heathland site to carry out habitat management work in Sherwood Pines, a trip to Stone Henge and Sherwood Forest for Ecotourism and Recreation module. There are also varieties of fantastic trips held with the NTSU Conservation Society (a society which can be joined alongside the course… I would highly recommend!).
I am planning to do a placement with the RSPB for the upcoming academic year, where I will be based at a nature reserve carrying out various habitat and land management tasks.
Tutors are very supportive and provide extensive feedback for assessment opportunities to help students constructively improve their work and also commend what they have done well.
One of the most valuable things I’ve learnt from the Ecology and Conservation course so far is to appreciate and scrutinise all the details of the natural world, no matter how big or small, new or old, and how even what often appears the most simple phenomena actually unveils huge underlying intricacy and complexity.
For this type of course, NTU is the best place to study, as Brackenhurst cannot be matched for its 200 hectares of land instantly available for students to freely use in developing the range of vocational skills acquired as part of the course and having valuable green space to access on the doorstep.
I ultimately feel that the extensive knowledge gained throughout the course so far, will help to open the doors to a career related to these areas, with my inner enthusiasm for the subject confirming that this is where I want to be.