My year at City
While 1st January might be the time for champagne and resolutions, at City, the new year begins in September, when corridors, cafes and lecture theatres come to life after the long summer break. Here, a current student and member of staff share thoughts on their years at City.
Daniel Cox, Senior Admissions Officer
I work within a team that handles applications for undergraduate courses: we are the referees in the enormous contest of over 20,000 applicants vying for just under 2,000 places.
Between September and January of each year we receive the majority of undergraduate applications. Just as most people are starting to wind down for Christmas, everyone in our office is getting busier! Between January and March, I work through prospective students' applications and assess whether they have met or are likely to meet the University's entry requirements. Working with academic colleagues, I look at grades or predicted grades, but I also consider personal statements, work or voluntary experience and references.
After Easter, I'm often out of the office, supporting colleagues in Undergraduate Marketing and Recruitment as they attend fairs and conferences for prospective students. We sometimes have to field strange questions: two of my all-time favourites were: "Is City University London in London?" and "Do midwives get tips after a baby is born?".
In August of each year, we receive the exam results for all students holding a Conditional Offer from City. Over a period of three days, we go through each set of results to see which students have met their offers. Then, on the day that students receive their 'A' Level results, Clearing begins. This is when we can recruit qualified students to fill any remaining undergraduate places. We convert a floor on campus into a call centre and (with the help of student ambassadors and a lot of coffee) field over 30,000 calls from students hoping to secure a place at City.
By the end of August, Clearing is over and I begin to prepare for the arrival and registration of new students. Just as Welcome Week winds down, the first batch of new UCAS forms arrive and the cycle starts again.
Anna Summersall, MSc Speech and Language Therapy
My first year at City as a postgraduate student has involved juggling a full timetable of lectures and tutorials, clinical placements, Widening Participation work and volunteering.
The nerves I felt as I moved from Newcastle to London in September were quickly forgotten as I embarked on a three week intensive biomedical science course. Though it was a baptism of fire, the course was also a good opportunity to meet my fellow students: when Welcome Week finally arrived at the end of September, I had already made some friends and we attended some of the Students' Union events together. I've also got to know London with them, with trips to museums, nights out to pop-up cinemas and foodie excursions to Borough Market.
Once Welcome Week was out of the way, we settled into our weekly timetables. Four days a week, we have lectures, tutorials and masterclasses run by academic staff and therapists and on the remaining day, we attend our clinical placements. Attending placement from the very start of the course has been really helpful: my confidence has increased and the integration between theory and practice also means that I find myself applying material from my lectures to my work in the clinical setting.
Though my degree is intense, I wanted to continue with some of the extracurricular activity I was involved in as an undergraduate. So at the start of the year, I applied to become a Widening Participation ambassador. Since then, I've been involved in welcoming primary and secondary school students visiting City and helping out with group discussions and activities. I really enjoy it and the experience of working with young people is useful for me as a therapist. I'm also a volunteer with the Stroke Association and the Giving Voice campaign.
After the Easter holidays, the focus shifted from lectures and placements to preparing for exams, which take place in May and June. This is definitely the most challenging part of the year: thoughts of the summer are keeping me going through long days in the library!