student experience stories

Ciaran on Postgrad life

I have lived in Falmouth since I was five, so I didn’t expect to need to find my people when enrolling as a Postgraduate Researcher in 2016. I am so glad I did, and they’re a mighty team.

The Postgraduate Research community at Falmouth University is incredibly supportive, passionate, and collaboratively focused. Attending an Arts Institution to undertake a PhD means that we can often be found working together, offering insightful views on one another’s work, organising lunchtime research talks, or taking time out to nurture our shared interests beyond the PhD programme.

But the community is not simply one of students, we are also incredibly lucky to have the members of staff supporting us every step of the way. They’re an excellent group, they all work incredibly hard year-round to ensure that the Postgraduate Research experience at Falmouth University is the very best it can be. And it isn’t always easy. The support we offer one another as members of our community is crucial, but so too are the services offered by FXPlus like Wellbeing, Study Skills, and the always excellent team in the Library. These services are there for a reason: Postgraduate Research can be hard, so do make use of them.

The most valuable lesson across the first two years of my PhD has been to look after myself: whilst undertaking your research, cultivate a group of supportive friends, join a choir, a five-a-side team, do something completely unrelated to your subject area. Falmouth and its surrounding areas have so much to explore, so take a drive to the Helford, or catch the ferry to Flushing: there will always be more work you can do, so be kind to yourself and take regular breaks.

One way to meet new people and make new connections is through the Students' Union and its societies, who work tirelessly to improve student life across campuses and encourage and foster cross-campus collaboration and friendships. We’re one postgraduate community across Exeter and Falmouth, and the excellent FXU makes sure that friendships and connections thrive between institutions. We’ll be doing much more this year to foster links between Falmouth and Exeter postgraduate students, through research talks, events, activities and much more, so do join the Facebook group (Post-
Graduates Cornwall Campuses) to keep informed.