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Hey everyone, my name is Rosie and I am an MSc student at Cranfield University studying Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology. I am also your new FindAMasters Student Ambassador for the 2020-21 academic year. Forensic Archaeology is the application of archaeological techniques to criminal contexts and law enforcement, including active crime scenes, mass fatality incidents and the repatriation of soldiers from battlefields abroad. Forensic Anthropology is the application of biological anthropology to criminal contexts and law enforcement. Forensic Anthropologists aid with victim identification and the analysis of the skeleton. I chose to study this subject after completing a related module at undergraduate level. I decided that I wanted to have a change from my rather book focused undergraduate degree and apply for something very practically based in order to prepare me for work in the field.
I hadn’t always known that postgraduate study was for me, and only started thinking about it going into my final year. Speaking to my tutors at uni and also browsing the FindAMasters website eventually lead me to finding the course at Cranfield and I decided that it was something I would really enjoy. Forensic archaeology and anthropology is also a very competitive field, with a Masters degree in the subject being necessary for most related jobs.
Paying for more university fees did worry me, and I knew that I wasn’t ready to move straight from one intense degree to another, so I chose to take a working gap year. This gave me some more time to make sure that further study was right for me – *hint* it was – whilst also saving up enough money to cover living costs.
Throughout my undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford, I ran (and continue to run) a self-titled YouTube channel. I come from the North West of England, went to a state comprehensive school and was on Pupil Premium. It was extremely daunting applying to Oxford, and I was told by many people around me that it wasn’t for “people like me”, and yet here I am… an Oxford graduate. I wanted to help other young people from similar backgrounds to believe in their academic ability and to show them that universities like Oxford may well be for them too. Consequently, I developed a free, accessible resource where they could follow my journey, see an insider’s view of university and get some free tips for UCAS applications and studying in general. I am also one of the cofounders of The StudyTube Project, another educational YouTube project. Access and outreach has also been my main hobby outside of YouTube, and I have worked alongside both St Peter’s College, Oxford and Oxford University at access conferences, Q&A sessions and one on one workshops.
Upon hearing about the FindAMasters competition, I was immediately excited to enter and put my editing skills, and experience working in access and outreach to good use. I look forward to making short, informative videos about different aspects of the application process, as well as mini vlogs of my experience with university during the pandemic, and other fun blog posts along the way.
Cranfield is renowned for its practical based teaching, and I have already done a super cool practical for my Investigation and Evidence Collection module! Next week is maths week, which I’m not so enthralled about (I am not a ‘mathsy’ person), but I know how important it will be in the long run and have already made some amazing friends to buddy up with if I’m struggling. The most exciting modules for me are those that involve the excavation of human remains - I apologise for the morbidity. These will involve getting properly down and dirty outdoors to experience what it is really like working as a forensic archaeologist. I can’t wait and who knows? Maybe I’ll vlog it for you!
Currently, the university is doing blended teaching. This means that some of our contact hours are live over Zoom or Microsoft Teams, some are pre-recorded, and others are face to face. I don’t think I’ll be alone in saying that the face to face teaching is my favourite part, and that I really hope more and more will become face to face as the year goes on; the university have said that this should be the case. The social life aspect of uni is the most different I think, and I doubt that it will pick up much as cases now continue to rise. There is only one bar on campus because other facilities are closed due to Covid-19, and this makes it difficult to meet up in person for some down time or a couple of bevs in the evenings. That being said, we are still managing to meet up in coffee shops and in the on campus communal study space areas, so it’s not so bad. I am really looking forward to the rest of the academic year.
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