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I chose Brighton for the integrated foundation year!

I chose Brighton as it offered me a route into higher education with the course I wanted to pursue.  My A-level results were not great and as a result I didn’t get into university the first time to study sports science. I spent the next couple of months looking at all my options. My mum came up with a list of the top ten jobs that the world will need in the next decade. Not a lot stood out apart from engineering, it requires a good understanding of maths and physics and maths was one of the things I enjoyed and did OK in at A-level.   

After some research I found Brighton offered an engineering foundation year tied in with a threeyear BEng(Hons) degreeIn the foundation year, five engineering disciplines (civilelectrical, mechanical, automotive and aeronauticalstudy togetherAfter completing the first year you could reselect which degree you wanted to pursue. I continued with civil engineering. It was thfreedom to choose after the first year that really appealed to me about Brighton, because if I’m honest I didn’t really know which area I wanted to study. The foundation year also meant no A-level resits and I had been to visit Brighton a few times and the city is a lot of fun, with a lot to do. 

Civil engineering looks at buildings and structures and how to design and analyse them to see whether they are going to work. We look at structures built in water, on land and study the forces involved in structures. The course is not all taught in classrooms. Throughout the years you experience labs to study the properties of materials, site visits, and how to use engineering tools eg total stations (if you ever see people in high vis jackets standing next to a tripod with a camera thing on it, that’s it). The assessments are built up of coursework, reports, group work and exams spread through each semester. 

I did a placement year between second and third year of my course.  I was fortunate enough to work on Crossrail at Ealing Broadway West London. The placement year really brought together the skills I had learnt at uni and developed them. Having valuable experience working on site was amazing. The careers team at the uni helped me perfect my CV and prep me for the placement interviews and assessment centres. They were so helpful and pointed me in the right direction. 

After uni I have managed to secure a job as a Site Civil Engineer with Graham Construction, where I did my placement year. I have been enrolled on their grad scheme and I am excited to begin working.   

I have grown more mature at uni and make better life decisions, and I’ve developed a wealth of knowledge in these great five years. 

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Chris Hunter • 4th May 2021

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