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Dan Bowgett

Dan Bowgett Student Profile

What is your name and which degree are you studying?

Dan Bowgett, Mathematics (BSc course)

What made you decide to study at Northumbria University?

I had previously visited Newcastle and I really love the city, it’s a student city and there’s always something going on. I visited the University and I was very impressed with the learning environment in the Mathematics department. The department has an open door policy, meaning that there’s always someone available to help if you get stuck on something.

What is your favorite thing about study BSc (Hons) Mathematics?

My favourite thing was working closely with academics, especially in my final year. The class sizes made it possible to ask questions during lectures and the lecturers were keen to answer questions and discuss other relevant topics. The Project module in final year also offered a great opportunity to do my own piece of research alongside an assigned tutor.  

What are the facilities like for your course?

The facilities for Maths are excellent, and have improved significantly during my time on the course. The Maths Hub was created whilst I was on placement, this is an area with computers with all of the required software, whiteboards and places for group work, just for Mathematics students. The Maths Hub created somewhere where students from all year groups were able to work and help each other, as well as receiving help from lecturers.

How supportive are the lecturers and tutors?

I have found the lecturers and tutors to be very helpful, especially in my final year when I required guidance for my Project, there was always someone available to help. The open door policy makes it easy to get support.

Why did you decide to do a placement?

I decided to do a placement as I wanted to gain some experience before looking for graduate opportunities. I was unsure what I wanted to do after University, and felt that a placement would help me gain more of an idea, which it definitely did.

Where and what was your 3rd year placement?

I worked as a Statistical Programmer for Covance during my placement.

What skills and experience did you gain from your placement?

I was treated the same as any other graduate starting at the company during my placement, this led to personal development as I was relied upon by other members of staff. I developed skills such as time-management and communication with colleagues, as well as significantly improving my ability as a programmer. I also made many connections through my placement, which will aid me if looking for other opportunities in the future.

How did the placement support your studies in your 4th year?

During my placement I got into good habits of working in a routine, I then carried this routine on in my final year and this significantly eased the burden of my final year. I also got better at communicating with lecturers and tutors due to my improved communication skills from my placement. I was also able to work part time alongside my final year studies, easing the financial strain.

How did the skills gained through your degree and placement help you achieve your job offer at Covance?

During my degree I had gained programming experience of using Matlab and R, which enabled me to obtain my placement year opportunity with Covance, a company that has had strong links with the Mathematics department at Northumbria for some years. Through my placement I had the opportunity to impress the company, and when the chance of a permanent position became available, they were keen to have me back.

Do you have any advice to other prospective BSc (Hons) Mathematic students?

My advice would be that it’s a great course and you will get out of it what you put into it. You should seize the opportunity to learn from a great group of lecturers, and you’ll have a great chance to do your own research for your Project module in your final year. After returning from placement I could really appreciate the opportunity to study and work independently again.


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