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School of Geography

Nicole's success story


A small setback or change of heart can often lead to better opportunities. Nicole Boran, who joined our Geography BA degree programme through Clearing, shares with us the advantages of studying at Queen Mary.

Nicole Boran, Geography BA 2020
Nicole Boran, Geography BA 2020

Why did you choose to apply to Queen Mary in Clearing?

I had always known about Queen Mary and knew it was a reputable university within the Russell Group. I also have family members who graduated from here and they really enjoyed both the social and academic aspects of the university so it was a no brainer for me! Queen Mary was also one of the best - if not the best - universities in terms of rankings in Clearing for my course. 

What do you enjoy most about your course?

The variety of modules is something I really enjoy about my course. I really appreciate that all first years, both BA and BSc geographers, do very similar modules. So as a BA student I can appreciate the BSc side of the discipline and the more physical geography oriented modules until second year when I can choose specific modules that interest me the most. My favourite thing about my course is the field trips. In first year we had field trips locally around London as well as to Liverpool which was such a great opportunity to spend time with friends as well as build new friendships. In second and third year we have more options to choose from such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas. 

What does Queen Mary do to help you get ready for employment? 

Within one of our first year modules we had a CV writing coursework and an employability coursework which were both extremely helpful as I now know I have a great CV for when I begin applying to jobs in the future. The careers support at Queen Mary is not only helpful in improving our CVs, they also help students find jobs or internships. 

What's it like being a student in east London?

It is great being so central in London – there are great facilities around and nearby so there is never a dull moment! Westfield is only 5 minutes by tube which is very handy and there are plenty of places to eat all around east London. The facilities QMUL has to offer are great – there is a gym on campus and plenty of cafes. The library is modern and very clean, but it can be hard to find a seat during exam season!

Do you live on campus, or do you commute? 

I commute into university from Essex, it takes me 25 minutes by train and saves me a lot of money! At the beginning, I was worried I would be the only one commuting and would potentially miss out on the ‘university experience’ however this could not have been further from reality. Most of my closest friends at QMUL also commute and would agree that they do not feel that have missed out in any way.

What advice would you give to students considering applying to Queen Mary in Clearing?

My advice would be to have all the numbers ready before results day so you know exactly where to call and in which order of universities you want. It will be very stressful but as long as you try to remain relaxed and are prepared everything will be fine! If you are unsure of what to do, ask your school as they will usually have staff helping on results day.

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