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Student Diary | A day in the life of a Marine Technology student

Student Diary | A day in the life of a Marine Technology student

by Zoe

Curious to find out what a typical day is like for a Marine Technology student? Find out why Zoe chose to study her course, and what she thinks of the reality of student life...

Hi! My name is Zoe and I'm a second year student at Newcastle studying MEng Marine Technology with Naval Architecture.

Until first visiting the university at my Offer Holder Day, Newcastle was only my insurance choice but after that day it was my firm favourite. Newcastle is an amazing city! It’s not only got the world famous nightlife and nearly every shop you could want, but it also feels so homely and safe.

From the city centre, it’s only a 5 minute walk to large open parks and fields, or 30 minutes on the Metro and you can be at the beach! Newcastle University perfectly combines its beautiful old buildings with modern technology and teaching.

All new engineering students are issued with a Samsung tablet that now acts as my paper for taking notes in lectures, laptop for writing documents and accessing resources. I may also have Netflix and Amazon Prime on it for relaxing in the evening…

A typical day for me consists of somewhere between 3 and 5 contact hours made up of lectures but also tutorials and sometimes a lab of some form. Nine times out of ten (especially in the first year) the first session will be at 9am. I often have hour gaps between my lectures which are perfect for catching up on notes, getting tutorial questions done and sometimes just taking a break and chilling with friends, mostly in the common room or Luther’s bar.

My lectures are normally spread out across the day so where possible I’ll make a lunch in the morning to keep the costs down but I do sometimes go and buy lunch, especially on longer days with Shijo and Greggs being key favourites.

After lectures I will sometimes head over to the library to get some work done before heading back home to relax and cook food.

My evenings vary between settling down and getting some more work done or nights with my house mates.

Games and movie nights are popular with us and once a week we try and have a meal together whether that’s a BBQ, takeaway, a roast dinner or anything in between.

I also head out to one of Newcastle’s many bars, pubs or clubs with friends to enjoy a well deserved night off, although it’s worth making sure you have nothing important the following morning.

I’ll be honest - the course is hard and you will have to put the hours in to do well but it is so worth it and you will learn so much. It's definitely important to keep on top of your workload. The lecturers are all very knowledgeable and you will learn so much about stuff that you had never even considered before, from the different shapes of marine crafts or types of welding and rust, to how to keep a boat upright (it’s not as simple as it first seems!).

Despite not technically having engineering in the course title, Marine Technology is 100% engineering, and we have to incorporate all the different forms (mechanical, civil, electrical and chemical) - and then make it float!

Before studying Marine Technology I had a background in sailing and knew I wanted to work with boats but that was about it. There's such a large range of modules and my particular favourites are Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering and especially Marine Production Management. I found my particular interest was in vessel construction - specifically yacht builds - and given the vast industrial links the department has, I’ve been able to contact many professionals and get hands-on experience in the industry.

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of what a Marine Technology course is like at Newcastle – thanks for reading!



Interested in finding out more about Engineering at Newcastle University? Discover the practicalities of our different Engineering degrees, career prospects, and opportunities to study abroad in our Engineering subject page.