The Arts Centre (FREE!) Membership

Hello all, hope you’re having an easy Friday!

As a follow up to the post I made yesterday on the Arts Centre and the performances that run throughout the year, I thought you should all know about the wonderful membership they started up just this year.

The Arts Centre membership is a completely free membership for any and all students at the Edge Hill University- not just for those on the Performing Arts courses!

Although most of the performances and screenings shown at the Arts Centre are £5 or below, this membership allows you to get 4 free tickets to see anything you want during each of the two theatre seasons in the year- Autumn-Winter and Spring-Summer- which I think is a great offer! Especially if you love theatre, film or music but don’t have so much money (something all students come to at some point in their time at Uni!).

My new membership card!

Every member gets one of the brand new membership cards which is quite cool too!

One of the things I love about this membership is that usually when you hear the word membership you’re expected to pay something towards what you’re getting out of it, but this membership is completely free. I think it’s great how this opens up theatre to students who maybe don’t get as much student finance or who are interested in theatre but struggle to pay prices in big theatres.

 

As I’m on the BA (Hons) Performing Arts course, one of my modules requires me to review and analyse performances, which would become an extra stress as without the Arts Centre and the membership I would both have to travel into Liverpool and pay that expense, then pay £25+ for the actual shows- whereas I can simply walk 5 minutes from my room in Back Halls to the Arts Centre and see a show for free.

 

So if you’re looking at coming to Edge Hill in September and you’re a theatre fan, be sure to check this out!

If you want to read my previous post on the Arts Centre, click here!

The Arts Centre Box Office- Theatre Galore!

Hello all, hope you’re having a good end to February.

I wanted to make sure you knew about one of- in my opinion at least- the best things about Edge Hill… The Arts Centre, Edge Hill’s own working theatre! Although the Arts Centre building is also a host for the Performing Arts courses, there are two wonderful theatres that offer shows galore: the Rose Theatre and the Studio Theatre.

The Rose Theatre

I spoke with lovely Celia Wardle-Robinson and Gemma Roberts from the Arts Centre’s Box Office about what is on offer a short while ago so that you can get a better idea of just the kind of eclectic things are on offer for all students at Edge Hill- yes, all students! You don’t have to be on a Performing Arts course to take part in any of the events and shows put on at the Arts Centre!

 

The Arts Centre Box Office- the whos and the whats

The Box Office- the place where all the good stuff happens in the Arts Centre. This is the main port of call for anyone who wants tickets, brochures or a membership (click here for the post where I talk about this!). This is where you’ll be welcomed by Celia and Gemma, who have always been the most helpful people when I had any queries or wanted to book tickets. The Box Office staff are also the ones who ensure everyone is updated on shows that will be shown at Edge Hill, and coordinate with people such as the Campus Life crew to bring events such as the Open Mics, Talent Shows and Student Cook-Offs.

 

Open Mic Nights/Talent Shows

These are free events that take place within the Arts Centre Red Bar- the place pictured in-between the two posters above. Students are invited to show off their musical and non-musical talents at these nights in front of a great crowd of their friends. The atmosphere is always great, which makes it both fun to be in the audience and less nerve-wracking for those who want to perform.

 

What kind of shows are performed?

If you’re a fan of any type of theatre, you’ll find something you’ll enjoy!

Just a few of the tickets I’ve collected since September!

Edge Hill has two student dance companies that often perform at the Arts Centre, and they’ll be performing before the James Wilton Dance company as their curtain-raiser for the show Leviathan on the 28th February. Leviathan is James Wilton’s re-imagining of the novel Moby Dick and features “a cast of seven, Wilton’s trademark blend of athletic dance, martial arts, capoeira and partner-work…”.

Another show that has just been performed by the company Reckless Sleepers was Negative Space- a humorous, and slightly strange 50 minute performance revolving around a very interesting set:

A picture from the performance of Negative Space

The set began as this perfect plasterboard box, with only the actress in the blue dress onstage, but ended battered, holey and with 6 very dusty looking performers onstage. I saw this show, and although there wasn’t a single word spoken, it was a brilliant performance! The slapstick elements of the ridiculous that occurred throughout kept the audience laughing, and the things that the performers did in destroying the set- such as pushing performers through the plasterboard or jumping through it themselves- kept shocking the audience too.

