Meet our Masters Students

Every Masters student enjoys a bespoke experience at the Graduate School thanks to the way in which you can select modules and co-design your research project. Here, a few current and recent students describe how it was for them.

Alozie Alaoma

"I opted to study here on account of the programme itself and the reputation the place wields in environmental research. I wanted to be exposed to both biochemical and environmental courses which would give me an ample edge to others who major either in environmental or biochemical toxicology.

"I was able to choose a set of interesting and challenging modules which I have enjoyed doing because of their laboratory orientation. The practical sessions have also afforded me opportunities to work with state-of-the art facilities. Next I hope to pursue a PhD programme to enrich my knowledge and make me ripe for the career I would like to pursue. The MSc has been challenging, progressing and fulfilling."

Aina Brias Guinart

"Doing my Masters dissertation project on heavy metal pollution in partnership with the University of Dhaka (Bangladesh) has given me the opportunity to work in a completely different environment.

"It has allowed me to learn about experiment design, fieldwork planning and execution. Above all, it will provide me with the skills for working on environmental issues in a country in the Global South, which will be fundamental in my future professional career."

Harrison Brook

"I wanted to complete my Master’s degree here, due to the high academic calibre of the place as well as its many links within the environmental industry.

"Since starting here I have achieved an industry placement at the RSPB, researching the ecological effects of decommissioning off-shore oil and natural gas structures in the North Sea. This was only made possible due to the dedication of the staff and lecturers in Lancaster.

"After completing my degree I hope to go on to work in the renewable energy industry; the course has not only given me academic knowledge, it has taught me about the industry as a whole – something I believe to be invaluable."

John Browning

"Lancaster Environment Centre has one of the largest groups of volcanologists in the country, carrying out world-leading, cutting-edge research. When I met my MSc course director for the first time I was blown away by his enthusiasm for the subject and also by the depth of volcanology research that Lancaster conducts.

"Highlights of studying for my Masters were attending field courses in the Lake District and at Mount Etna in Sicily, as well as undertaking exciting and novel research, whilst being given guidance and inspiration from supervisors who are leaders in their field.

"During my research, I used the thermal laboratory at Lancaster Environment Centre to try to understand more about the processes of bubble growth in magma. I presented the findings from my final research project at the Volcanic and Magmatic Studies group meeting and was awarded the Geoff Brown prize for best student poster.

"I am now undertaking a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, aiming to contribute to our understanding of how volcanoes collapse. I am sure that the training received and skills learnt at Lancaster greatly enhanced my application for PhD programmes and equipped me well for my on-going research."

Laura Lewis

"I was attracted to the wide range of modules on offer to take alongside my specialism which will allow me to gain a broader degree and will also give me useful skills for future employment.

"Alongside my volcanology modules I was able to take modules covering the broader scope of human-environment interactions which has made me aware of the key issues and challenges associated with the management of the environment.

"Other highlights of the course include field trips to the Lake District and Mount Etna in Sicily and I’m further looking forward to undertaking my dissertation on the transport of volcanic ash alongside supervisors who are leaders in the field. This MSc is definitely proving to be both challenging and enjoyable and as a result I hope to use the skills I gain to aid me in further study."

Julie Anna-Lize Terry

"The choice of modules here is great as you can tailor your Masters to your interests, which has allowed me to focus on water pollution and processes.

"The field visits have been the most enjoyable part for me, and the one-week field course on Catchment Protection in the Eden Valley was intensive, but really valuable. As a mature student, studying at postgraduate level has been challenging at times, but I was able to change to part-time so that I could still work, and I’m definitely making the most of my course.

"I recently returned from a five-month Erasmus exchange programme in The Netherlands where I completed two of my optional modules. I’m now finishing my dissertation project as a student volunteer for the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology at Wallingford, working in the field and in the laboratory on the flow cytometer. For me though, the best part is that the Student Employability Manager at Lancaster has just helped me organise a paid internship at The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand to follow on from my MSc this year."

Nkechi Ukpaka

"The reputation of Lancaster was what attracted me at first and secondly was the thought of having practical and lab work alongside lecture modules.

"I have certainly gained a lot, not just the knowledge in the classroom but also the relationships, the advice and the career sessions. I was able to improve my writing and presentation skills and gain some training especially in GIS.

"I loved the team building session because it helped build my relationship with my classmates outside the lecture rooms. Staff were also very willing to assist whenever the need arose. I would certainly use the knowledge and experience gained here in the workplace after graduation and I look forward to studying for a PhD afterwards."

Natalie Verner

"It was very important to me that my Masters degree related to food security had relevance to industry. The course has exceeded my expectations as all the teaching so far has had real-world applications and is up to date with the latest research.

"I am really enjoying my time at Lancaster as there is so much to get involved in on campus and everyone is really friendly, including the lecturers who are very approachable and passionate about the subjects they teach.  

"Shortly after starting here I was able to get involved with a collaborative project with Waitrose that promotes best practice in sustainable agriculture. I am now looking forward to starting a dissertation project focusing on the Amazon and mapping the vulnerability of its local food systems to climate change."

Hazel Fielding

"My research project involved two field trials and glasshouse trials including a collaboration with Produce World in Lincolnshire, which gave me insight and contacts within the industry.

"Some of the taught modules focused on the social aspects of agriculture, which I found very rewarding as it opened my eyes to the wider problems with the food system globally.

"Within a ‘summer school’ module, I also had the opportunity to visit rural China to study the food system which was hugely rewarding as we visited areas ‘off the beaten track’. I have just started a job with the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB) as a field trials technician."