Louise, MSc Advanced Structural Engineering

Louise started her Masters in 2019, straight after graduating from her Undergraduate degree at Edinburgh Napier University. Here, she tells us about her highlights of studying at Masters level, and what made her decide a Masters was for her.

What made you decide to do your Masters? 
I’d always anticipated doing a Masters at Edinburgh Napier, while I was doing my undergraduate here. Originally I’d planned to be on the Masters of engineering, but I realised I wanted to do a Masters of science, specifically, advanced structural engineering. During my undergraduate I did loads of lab experiments, which I really enjoyed, and thought, this is something I want to do more of. I wanted a career where I could really take all I’d learned over my studies to develop these skills.

The defining moment for me was during a stage in my honours project, where the calculations just came together. When you have a solution to a problem there’s no feeling that could beat it, and I just decided I wanted to have more of that euphoria and do a Masters in structural engineering.

How did you feel when you received your offer?
When I got my offer, I was really delighted. All the work I’d put in over the last 4 years had paid off, and I couldn’t have been happier, to be honest.

What was your first day like? 
On my first day of the course, my Programme Leader, who was my first lecturer, really put us at ease. She explained what was expected of us throughout the course of the year, and how things were going to come together. If we had any questions, she was totally approachable and made me feel completely comfortable with starting a new year.

What has been the highlight of your Masters?
During my Masters I got the opportunity to become a BEX scholar. The built environment exchange (BEX) looks to provide students with the knowledge to contribute to a more sustainable environment. We get all sorts of opportunities, like internships and trips, for example, we went to the Falklands Estate to look at the sustainable community they were building there. Becoming a BEX scholar during my Masters has, in my opinion, changed my life. It’s given me so much experience, through internships that I could take to industry with me that had I been to another University I don’t think I would have been able to get.

What kind of support have you received during your Masters? 
At the beginning of my Masters I was getting a bit overwhelmed, and I was having a few self-doubts. I went to see one of my lecturers that I know quite well and expressed to him some of my concerns, and he completely reassured me that I was completely capable of completing my Masters and completing it well, and here we are today – much happier. During a Masters, there’s no doubt that things can get on top of you, but after having that conversation with my lecturer and the reassurance he gave me, made me have more belief in myself that I could in fact complete it.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting a Masters?
I really feel that a Masters is a fantastic way to specialise in an area you’re interested in. Previously my expertise was in civil engineering which is a very broad subject, but specialising in my Masters in structural engineering allows me to really get in to the nitty gritty of the stuff I enjoy.

Aside from your studies, what else have you enjoyed about being an Edinburgh Napier student?
One of the reasons why I wanted to carry out my Masters at Edinburgh Napier was because it’s in Edinburgh. There’s nowhere in the world the with that cultural diversity, and the people are so friendly.

During my time carrying out my Masters I’ve been given so many amazing opportunities, particularly with sport. I’m now a team Scotland Olympic weightlifter, which would not have happened if I hadn’t been accepted to do my studies here, which I’m incredibly grateful for.

Find out more about masters study at Edinburgh Napier

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