Skip navigation

Matthew Murphy

BA Hons Advertising

Where are you from?


Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I was impressed with the welcome I received at the Northumbria Open Day, the staff and students were welcoming and passionate about where they worked and studied. I originally studied a design course but found my strengths lied somewhere between between creative thinking and strategising which led me to change to Advertising for my final two years. Newcastle as a city is vibrant with plenty to do, but is not as overcrowded as other cities I considered studying in.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle is not too far from my home town so I get to embrace the city and suburb life which is great for when I want to go to a last-minute gig or comedy night in Newcastle, or if I fancy being in the countryside for a weekend I don;t have to look far. As a self-professed foodie, the cuisine is the highlight of the city for me - a nice restaurant on Grey Street never goes amiss or something lighter with a few craft beers is always an option like Dat Bar.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

Newcastle is in such a great location - the city centre offers plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, whilst also being pretty close to beaches which are great for summer BBQ's after deadlines are over. Northumberland is only a stones throw away as well, which offers all the fresh air and stunning scenery a person could need.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

The change from small town to city was great, Newcastle is a perfect bridge for those looking to get the city experience but don't want to spend their entire loan on rent and tube fares. Northumbria has a great team of supporting staff who feel genuinely interested in what I am doing and want to help me achieve my goals.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

The change from small town to city was great, Newcastle is a perfect bridge for those looking to get the city experience but don't want to spend their entire loan on rent and tube fares. Northumbria has a great team of supporting staff who feel genuinely interested in what I am doing and want to help me achieve my goals.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

Having founded the Northumbria University Entrepreneurial Society - NUOVO, in 2014, I have received phenomenal help from staff in Research and Business Services. They have invited me to multiple events where I have made connections with business owners and alumni which will prove invaluable going forward when I plan on starting my own business.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

For me, this would have to be the staff in the Research and Business Services department - they have helped get NUOVO Society off the ground and invited society members to some amazing workshops and events where we have been fortunate enough to meet Northumbria graduate and Head Designer at Apple; Sir Jonathan Ive, and recently a talk with Richard Branson about getting started in the business world.

What is your favourite place on campus?

As odd as it sounds, City Campus Library has become my favourite place as that's where I get most of my work done and feel inspired listening to everyone around me working hard.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?

During my first year at Northumbria I helped organize a charity Swop Shop in the Students Union which helped me meet new people and work for a good cause. I then went on to become a Sports Volunteer and found work in schools all around the North East thanks to the skills and qualifications I was able to pickup working in the department. This role as a volunteer led to me being taken on as a paid intern in the Sports Marketing Department during my final year. I recently completed the Mad March Mare with Northumbria Sport Foundation - for anyone who doesn't mind getting a bit muddy and wading through swamps, this is a great opportunity to meet new people and push your physical fitness while raising money for a good cause.

What is the best thing about your course?

Advertising offers the perfect balance between creative thinking and strategy. The modules cover global marketing and account management which help build invaluable business skills, whilst producing creative campaigns for new and existing brands allows me to flex my inner designer. I have worked on rebranding projects for Douwe Egberts and had placements with top marketing firms as well as interning for Hearst Publications in London.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

My time as a student has helped me to grow far beyond I could have ever imagined when starting university back in 2011. I have learned how to balance my goals with what I can realistically achieve in both academic study and my career aspirations. At one point I had three part-time jobs, two placements, I was studying full-time and also trying to look for graduate jobs and post-graduate courses. Whilst this offered me a wealth of experience I realised I was not becoming great at anything, only average at a number of things. I made a choice to quit a couple of jobs and focus my energy on one placement to ensure I achieved the most out of my work. The extra sleep was amazing and I now have a more clear idea of what I want in my mind.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

Setting up NUOVO (Northumbria University's Entrepreneurial Society) has inspired me to want to start my own business, which I plan on doing alongside working full or part-time once I graduate. The society combined with my course has taught me about problems I can expect to face when starting up a business, but also how to market my ideas effectively. I have developed skills in research and new idea development as well as creating realistic and achievable expectations. The confidence and ongoing support I have built and received from being part of NUOVO and my Advertising course will prove invaluable for my future.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences?

I worked as a writer for a men's lifestyle magazine in my first year of university which led to me being hired as an intern for Esquire during the summer of 2012, where I got to work on a number of projects including Graphic Design and Photography. Volunteering for Northumbria Sport also created opportunities for me as a teacher and coach in the UK and around the world. I spent summer 2013 teaching Sport and English at summer camps in Italy then went on to do Camp America and Italy again in 2014. Thanks to my course and being part of NUOVO Society I have secured placements with marketing firms in Newcastle and worked on a rebranding project for Douwe Egberts in my final year.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Be completely open to new experiences and try as much as you can so when it comes to your final year you'll have a clearer picture and a lot of useful skills to help you with your future plans.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

Going to university has helped me define my short term goals and empowered me with the confidence and knowledge to achieve them. I have learnt how to manage my time and find a balance between work, study and personal life.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Empowering, challenging and unpredictable

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Yes - university in general is a valuable experience and Northumbria is a great place to have it.

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

a person sitting at a table using a laptop
NU World Virtual Tours

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

Latest News and Features

£1 million funding award supports leading new medical research at Northumbria University
a photo of monsoon rain in a mountainous location
Norman Franklin and Dr Jane Greaves in the OSCE test centre at Northumbria University
Generic Image from Unsplash. Gothic style university library.
Postgraduate design portfolio work displayed in the school of design at Northumbria university.
Abandoned fashion factory, Generic Image from Unsplash.
More news
More events

Upcoming events

Postgraduate Design Degree Exhibition
Some prickly Predicaments in Sonification
The Quorn Story

Back to top