Newcastle University, Geography Personal Statement

Geography, Newcastle University

The immense size and complexity of the world has always fascinated me. As such, I have developed a deep appreciation of the rich interactions between the human and physical realms when studying Geography. To supplement my curiosity, I read National Geographic and enjoy publications of widely acclaimed scientists such as Dr Iain Stewart and Richard Dawkins.

The knowledge and understanding I gain from wider reading has allowed me to develop a synoptic understanding of Geography. Recently I explored the causes, effects and management of Hurricane Katrina. I was amazed at how the sheer force of physical geography and the intricacies of human geography combined to result in such long lasting and devastating impacts on a multitude of scales. I was inspired to complete my EPQ on the disaster. I intend to explore the causes and the effects of this tragedy enabling me to expand on my research literacy and time management skills, to prepare me for university.

Sociology has provided the opportunity for me to carefully cross-reference my learning through other subjects. Assessing different perspectives on the causes of societal issues and the political solutions required allows previously accepted models to be evaluated and improved over time. I relate this to my studies in Geography, where I am able to understand the reasons behind government actions and how these may impact society and the environment, both spatially and temporally.

Chemistry has allowed me to understand the interactions between particles on a micro-scale and how they behave in dissimilar environments. Being able to appreciate how the latter arises with due regard as to why these changes occur has furthered my analytical skills. I now have a detailed comprehension of how seemingly small changes can lead to greater consequences. Topics such as ‘Chemistry of the Air’ provided deep insight to climate change and how the government are attempting to find alternative resources to minimise an ever-increasing problem.

In summer 2013, I was selected for the Sutton Trust Summer School at Durham University, with a Geography focus. I developed a range of skills in peer collaboration and discussion whilst being challenged by exciting new material. The river exploration completed during the course provided a contrasting experience to my research completed previously along the river Grwyne Fawr, Wales. The latter experience developed my use of specialist equipment and data collection using technology in a higher risk physical environment. My exploration of the River Tee’s, Durham allowed for a first-hand view of the social benefits of a river. Combined, these fieldwork opportunities enriched my prior understanding of both human and physical geography in two physically similar, yet humanly different environments.

I have completed a two-week placement with Skanska: a multinational construction and development company. Working on the Cross-Rail Paddington Station Project allowed me to understand the associated environmental concerns and the precautions required to preserve the local area. Completing a variety of tasks within strict time frames enhanced my time management and self-discipline. It made clear to my manager that I have the potential to develop new abilities, as well as building on my communication skills and maturity. Geography is relevant to everybody.

Arriving at a shared understanding of the world is vital if we are to develop effective environmental sustainability to cater for the increasing population. New disciplines and applications of GIS and remote sensing have recently proliferated; both of which capture my attention. To be a part of this fast paced, ever-evolving subject is the driving force behind my enthusiasm for it.

A degree in Geography will allow me to explore beyond the confines of textbooks and gain a practical experience in understanding physical processes and developing deeper appreciations of contemporary issues.