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 by Rosie Crawford
, posted on 17 Dec '20

Video: My Experience Starting a Masters During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rosie Crawford is our current Student Ambassador and the recipient of the 2020-21 FindAMasters Scholarship. Take a look into her world and see what her routine is like as she carries on with her fieldwork and studying during the pandemic.

With this year being somewhat different to what I expected the first year of my Masters to be like, I decided to document a full week for me so you can see what's the same about studying, what we're doing differently and what I've learnt so far studying for my Masters at Cranfield University during a pandemic!

Video transcript

Hi everyone my name is Rosie and I'm your FindAMasters ambassador this year. Today I'm going to show you what I get up to at Cranfield University on my taught Masters programme in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology. Forensic Archaeology is the application of archaeological theory and methods to legal cases and the judicial system, for example, Forensic Archaeologists may be involved in the search, location and recovery of human remains in forensic cases.

This year of course is quite different to normal years. There's a lot of teaching online however, we have still had the chance to do some practical work and have spent time in the labs and I'm going to take you through some of the practical days, and some of the not so practical days throughout this video. On a day without practical teaching I might work in the library in some of the communal buildings, in the common room or at home and it might be computer work or book work. Here's what a normal day looks like when I haven't got any practical classes. "Good morning everyone! It's a Monday today and it is the start of my second week of my analytical techniques module. It's the only module that's two weeks long and I actually don't know which technique we're learning about today but each technique is a different day... each day is a new technique... it's a Monday morning! Anyway I need to go so i'll see you at uni."

This module was all online which made it a little bit difficult because it is all about learning about techniques that you would do practically. Unfortunately there's just not enough space in the lab so we will get to do it after Christmas.

I do normally make my lunches at home and bring them in, it makes it much cheaper and then when I get home I just make my tea in the evening and usually have about four days worth of leftovers because then I don't have to cook again. "There she is now." I'm just gonna watch Netflix probably on my tv.

Campus does thankfully have a gym open it wasn't open during lockdown, no gyms were, but it's open again now and it's really well regulated. You have to book your slot and then it's quite empty everything's two meters apart. That's how I keep physically well. I also go for walks like i'm doing in this clip: "Oh it's so serene! It's like a little fairy wood... I just scared loads of birds!"

I see my friends both on Zoom and distance around campus because we're all in the same lessons so we like to study together.

Some of the practicals we've done so far include an investigation and evidence collection CSI day where we had to go to a crime scene collect evidence, bag it and basically run through like a CSI would at the scene. We've also had to become Forensic Archaeologists and excavate a mock crime scene, mock burial and also do the search and location exercise alongside this to locate them in the first place. In my environmental forensic science module we did lab work and also some scene practicals where we had to retrieve entomology samples from two different scenes: a car scene and a body scene, which is what you can see here. In the new year we'll be doing a lot more anthropology practicals with skeletal remains.

As well as the good days, I've also had my fair share of stressful day. Days that I've ended up like this: "This isn't even from this week but I just thought that i'd keep things real and show you how I cope or not with being given a math test." And days where I've basically been cooped up inside for hours looking at screen which, you know, isn't ideal but it is what it is at the moment and we're just gonna make the most out of it. Go for walks; it's my biggest piece of advice. They just really clear your head and help you stop focusing on something close to something far away. Don't look at a screen while you're on that walk and it should help you out a little bit. That is all I've got for you for this video and I hope you enjoyed and I'll see you in my next one. Bye guys!

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