On the 6th February we were lucky enough to host an evening with Julie Atherton- if you are a fan of Musical Theatre, you might have heard her name before! Julie has performed in musicals such as Fame and Mamma Mia and was even a member of the company Avenue Q who make puppet shows with an adult twist.

She performed songs from her career and shared some of her favourite stories from along the way. Click the link below if you want to check out one of her songs:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheArtsCentreEHU%2Fvideos%2F1198241540212680%2F&show_text=0&width=560

If you’re just into music rather than theatre, we have nights for you too!

Above is the poster for the music event that was hosted last Saturday, which allowed students to see some really amazing bands! The line-up included Sex Swing- a band tipped to be one of the top 50 bands of this year-, Cavalier Song and Agathe Max.

 

So those are just some of the wonderful things that go on in the Arts Centre and within the Box Office! I’ve uploaded a blog post that I linked above on the FREE Arts Membership I’ll be uploading a post on other events such as the Free Film Friday the Arts Centre put on just for students and theatre and film screenings!

Most of the shows are open to the local public, but are priced at £5 for Edge Hill Students, one of the best things about the Arts Centre in my opinion, as I used to never attend theatre shows due to the prices at the bigger theatres around my area! If you have a membership, it’s free for you too! But more on that later… For now, here’s a link to the Arts Centre’s website and the online brochure so you can have a look at what else is on through to Summer- hey, if you live close, you could even come along to one of the shows!

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/artscentre/

First Year Biology Modules

Although it seems like an eon ago, it was only last year that I was a first year. Back then, I was undertaking BSc Biology rather than BSc Genetics. I thought I wanted to keep my options open and get a degree in straight biology, but after getting a feel for the course and seeing what modules were available to me for second and third year, I opted to specialise.

Currently, the Biology department run a common first year – meaning that no matter what branch of biology your degree is in, you will be doing the same stuff in first year as everyone else. This was very helpful for me, as it gave me the time I needed to test the waters and decide upon my specialisation.

Ecology in my first year involved a lot of plant-based fieldwork, we visited Limestone pavements and Ruff wood to take quadrat readings and other observations such as with invertebrates. The assessments for this module for me were a data retrieval exam, and an assignment to produce a dichotomous key for the woody species of Ruff wood – which has been one of my favourite assignments so far.

Biodiversity was probably my favourite year one module, getting to learn about the wide range of organisms on the planet, and how they’re classified in taxonomy. From animals we’re widely aware of, like chordates such as birds, fish and mammals, to ones you may know less about, like cnidarians like jellyfish and corals. Also covered was the complex evolutionary history of plants, the origin of life itself, and the diversity of fungus. This modules was assessed by form of examination and presentation.

Biology in Practice was the module that hosted the trip to Cyprus which featured many fieldwork activities. All this fieldwork ended with two presentations that gave a good insight to the kind of presentations I’ve been doing in second year and will do in third year. The whole trip was incredible, and deserves a blog post of its own. Another aspect of this module was the idea of self-evaluation, as we had to write a reflective report on our time studying in first year. As well as this, we completed our first scientific report.

Cellular Form and Function was tested by means of a laboratory practical (in my case, a fluorescent gene transfer) and examination. This module focuses on the processes that occur within cells that make life possible, as well as the factors that can effect the biology of cells, and laboratory techniques used surrounding them.

Human Body Systems focuses on developing your knowledge of the structure and function of the human body and builds your understanding of the inter-relationship between the systems of the body in the context of human health and disease.” – EHU

This module’s examinations were of the open book/data retrieval kind, and also a regular closed book kind. This was the second ever data retrieval exam I had attempted and I was glad for it – it helped me improve how I handled these exams. Although not a human biologist myself, this module was certainly interesting in that it covered such a broad range of aspects of the human body and really gave a good insight into how our bodies systems come together to work and protect us from disease.

Variation, Evolution and Heredity‘s title is pretty self explanatory – we studied how variation in organisms comes to be, and how this is passed to further generations. For the assessment of this module – we wrote an essay on Darwin’s The Origin of Species, but were also tested in a regular examination also.

