Thomas Appleby

Lancaster’s Appeal

Currently studying a PGCert in Environmental Management and Consultancy, Thomas was attracted to Lancaster for a number of reasons, including the University’s international prestige and enviable location. “Lancaster has an excellent reputation that should carry weight in the wider world,” he says. “The campus is also a convenient distance to travel from my home in south Cumbria.” Thomas was also impressed by the low cost of Lancaster’s course compared to those offered by other universities, and appreciated the opportunity to interact with academic staff and other postgraduate students. “The cost of the course is very competitive, and I consider it to be good value for money,” he says. “My other options were online courses of the same academic level – I felt that being able to engage with classmates and lecturers during my studies would ultimately be of greater benefit to me.”

An Excellent Course

Thomas has found his modules to be highly engaging and rewarding. “From the outset of my studies I was thoroughly looking forward to all the modules, because I felt that they would be very beneficial,” he says. “They have been thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring.”

Thomas has also benefitted from the extensive support that is available to students at Lancaster, and is grateful for the invaluable advice that he has received from academic staff. “I sought advice from my course convenor, Nigel Watson, who gave me his honest, balanced view and counter arguments for not completing the MA course with a thesis,” he says. “The advice was much appreciated, and complemented by that of Angela Sindall and Stacey Read.”

A Range of Facilities

During his time at Lancaster, Thomas has taken full advantage of the wealth of academic facilities available. “I have used the PG computer lab extensively for access to IT and studying,” he says. “In addition, I have used the library facilities as a source of knowledge online, and for withdrawing hard copies of books. I’ve also found the library’s quiet and practical study spaces to be invaluable.” 

Advice for Students

Thomas firmly believes that students hoping to study Environmental Management and Consultancy should first gain work experience in the field, as this prepares them for the academic and professional challenges that they will face. “As a mature student, my motivation for doing this course may be slightly different given my work experience compared to those who’ve been undergraduates recently,” he says. “When I began my course, it was apparent that a number of students were not aware of the academic challenges they would face, let alone professional ones beyond graduation. Therefore, I advise that those coming straight from a BSc, for example, should consider gaining some work experience before undertaking an Environmental Management Masters. Lancaster is as good a place as any to give you knowledge and understanding of the complex issues of management, but there’s no substitute for some ‘real-world’ experience to which it can be related.”

A Valuable Experience

Thomas’ experience studying at Lancaster has led him to highly recommend the University to prospective students. “Choosing an academic institution is a business decision like any other – you should assess the value of the anticipated process and product,” he says. “Having studied at Lancaster, I feel better equipped for future work and able to take the next step into more challenging, influential environmental management positions commanding higher salaries. I’ve made good friends within my group of classmates and the academic staff, and my time in academia has given me a chance to reflect on my life’s direction.”