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Mr Dean Clay

Dean Clay 255What are you doing now?

I am currently a PhD candidate in History.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I was born and raised in the region so its locality appealed to me. The university also enjoys an excellent reputation within the local community and I was proud to have studied and graduated from a local university. In addition, the expertise of the History staff at Northumbria appealed as their interests coincide with my own.

What was it like studying at Northumbria? Was there a mix of lectures, seminars, team projects? Was the feedback constructive?

There was a healthy mix of lectures and seminars throughout my period of study and the feedback I received was always constructive. Studying at Northumbria was an enjoyable experience, with helpful and supportive staff at all levels across campus.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

Their levels of knowledge, expertise and teaching ability. With regards to non-teaching staff, their general enthusiasm, helpfulness and friendly and polite manner.

How connected was your course with industry? Did you have a placement, work on projects? Were there interesting guest lecturers?

During my second year, one module required us to seek a placement within the industry we wanted to go into upon graduation. Although I sought out my own placement, the university did provide a list of employers who they worked with, which would have been helpful to other students.

How did Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/give your career an edge?

Studying both of my degrees at Northumbria have allowed me pursue doctoral research - without them I wouldn't be able to! I feel that the skills I developed during my time there put me in great stead when embarking on a PhD.

What was the best thing about your course?

I loved everything about it!

What skills/knowledge did you learn from your course that you use most now throughout your career?

I use all of the skills I developed in my current position, as they are all still relevant and required.

How would you describe yourself in three words before coming to Northumbria?

Raw, determined, enthusiastic.

How would you describe yourself in three words after completing your first year at Northumbria?

Wiser, focused and enthusiastic!

How would you describe yourself in three words after you graduated at Northumbria?

Confident, driven, older!

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Meeting different people, the new experiences that were afforded to me and the process of studying itself. My passion for the subject was supported and encouraged by the staff who I worked with.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Do it! There is something for everyone; great nightlife, excellent sporting facilities and a well-stocked library.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Challenging, rewarding, fun.

For more information about me visit:


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