Overall, first year was a beneficial experience, helping me learn about the type of study I would undertake in my following year, as well as giving an insight into the topics I would study too. Of course first year (especially the cyprus trip) certainly also helped the whole year group to bond and become more familiar with one another.

Money Makes the World Go ‘Round: Budgeting for Students

Financial troubles are one of the biggest causes of stress for students and it’s not surprising. Since a lot of students go from living with their parents, not having to pay for much, to fending for themselves and probably having a lot less money than they are used to, they find it a struggle to stick to a budget. I thought I’d share with you a few tips that I’ve found useful in saving and managing money during my time at uni.

Draw up a budget and stick to it

The best way to keep track of how much money you have is to create a budgeting document. This highlights all the ingoing and outgoing money and from that you can work out how much you have spare to spend each week. I find that the most effective way of doing this on a word document but if you’re feeling it you can transfer it to an excel spreadsheet that you can colour code to easily refer back to. I get very excited over spreadsheets…

After you have drawn up a budget the biggest challenge is sticking to it! What I find helps to combat that is to keep track of everything you spend – I do this on the notes app of my phone – and then you won’t have any nasty surprises next time you check your bank balance. It will also prompt you to make smarter choices if you see what you are actually spending all your money on.

Shop smarter

A great way to save money is to try and go for cheaper shops such as Aldi or B&M. Finding cheaper alternatives to things you can afford to scrimp on will save you a lot of money. I tend to do my weekly shop in Aldi for around £15, whereas in first year I was spending nearly £30 a week in Morrisons! It also helps if you plan out your meals for the week and draw up a shopping list from there so you know exactly what you are getting, rather than aimlessly browsing the aisles.

Be harsh

To save money you have to be super harsh with yourself. If money is tight begin to really question whether you need something before spending the money on it – if you get into the habit of assessing the worth of what you buy you will begin to realise what you actually use and what is a waste of money.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you find yourself knee deep in your over-draft don’t just suffer in silence, speak to someone who may help you lift yourself out of it. Asking your friends and family for financial help may seem daunting and I don’t entirely recommend it but of you are in a really sticky situation the best thing to do is tell someone and they may be able to give you the help you need, whether that is a loan or some advice. Never go to loans companies above people you trust, it won’t end well!

Futures and Funds

So getting a job is probably the last thing on your mind right now… well a full-time job anyway! However in just over three years you’ll have nearly finished your degree and if you’re lucky enough you may have already landed yourself a job! So this is really something you need to bear in mind because the next few years will fly by and you don’t want to be panicking!

Ensuring you have a plan and you’ve chosen a degree that opens doors to a career that you will enjoy is absolutely essential! Otherwise you are wasting your precious money and time, you are best of speaking to the course leader of the course your applying for and seeing what is in store for you! Sometimes, as you might find with college, uni is tough so making sure you thoroughly enjoy the subject is vital.

Other things to look at is the money aspect of your chosen career, can you work your way up to a managerial role? Firstly though you will have to apply for Student Finance, although it is not open yet, it is worth taking a look at what you need in order to apply. The Government have provided a really useful webpage that states exactly what you need (found here), so it may be worth gathering these things now so you are prepared!

Edge Hill also provide a great resource (here) around money you may be entitled to as an undergraduate on a full-time course (bursaries, scholarships, loans), which again you need to look at to ensure you have exactly what you need to begin University on the right foot!

Best of luck, if you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Employability Week!

It’s finally reading/employability week on campus!
For those of you who don’t know, reading week is a week for students to catch up on their essays/coursework/readings and to somewhat relax. However, for media students, it’s all about employability, with three days full of activities, workshops, and sessions. In this blog post, I will be discussing the type of session/workshops that are being offered across all the academic years of the media courses, as these sessions are held a couple times a year.  


Monday’s session
Dissertation workshop
This session is aimed at 2nd-year film and television production students to help them choose whether to do a dissertation or not, as it is optional. You can either choose to do one dissertation or two theory modules.This is super useful for anyone who is still undecided or wants more information on this topic!

