The University of Southampton

Lydia Moore MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Industrial Studies, 2021

I knew that I wanted to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering and there was only one university that was consistently at the top of the league tables – Southampton.

Studying at Southampton has been a truly incredible experience – there are so many opportunities and facilities that you have access to. Whilst the learning can be intense, it pushes you and provides you with the knowledge needed to succeed in industry.

I also noticed that they were running an Electronics and Computer Science Summer School, so I applied and was accepted. During the week-long residential, I experienced what life would be like studying at Southampton. Throughout my time, every member of staff I came into contact with had time for me and was really kind. At the end I flew home with no doubt in my mind that Southampton was where I wanted to study. 

Studying at Southampton

The thing I enjoy most about my course is the practical nature of it. It’s all well and good knowing how to do something from a book, but actually doing it is completely different. The course allowed me to be in the labs on a weekly basis, seeing how the theory works in practise. Additionally, I’m the one doing the practical work rather than just watching a lecturer do it or seeing a video of it. 

The Highfield Campus is a great place to study with lots of open space providing a really relaxing atmosphere. There are also lots of societies and sports to do in your down-time, with plenty of state-of-the-art facilities. I’ve made lifelong friends through these, and it really completes the university experience. 

The Electronic and Computer Science facilities you have access to are quite frankly phenomenal – no other university provides the same standard and quantity of equipment. Additionally, there are extra facilities for those in their third and fourth years to ensure you always have access to equipment. 

The University isn’t shy on study facilities, meaning you can easily spend all day on campus - there are lots of lecture theatres, meeting rooms and study spaces for students to use. They also provide separate study spaces to those with additional needs who may require a quieter or less crowded space. 

Southampton highlights

Within months of starting, I was given offers for two scholarships. I accepted the offer from the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKSEF) which enabled me to undertake 20 months paid work experience throughout my degree. 

During this industrial studies placement I became professionally registered as an Engineering Technician with the Institute of Engineering and Technology – this was one of my proudest achievements as very few young people gain this without doing an apprenticeship. 

I have also been awarded the Skills 4 Scholar’s Award through the UKESF and will receive a place on the Skills 4’s EMPOWER Career Development Programme. The programme aims to enable women to feel more confident, communicate better, and develop their presentation skills. I hope to be able to learn the skills needed to further my career, going from an ordinary engineer to an extraordinary one. 

Outside of my degree, I have been a part of multiple societies and sports ranging from rowing to dance. I have especially enjoyed taking part in the University’s annual dance show, Pure Dance.  

Growing as a person

My time at Southampton has boosted my confidence, it’s helped me learn my worth, and developed me as a future engineer. 

Initially I felt a bit of imposter syndrome as everyone on my course was incredibly intelligent, but it’s helped me see that I deserve to be here and has pushed me to demonstrate that. 

The knowledge I’ve accumulated has been more than I could have imagined. I’ve also become a lot more independent and organised – ultimately I’m a much stronger person now than when I started. 

Living in Southampton

During my first year at Southampton, I stayed in University halls of residence and it was a great way to meet lots of people in the same position and made me feel less alone. The accommodation team were always really helpful, and if there were any problems they would fix them quickly. 

As I come from Northern Ireland, I’m not used to big cities but Southampton is the perfect size – it still gives you that busy city feeling but without being suffocating. The area where most of the students live is also really close to campus and offers a lot so you don’t have to go into the city centre if you don’t want to. 

Southampton also has lots of open space which not many cities have, and being based at Highfield Campus you’re right beside The Common. 

Career plans

After I graduate, I plan to undertake a graduate scheme with an engineering company to further develop my skills. I’m also keen to take the next step in my professional registration by becoming a Chartered Engineer. Following this, I would like to move into business and leadership within the engineering industry. 

The main thing I will take away from my experience at Southampton is to always push yourself to be the best you can be. Southampton has provided me with the tools and knowledge I’ll need during my career, and I hope to properly utilise these throughout.