Student Blog Squad

How my course is preparing me for the workplace

Hi, my name is Paige and I’m a mature student studying Human Geography and Planning in the School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing. If you’re interested in learning about how this course is preparing me for the workplace then read on.

Red brick terraced street

Everyone has different reasons for going to university. For me, my career goal is to work in Urban Planning, which is why I chose to study Human Geography and Planning here at Leeds Beckett. This course is teaching me about the role that planning plays in helping to shape our cities and towns and is arming me with the essential knowledge and skills I need to enter the Urban Planning profession when I graduate.

In this blog I’ll be telling you exactly how my course is preparing me for the workplace and telling you about the brilliant opportunities and experiences I’ve had through studying a degree at Leeds Beckett.

EXCELLENT COURSE CONTENT

The first way in which the Human Geography and Planning course is preparing me for the workplace is through the modules and topics themselves. In the first year, one of the modules I studied was Intro to Planning, which involved guest speakers from across Leeds Council’s Planning Department coming in and speaking to us about their roles and responsibilities.  

For me, having these guest speakers helped to enhance my learning experiences and show me the type of employability that is available for me after completing the course.

It was also great to connect with people from within the planning industry and have the opportunity to forge professional connections. I’ve just started my second year and I’m really excited about all of the new modules I'll be studying. One of my year two modules is called Development of Planning Thought, and I’m looking forward to this in particular because it will help me expand on the professional skillset that I developed in my first year, by giving me a more in-depth understanding of relevant planning laws and policies. Another key element of the course content is field trips. I love going on field trips because I get to practically apply the theories I’ve learnt in lectures and I find this incredibly useful for my development. All of the field trips are also fully funded which is so handy when you’re on a student budget. Recently, we took a field trip to nearby Micklefield, as part of a module where we were worked in groups to think about and explain how we would develop this village.

PROFESSIONAL TEACHING AND SOFTWARE

The School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing is very focused on supporting all of the students who study within it, and on my course the lecturers are all active in or have previous experience of working in planning. 

This makes me feel confident that my course is preparing me well for a career in planning, because I'm being taught by people with expertise and hands-on experience in the field. 

In addition, the facilities and equipment are excellent, and we are given the opportunity to use computer programmes which are the same as those utilised by planners at work. I recently used SPSS research software and geographic information system (GIS) software as part of a case study in one of my modules, and I will be able to use these again in other classes.

CAREER FOCUSED OPPORTUNITIES

When I was choosing which university to study at, it was important to me the course would give me a range of experiences and placement opportunities. Unsurprisingly my goal is studying a course that prepares me well for the workplace. As I want to go into a good graduate job when I complete my degree, armed with all the tools and knowledge I need.

This academic year, one of my modules involves a professional placement. This is something I can’t wait to take part in, I’m looking forward to getting hands-on experience, demonstrating my passion and skills to an employer, and learning so much more about the planning industry. As a mature student, I don’t want to spend years studying because I want to get into the industry and start progressing my career as soon as I can. A big selling point for me was that this course at Leeds Beckett gives me the essential placement experience I so want but it’s weaved into my studies, opposed to me having to add a year on to my degree with a twelve-month placement.

Another benefit of this course is that it's accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and every student on the course is eligible for free student membership of the RTPI.

Student membership gives me access to planning news, learning materials, and events. As I’m a member, I got a free ticket to the 2022 UK Real Estate Infrastructure and Investment Forum, which very handily is held annually here in Leeds. This was a great event because I not only saw talks by a wide range of leaders in the built environment sector, but I also got to network and grow my industry contacts.

On the whole, I feel that my course is preparing me very well for the workplace and I love studying here at Leeds Beckett. When I graduate I feel confident that I’ll be in a good position to start my professional journey in Planning and I honestly can’t wait!

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