Working in freelance
Most people working in the media industry, tend to work freelance: moving from job to job, and company to company. So it’s a great chance to learn about the exciting, challenging world of freelance and the key elements required to help you set yourself up as a freelancer. Which is a great skill to know.

Setting yourself up as a freelancer
Practical advice from experts on becoming a freelancer.
This is one-to-one experience where you can ask individual questions and get advice on how to set yourself up. Brilliant for people who are planning on working in the media industry and getting closer to graduation.

Study skills: Finding academic information for your assignments
Studying experts from learning services are on hand to enable you to develop the skills needed to reach for your assignments. Super useful for anyone who writes essays. Even more useful if you’re considering doing a dissertation/currently are writing one.  

Pitching event
Hosted by Derek Murray, this session gives us a chance to pitch our own original idea to receive feedback on.


Tuesday’s session
Careers planning: essential skills for employment right now
What have you got and what are you missing? It’s important to know what skills make you employable, as you may have skills you don’t even realise employers look for!

Career planning making your job application stand out this summer
It’s time to start thinking about how you can make the summer count jobwise! Whether that’s getting cash or building your skillset up. This session will help to focus your plans and make your application stand out amongst the others.

Postgraduate study at Edge Hill
Rachel Buckley and Andrea Wright are hosting this session for any student interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree in the media department. Bring your questions about studying a higher level!


Study skills: academic writing workshop
This session gives you advice and guidance on bringing out the academic writing skills you already have.

Study skills improving your grammar & proof-reading
An essential part of getting your message across when writing is clear and precise sentence structure. And often it’s grammar and spelling that prevent your message from getting across, so this is the ideal opportunity to properly concentrate just on that!


Wednesday’s session
Postgraduate certificate & teaching
If you’re interested in acquiring a qualification that may lead to a career in teaching, then this session if for you! Find out what the PG certificate entails and bring your questions along for a very informative event!

Studying abroad
This session is for students from years 1 and 2, to learn about opportunities there may be for studying outside of the UK.

Module choices
Additionally, there are module choices sessions for both 
film studies, and film and television production students, for years 1 and 2. 


As you can see, there’s a lot on offer this employability week in terms of sessions. Although there are no guest speakers as there usually is, there’s still a lot out there to interest you, so if you’re a media student who finds yourself free on campus, make sure to check some of these sessions out!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day:  The Lobster (2015)

Dealing with the Workload!

So it’s coming that time of year when exams are looming but so quickly coming round, assignments gathering momentum and all the while pressures of everyday life still demand effort but somehow you will manage because your degree is worth it.
A few pointers that may help you is to keep on top of all uni work and maintaining the time and effort needed and not finding excuses to do it tomorrow because that doesn’t work. It really is in your best interest to keep doing as many hours as needed to keep on top of all assignments!

If you’re struggling with your work, tutors are always willing to guide you, and you can talk to the other people on your course. Don’t struggle and not seek help because people know how you feel and it does help to talk and you will feel supported. Seek your friends you share accommodation with and they will offer you support and understanding because they too will feel like you do sometimes. Also talk to your family, maybe as a sound block for moral support, or you could go home to recharge, and then there’s student services who are always available too with practical advice and resources for you. The resources at uni with the library (which is vast) has helped me with all my work so much it really is worth tapping into. Then there’s the Hub for chilling, switching off and a great meeting place to be sociable. If all else fails and you’ve some spare money there’s the SU bar open every night with theme nights too, which are worth going to because they are such fun!
What I have learnt is that most people do at some point feel overwhelmed with all that university demands, but by learning to be independent, self sufficient and using your skills and contacts to help yourself, things become much easier, they really do. I also know from experience your worries won’t stay and things move on. It’s a massive learning curve and things happen that will make you stronger and you do learn skills to carry yourself through life!

Applicant Visit Day

An Applicant Visit Day is something that you might have been invited you if you have applied to Edge Hill University. This is a chance for you to come and take a look around the University and ask any further questions that you may have in regards to your place here.

It is very specific towards your particular subject but I have come up with a few hints and tips on what you could do in preparation for you Visit Day.

