I’m Clare and I’m a postgraduate student studying a masters in research in Education. In this post, I will share my experience of applying for a scholarship and speak about my experience as a postgraduate at Bath.
Applying for a scholarship
Being totally honest, I thought only prestigiously gifted, Einstein-esque genii of the student community were awarded scholarships. I didn’t rate my chances particularly highly; in fact I didn’t even consider applying for a scholarship when I first applied to the University of Bath for my masters.
But, when I received an email from the University reminding me that the deadline for Scholarship applications was closing soon, I figured it wouldn’t do me any harm to look at the scholarships they had available.
Though I had some leadership experience as President of the Southampton University Jazz Orchestra and co-captain of a terminally unsuccessful netball team, I most definitely didn’t consider myself a ‘global leader’. Still, I figured there was no harm in applying… What was the worst that could happen?
If I were to give anyone advice about filling in a scholarship application, my main piece of advice would be to be honest. In my application, I detailed my honest reasoning for opting to study a degree in educational research and the challenges I had faced as President of the Jazz Orchestra, when our gigs and tours were cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
Though I have never done anything particularly remarkable, I was honest about what I had done and by the time I had finished typing out the application, I felt like I’d attended some kind of confessional. I read it over once, to check none of my sentences were masquerading as paragraphs and then I submitted it, before I could convince myself that it was a stupid idea.
I didn’t think much more of it. Expecting to be unsuccessful, I didn’t imagine I’d ever hear from the scholarship team at Bath again. I couldn’t believe it when I received an email in mid-August saying that my application had been successful. I applied on such a whim that I was convinced they had somehow made a mistake. Even now, it still feels a bit crazy.
If you are reading this, and even remotely thinking about applying for a scholarship, please do - you might surprise yourself!
My experience as a postgraduate student at the University of Bath
My experience as a postgraduate at Bath University has understandably been a bit different this year.
I have visited campus a grand total of three times, twice during a ‘bootcamp’ week for my course and once for a big band rehearsal. The campus was pretty when I visited, with lots of green space. The performing arts facilities were also really impressive. The University had put up a heated tent as a socially distanced study space, which I thought was incredibly exciting - it was kind of like a cross between a music festival and a library. In an ideal world, I would have loved to have visited campus more during my master’s degree but the times I did visit were really enjoyable.
The city of Bath is also beautiful. I come from Bristol originally, so had been on day trips to the city before, but it was great to be able to live amongst the beautiful architecture. My favourite thing to do was to watch buskers in the city centre by the Cathedral on a Sunday afternoon or go on beautiful walks around Bath’s countryside.
My experience of the city and campus is limited, but the course has exceeded my expectations, even with all my lectures happening online. The structure of the MRes programme means I get to study alongside MRes Economics, Polis, Sustainable Futures, Health, Psychology - all different types of students. Every lecture, seminar I’m hearing about interesting research going on all these different disciplines, with different research methods and hearing from students and researchers from a variety of backgrounds. It’s fascinating to hear the perspectives from all these different students - there’s always so much to learn.
I feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to study at the University of Bath with a Global Leaders scholarship.