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Sam Perkin

Studying for an MA in International Relations and Global Communications at MMU

Geography BSc (Hons)

My field trip to Mallorca was an incredible experience - learning about rivers, coasts, and rock formations in sunny weather.

Geography at Edge Hill suited me perfectly because I knew I wanted to be involved in a geo-career. The ability to specialise at Edge Hill made me aware that humanitarian development was a career path I wanted to take. I applied for my MA three months before I graduated, and within a month I’d been accepted on an International Relations and Global Communications course. I’ve made very good friends off my current course as well as at Edge Hill.

My degree sharpened my expertise in problem-solving. I learnt to select appropriate research methods for data collection, including the study of real-life events such as governance towards the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, Japan.

I enjoyed the interactivity involved in group and fieldwork. Assigning tasks to people allowed us to specialise (ie methods, data analysis etc.) so that we could draw our ideas together in the form of a Word document or PowerPoint. In Year 1 we presented our research methods for investigating humification of peatland in Cumbria, UK.

I determined the state of the Cumbrian climate over the previous 800 years. As part of a team, we sampled a cross-section of peatland to assess its profile. Starting from surface level to 80 cm deep, every 1 cm of peat indicates a previous decade which enabled us to identify the climatic conditions decade by decade through the characteristics of the peat, such as colour, viscosity, and organic matter content.

My fieldtrip to Mallorca in Year 2 was an incredible experience. Learning about rivers, coasts, and rock formations in sunny weather was a bonus.

University gave me a greater insight into the world of work: time-management, communication, and group work skills. It allowed me to make decisions and timetables most suitable for me. Many assignments I completed allowed me to select a topic of interest which granted me the ability to specialise in a particular topic.

Being a Student Rep enhanced my communication skills. Talking to fellow students I could understand any concerns they may have had about the department, which I would bring up at the Staff-Student Consultative Forum.

Visiting Iceland in December 2019 was an unforgettable experience. We took a tour along the country’s southern coastline and saw Eyjafjallajökull (‘E15’) – the same volcano that halted the majority of passenger traffic throughout Europe in 2010 as an impact of its eruption.

I very much miss the Edge Hill community. It felt like a family of students and lecturers working together to reach a similar objective. The welcoming atmosphere enabled me to settle into halls and university life much faster than I expected.

Living in halls gave me a taste of independence. Living away from home was a taster of what it would feel like to have my own place in the future. University acts as a stepping stone to commitments later in life.

Keep your door open on the first day in halls. It’s how you make friends and get to know your flatmates. The independence of having my own studio room appealed to me, and I loved how close I was to my mates’ rooms. Initially it was nerve-racking, but after we got to know one-another it felt like I had been living in halls for ages!

My favourite place on campus is the small beach next to Chancellor’s Court: the perfect place to have a picnic.

Tuesdays were my favourite uni nights out. I used to go to [local club] Alpine as part of a weekly night out. The music was mainly pop or R&B which is the best kind of club music in my opinion. My favourite band currently is Bring Me the Horizon. I also listen to interviews and podcasts to find out about new album releases and tour dates. The band are in the process of making a ‘Post Human’ series of records with three related Eps.

I’d like to work overseas or as a volunteer. Strong links with a former lecturer has provided me with the opportunity to carry out community practices in Bangladesh, which will definitely improve my résumé and broaden the skills developed at university. I’d love to work for an Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), supporting developing countries through aid, healthcare, and social development programmes.

Make the most of your university experience at Edge Hill. Remain organised, assign yourself individual deadlines to ensure your assessments and modules run smoothly. However, make sure to enjoy university life as well – sign up to any societies you find of interest.