What course are you currently studying?
MSc Palaeoanthropology, I did my BSc in Evolutionary Anthropology here too.
Why did you choose postgraduate study at the University of Liverpool?
The department has many highly regarded academics from a diverse range of backgrounds. I knew that the array of modern facilities at the University would provide an enjoyable and instructive learning environment where I could learn from the best. The various summer placement opportunities also encouraged me towards the university.
What’s the best thing about studying in your department?
For me, it is the heavily encouraged practical focus that has been facilitated by up-to-date facilities and material, providing me with the confidence needed to pursue my own projects and a career in research.
How do the facilities in the University help you with your studies?
From the moment I began at the university, the department’s facilities and the resources within it have directly exposed me to the material world of prehistory. This includes lithic technologies, decorative ornaments, skeletal specimens, and prehistoric art on the universities artificial cave wall. The workshops have then given me the ability to replicate some of this material for myself, which helps to get into the minds of the past societies that I am studying. Additionally, the modern laboratory equipment allows me to understand the discipline beyond the textbook, through the undertaking of my own research projects.
What kind of support do you get from tutors?
As the department is smaller than others, you are provided with ample one-to-one support from the enthusiastic tutors.
What do you enjoy most about the whole experience?
My direct involvement with current primary research, afforded to me by the flexibility of the projects undertaken for each module. This allows me to focus on my specific methodological and cultural interests.
How do you believe undertaking postgraduate study will help your career prospects?
I believe that the myriad of both practical and theoretical skills I have gained throughout my studies, in addition to continued support from passionate staff members, has put me in good stead for a future within the discipline.
What advice would you give to anybody considering postgraduate study?
Gaining applied practical skills can be worth more than good grades on theoretical essays, so aim at courses which encourage this and become a “yes-man” for these opportunities. This will do wonders for both your career aims and your personal growth.
If you are still uncertain which specific course you would like to undertake, take a gap year and try to gain relevant experience for your options. There’s no rush.