  1. Start thinking about what you want to take to Uni – this is a great opportunity to ask students any questions you may have like whether you need to bring certain clothes etc.
  2. Start to think about the modules and have a look at the information you have been sent in detail – there is nothing worse than asking a question and the tutor pointing to where it clearly states the answer in the information you have already got.
  3. Start to think about the course and if you have any questions write them down and make sure you ask them- don’t feel embarrassed to ask any questions as the chances are someone has asked it before.
  4. Make sure you find out for yourself what you want to know. It becomes quite easy to sit back and let everything bypass you but it is important that you clear up any issues you have.
  5. Don’t panic if you have forgotten to ask anything whilst you are visiting as you can always email after the event.
  6. Speak to other students who are in the same position as you. You can learn a lot from other people’s experiences.

Make the most out of the day and make sure you gear it to suit you. Make sure you are making the right decision coming to Edge Hill because at the end of the day it could be your home for three years!

Why did I choose Edge Hill?

As the deadline for making your firm and insurance choices fast approaches, some of you may still be feeling unsure about where is the right place for you. After all – it is a big decision. This is the place you’ll be spending 3+ years of your life, potentially away from home, studying and needing support. It’s not easy.

If you received your last decision before… then your reply date will be…

  • 31st March 2017, reply by 4th May 2017
  • 5th May 2017, reply by 8th June 2017
  • 8th June 2017, reply by 22nd June 2017
  • 13th July 2017, reply by 20th July 2017

So how did I know I was making the right choice? Why did I pick Edge Hill?

  1. I made sure the course was right for me. Aside from the fact that Edge Hill is one of the best universities for teacher training, it is also one of the only universities in the country that gives you the opportunity to pick both a major and a minor subject. Despite teaching all subjects in primary schools, I wanted to be able to specialise, which Edge Hill offered me.
  2. I wanted to be able to travel home if I needed to. My biggest travel tip is splitting journeys up to see if they cost less. With a rail card, a return ticket to Ormskirk from my home town is £27, but if I split each leg of the journey up and book in advance, it costs me £20.This isn’t a massive difference, but those extra few pounds really add up. Make sure to check how much it costs to travel to and from your university choices. Despite each university that I applied to being the same distance away from home, some journeys cost upwards of £120. These were costs that I simply wouldn’t be able to afford if I needed to travel home in an emergency.
  3. I wanted a campus based university, where I could live on site. Having been quite ill throughout my GCSE and A Level years, I wanted to attend a university where I could quickly walk to my lectures, even if I wasn’t feeling 100% well. Being on campus and not having to cross busy roads when I felt unwell was a massive weight off my mind, and the community feel that came from living in halls really made me feel comfortable.
  4. I fell in love the minute I walked on campus. I’m a big advocate for going to see the universities you’re considering attending. From the very first Open Day, there was just a feeling in my gut that there was nowhere else I wanted to study. I strongly advise, if you haven’t been to visit the university yet, booking onto one of our monthly tours or attending an Applicant Visit Day. I promise you won’t regret it.

Why Choose Teaching?

So everybody makes their own life decisions which inevitability carves out their life, however sometimes these decisions are scary ones to make! For example, choosing a degree can sometimes narrow down your career choices, meaning that you have to be 100% sure that you’re making the right choice!

For me and thousands of others, teaching was the choice that made complete sense! Filling up the heads of the future generations with wonder, awe and information is something that really inspires and motivates me, especially on those wet grey mornings! You have to ensure that whatever you choose to complete your degree in leaves you with opportunities, even if it isn’t something you haven’t thought about before! As possibly, years down the line, you may change your mind and you don’t want to be stuck in a career you’re unhappy in!

I chose teaching for a variety of reasons, such as working with children and as part of a team. In a school, working in a team is great as it is a given that you will work together to give the children the best education possible! Doing so by bouncing ideas off each other, collaborating in meetings and generally chatting!

Some people may prefer a more hands on job grafting away rather than more inside office based work. Each to their own, and as long as you’re happy then that is all that matters! Just ensure that you are also thinking of the future than just right now- regardless of what your friends may be doing etc!

So good luck! If you have any questions do feel free to ask!