Course Insight: Marketing Year One

As per my profile on the website, I study Marketing here at Edge Hill. Marketing has always been part of my life, from high school to college, and now University, so naturally I was always going to write a blog about the course. Right off the bat, a disclaimer that your experiences will differ from mine, timetables, module choices, and assignments change very often.

My degree is spaced over three years, though I plan to take a year out to do a sandwich placement, making it technically four. A sandwich placement is fancy phrasing for a year working in industry. This year I have studied six modules, as per the standard in the Business School in order to achieve your required credits.

These are modules I have studied:

A lot of people will be wondering how the lectures work, I know I wondered the same thing. The modules I’ve had last only one semester occurred in classroom settings with a seminar consolidating the contents of the lecture right after, this often sounds like it’d last a long time, but you often get a coffee or toilet break that sections it up nicely. My Digital Marketing and Business Start-Up lectures lasted an hour in a lecture hall, then seminars took place in a separate room, classroom style. Overall I really enjoyed this method of learning as it broke up information intake really nicely, it suits me a lot more than High School or College style. My timetable was spanned over three days, giving me Tuesdays and Fridays free!

An academic tip would be to sleep in on your days off, and then use them to do reading or pre-lecture prep’, it’s a good method of keeping on top of your studies without things feeling over baring.

My modules have all been a mix of different assignments, two having exams. Exams aren’t as stressful as any prior ones you’ll have sat, the seating arrangement is a lot more relaxed, you can leave when you’re done granted you’re in a specific timing and overall it felt like a much more comfortable process.

Overall, I really enjoy how my course’s first year has been structured. Of course, this layout will not apply for all and every degree offered by Edge Hill, but I consider this a useful resource for applicants worried about how things will be after their Fresher’s Week.


Study Spots Beyond Campus

As an Edge Hill student your study time, whether that’s writing an assignment, doing your reading, or organising your post lecture notes, doesn’t have to be confined to a spot on campus or where you’re living during term time and beyond in the academic year.

The Catalyst, the Red Bar, upstairs in the Hub, and so on are perfect options but it’s good to explore beyond the University and into the town of Ormskirk, a short bus ride, (Using the Edge Hill Link) or walk away.

First up, my personal favourite, Starbucks. Starbucks is a very basic answer, I’m well aware, but hear me out! The Ormskirk Starbucks’ furniture is beautifully arranged, giving customers plenty of space to relax with a drink, or sit closer to the counter with a higher table to do work. Doing some reading? Take a seat closer to the entrance on the comfy plush chairs. Writing an assignment against the clock or anything requiring your laptop? Further up by the counter is your ideal spot, but down by the entrance would still work. It’s a perfect spot to do your academic work, and the baristas are some of the best I’ve ever been served by, and I’ve been to a lot of Starbucks cafes.

Ormskirk Starbucks

Costa is another great option, the tables in the Ormskirk cafe are a lot more appropriate for laptop or notebook work, the whole seating arrangement brings on a much more serious atmosphere in a way, perfect for a deadline crunch rather than relaxed reading or getting ahead of assignments to be submitted later in the semester.

Starbucks and Costa are great options, but there are many more. Ormskirk is filled with locations to try to study at, or unwind afterwards. Shifting to independently run establishments, Love To Eat near the old clock in town is a lovely place to get something to eat or drink after a morning study session or even lecture. I’ve yet to try to do it but it’d also serve as a lovely study spot as well. Strong recommendation on their pancakes if you’re looking for something to eat!


Beat the loneliness, Edge Hill style.

Living alone for the first time, or at least away from your parents and family can feel lonely, there’s no disputing that fact. However, you don’t have to give into that feeling of loneliness at Edge Hill, since there’s literally so much to do beyond your studies. 

In a prior blog I’ve spoken a lot about coffee, probably too much, so I’ll spare you from another piece about that. Though, getting a coffee either alone as a treat or with a friend who is also on campus in order to catch up is an option to combat that lonely feeling. 

Another aspect of campus I spoke about was the Red Bar, I have now been to the Red Bar and could easily classify myself as its number one fan. Amazing food and staff make it a great experience with friends or solo. The food is super cheap but super good, I was shocked at the quality. Pizzas, Nachos, Paninis, the list goes on and on in regard to what you can get there. If you’re visiting in the evening, there is also a selection of alcohol, though perhaps save that one for when you’re there with friends, solo drinking could make you feel more lonely. 

Side stepping from activities on campus, there’s an array of things you can do at Edge Hill that requires no spending. When feeling a tad down, I’ve taken my phone, found a podcast, and just wandered into Ormskirk. A slow walk to decompress, accompanied by audio that isn’t music can be extremely relaxing or a good method to decompress. If time isn’t on your side, kill two birds with one stone and do your weekly food shop at the same time. Morrisons is a lot more tolerable when accompanied by a good podcast of your choice. The Daily is a very good podcast to listen to, 30 minutes long usually about different topics. 

There are so many other ways to combat loneliness at Edge Hill that all my future blogs could approach each subject, but I think we’d all get bored of reading that. I could go on and on but in the interest of wrapping things up, my parting statement in this blog would be to find something that makes you happy beyond your studies, and tailor it to combat that loneliness, for me it’s my Video Game consoles, for you it could be something very different. 


