Welcome to Postgrad Life

Welcome to Postgrad Life

AKA Let’s Get Down to Business (to defeat! your sleep!)

Rebecca Helen Photography blog photo "into England"

Into England!

The first week of my master’s program was a kick in the pants. Nothing says welcome to postgrad life like your professors telling you not to sign up for clubs, sports, or even have a part-time job, as you won’t have time. Yup, I’m in the big leagues now. But like all things Biology related, my postgraduate program is a tradeoff. No more free time and sleep, HOWEVER…. I feel incredibly lucky. Never have I felt more excited to be studying the subject matter at hand. It felt especially real when one of our professors (side note, there are four of them to only thirteen of us!) told us that we were no longer just students. We were professionals in training. Now to ride that confidence boost out to at least Christmas.

Yes, we have a lot of projects. No, I probably won’t get to travel as much as I envisioned. But at the end of the day, this is what I want to do. I don’t have to push photography and art to the side “as a hobby”, and neither do I have to ignore my biological background and training. It’s slowly sinking in that I really am on an amazing journey.

But, back to what I’m actually doing. Most of you are wondering what a Master’s in Biological Photography and Imaging means. So am I! I’m only sort of kidding. I didn’t fully know what I would be getting into until I began the course, and I probably won’t fully appreciate it until the end when we have gone through each module. Thus far, we have started by learning photography basics, playing with macro photography, and delving into the Adobe Creative Suite of gargantuan confusion and immense creative freedom. These next couple weeks will be program and editing intensive. Our modules for this first semester are “Applied digital imaging”, “Digital video production”, and “Image manipulation and multi-media”.

Meanwhile, I’ve been settling in quite nicely. I am living in a postgraduate hall with other internationals and local students. I’m on Jubilee Campus, which is removed from the main University campus where I have my classes. It’s nice and quiet, and I have my own en suite room with a shared kitchen. Here’s my hall:


Melton Hall, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham

And the campus library by the lake:


Library, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham

I came to campus early for international week, and normally there’s a “freshers” week after that but my program already began classes that week, well before most of the other programs.


University of Nottingham campus

The downtown of Nottingham is close by bus, and I’ve been in and out, exploring the area. I “met” the famous Robin Hood, and tried my hand at invisible archery (it’s harder than it looks).


Robin Hood Statue

I sampled the local beer at the oldest pub in England, “Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem”(1189 AD!!!).


Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Wandered the remnants of the Nottingham Castle:


Nottingham Castle gate

And learned about rich history of the sandstone caves that run extensively under Nottingham. They had multiple uses over the years, including uses for beer storage, tanning animal skins, as a bomb shelter, as living quarters (free rent), among other uses.


Sandstone caves of Nottingham

My first two weeks of classes were extremely busy as I tried to balance classes with socializing and attempting to still join some clubs and sports. Last weekend was probably my only “free” weekend, as I already have lots of work to get done. But I was able to visit the Nottingham Arboretum, and the weather has been absolutely fabulous so far (lucky!). I went with my camera, working on the skills we are learning in class. I’ll be excited to share my improvement with you all as the course goes on.


Nottingham Arboretum flowers



Autumnal leaf at the Nottingham Arboretum

Buzz you later!


Bee on flower at the walled garden at the University of Nottingham


Order Prints

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