My Week With Avans University Students!

This week just passed I had the opportunity to take part in an international collaboration project with some students from Avans University in the Netherlands, for my blog this week I’m going to share my experience with all of you.

Avans University in the Netherlands.
Avans University in the Netherlands.

The project ran on Tuesday and Thursday, with the opportunity to go on a cultural trip on Wednesday, though I didn’t go on the trip due to a lecture the same day. Myself and two friends were paired to four Dutch students, then shuffled along to the Catalyst to do a group project about introducing a new bike to the UK market. The only thing on the line for myself was a certificate, whereas for the Dutch students the project and its findings would be used for a report back home in their country, so there was an edge of pressure given the short time span to work on things.

Between ourselves and the Dutch students there was a very clear language barrier. Being someone who says she can barely speak English, let alone another language, communication was difficult. The Dutch students would speak a lot of Dutch, then try to roughly translate to English, it was difficult to start but eventually we found a groove. Through this means of conversation we managed to complete the all important market research phase of the project, through a Google Form questionnaire. Following that, lunch!

A bonus to doing the project was free lunch in the Hub both Tuesday and Thursday. Following lunch, we put together the presentation ahead of Thursday, before saying goodbye to the Dutch students for the day.

Thursday’s final day was mostly preparation before presenting our bike and the business model to other groups and three tutors. It was a successful presentation and I got some feedback I can be proud with. Finally, a group photo, certificate handout, and free lunch!

Overall, the week was a really enriching experience. I’ve learnt how to communicate better with people I don’t really understand and also probably don’t understand me ,and I’ve got a certificate I can put on my CV to show employers. While I can’t guarantee this experience is an option for every course, if there’s ever the opportunity to do something like it while studying at Edge Hill, certainly take it. I don’t have any regrets, despite the week being a bit difficult at times.


My First Deadline Experience.

You’ve settled into university, had a few lectures for each of your modules, done a bit of reading or at least attempted to, and now… The lecturers begin to mention assignments or coursework.

This was mostly my scenario. Although we’d been informed in our introduction session how the module is assessed it doesn’t dawn on you that work is real and its approaching until its more candidly mentioned in lectures. My first deadline was mid-November, leaving me a good two months to settle into university, though that won’t be the case for every degree.

I remember stressing quite a lot leading up to beginning to work on it, I’m a perfectionist but I also wasn’t sure how it’d be marked. In addition, I’d never referenced before or had to write academically, so there were a lot of factors revolving around this one piece of work. However, eventually, one October afternoon I just sat down and wrote it. Actually, writing the piece, exploring not using contractions, referencing myself up to the hilt; it was a very relaxing experience. Reading texts I’d not read before to gather information to back up what I was saying was very enriching to my understanding of the concept I was discussing.

Moving forward, I tackled all my deadlines the same. If I could I’d give myself ample time to write out my essays, or piece together my presentations. While not everyone will do this and will be able to refer to their memories as being a lot more stressful, this way of working had ensured my university life thus far has been quite relaxed. My uncle once said a degree is a marathon, right now I’m very much jogging, though I’m not sure when I’ll need to sprint.

Getting my work done ahead of time has also ensured grades I can be happy with. My first piece of work bagged me a high 2:1, pieces done in a similar method have also gained those grades.

I’m sure at some point I’ll write a follow up to this blog discussing my panicked deadline where I was writing up against the clock. Though, for now I can simply say the first dreaded deadline doesn’t have to be so dreaded.


How I got to University: A Non-Sixth Form Route.

After a month of blogging I thought it was an apt time to post a blog about how I got to university as it may inspire some of you reading this. My path to Edge Hill differs from the norm, to the point I didn’t actually know it was a viable path until I moved in and realised it wasn’t an admin mistake that I got into university.

At high school I was given the idea one of the only ways to get to university was through sixth form, but that is not the truth. After completing my GCSEs I failed to get into the sixth form I intended to go to, this shook up my life plans quite heavily but I managed to recover and enrolled at a college. There I did a Level 3 Extended BTEC Diploma in Business Management that I thoroughly enjoyed. Upon enrolment, I had no idea this would let me go to university after finishing it. I completed my first year, even won a student of the year award, and then got told to apply for UCAS. This is where I realised university was once again an option. Obviously you all know the end to this story, I got into Edge Hill University with a hard earned D*D*D*, but this is a route I knew nothing about until application time came along for UCAS. Not only did I get into Edge Hill, I’m one of the recipients of the High Achievers Scholarship given to new students with grades above a certain point. College was an experience that nurtured my academic abilities, to the point that when university came along, I truly felt ready.

The purpose of this blog is to inform you, the reader, that there’s more than one path to university and even if you didn’t go to sixth form, its still a possibility. I enrolled on a college course with little idea uni was still a prospect and now here I am: deep into my first year, achieving grades I’m very proud of, and blogging my university life directly for the university.

If you’re at college now, reading this, and were unaware of your university prospects, take a look at the Edge Hill website and see what your desired course would require, you just might surprise yourself.


University Alone Time: Video Game Consoles

University life on paper revolves around your studies and your social life. Whether your social life is going out to bars and clubs or something a bit more sober, it’s one of the key things people think about after they’ve sent off that UCAS application. However, a few months down the line when you’re packing up your life to move into halls of residence or even accommodation off campus, it’s important to think about those aspects of university life where you’ll have alone time. Freshers week might not hold much but as first semester evolves, you’ll find yourself having to fill some time through means other than your studies and socialising. It was at this point in my first semester I was so thankful I have bought my games console to university with me.

A games console is a perfect addition to your uni life for those alone moments but also for more social moments. On many occasions I’ve gotten home from my timetabled lectures and seminars of the day, made dinner, and then just played games until it was time to sleep, it’s a good way to unplug and relax after your day of studies depending on what you play. I own a Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 so the access to different games to fill those hours is extremely expansive. If I’m ever feeling a bit stressed but cannot do anything about it, I’ll play a game to pass the time, or use either to access apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime, they’re perfect entertainment systems.

My Nintendo Switch

In terms of the social aspect, games consoles are useful for making those new friends during freshers week. A memory I have is one night most of my flat and I played Just Dance on my Switch in the kitchen. We moved the table, the chairs, anything we could, so we had enough room. It was a really fun night and instrumental in forming a few of those friendships essential to my university life.

If you own a games console and you’re planning to come to university, I implore you to consider bringing it with you. Whether you plan to use it to help make new friends or just for your down time, they can make downtime at university a lot more fun.


Your Essential Guide to Campus Coffee

A very well-known fact about me, known by all my friends and family, is I live for coffee. Latte, cappuccino, americano, flat white, or just plain coffee and milk, I’d drink it all day if I could!

Before starting at Edge Hill, I only knew about the coffee offered in the Catalyst from my open day and applicant visit day experiences, so to learn there was so much more on offer on campus was very exciting. If you don’t drink coffee before going to uni then there’s a chance it could become a big part of your uni life or you could still remain pure, if it’s the latter you’ll be happy to know there’s more than just coffee available at the places I’m going to discuss.

Listing the two most well-known chains, you can enjoy both Starbucks and Costa on Edge Hill’s campus. There are two Starbucks, one in the Hub and one in the Sports Centre! Learning about this made my accommodation location so much more enjoyable since I live next to the Sports Centre, so they’re always getting my money. You’ll find the two Costa machines in McColls, the campus convenience store within the Hub. Something I didn’t know until using it, but you’ll make your coffee or other drink at the machine, and then pay at the till.

Large chain coffee done and dusted, you can also purchase coffee from Sages, Café Rewind, The Red Bar, Staff Common Room and a new machine near the SU bar! Having tried coffee from two of these locations, I can say it is worth your time and money.

Another chain, that I mentioned at the very start of this guide, is the coffee provided at the Catalyst, 53.3 degrees. 53.3 is well-worth a look too, being an ethical coffee brand that tastes amazing. I’ve drank so much from there I could be a spokesperson. Another bonus of drinking there so often, they have a loyalty card system, to which I’m two coffees away from a free one as of writing this! Yep, completely free coffee or whatever drink I may crave.

My 53.3 Degrees Loyalty Card
My 53.3 Degrees Loyalty Card

All the places discussed serve hot chocolate and other hot drinks as well, and will you run a lot cheaper than going into Ormskirk for your caffeine hit or a sweet treat.


The Unexpected Benefits of Applicant Visit Days

Edge Hill University’s applicant visit days can feel daunting. Open days are bright and exciting when you get prepared for them, and applicant days should feel the same.

March 2019 was my applicant day, a day I look back fondly upon. Leaving the house at seven-AM, to travel miles and miles to arrive at the uni on time. I took part in a mini tour like I did during an open day, getting to grips with the layout of the campus again, before heading over to the business school where I met two people I can still call my friends almost a year on.

The amount of people on my degree is equivalent to a GCSE class, around 30 maximum, but on that day it felt like there were far more, as people filed into the room my taster sessions was going to take place in. I sat myself on a circular table near the door as I had arrived early and had the choice of whatever table I wanted. For a while, I sat alone, until my table gained two people, the two people I kept in contact with after the session because we got along so well, but also the two people I can easily call my best friends at university. Every Monday morning since September we’ve met, gone to our lectures together, shared time outside of the timetable together and got to know each other really well.

Edge Hill University's Business School
Edge Hill University’s Business School

The friendship I have now with my two best friends, was formed thanks to an applicant day I was scared about. If you’re scared about your applicant visit day, bite the bullet and attend, even if it’s a bit of a journey to get here. You’ll be able to understand the course a lot more, see the campus again and make sure of its amazing Starbucks and Catalyst coffee (53.3 Degrees) but also possibly make friendships ahead of September when the new year starts. Some people I didn’t talk to on applicant day are also now my friends because I recognised their faces from that rainy morning in March.

Applicant visit days are one of the best things offered by this university during the end of your sixth form or college experience, and you should totally make use of that.