Polly Hung, 
BSc Environmental Science and MSc Environmental Consultancy
One of my college lecturers was the first to recommend the University of Plymouth to me. He said the University is known for its world-leading research and could grow my potential further.  
I knew this would offer me a valuable introduction to the practical and professional side of natural conservation, giving me a clear understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental study.

A degree tied to our changing world

My undergraduate degree was BSc (Hons) Environmental Science. I have always been intrigued by the complexity and beauty of our world, so seeing news on the devastating impacts of human activity on the planet concerns me deeply. Therefore, I am highly motivated to understand the relationship of human societies to nature, as well as to find ways to conserve biodiversity and manage resources sustainably.
Having spent most of my life in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, my first impression of Plymouth reminded me of a Chinese idiom: 
“A sparrow may be small but it has all its vital organs”. 
Although Plymouth is small compared to Hong Kong, the city is charming and has everything I need to enjoy my time here. 
Campus spring flowers
Spring wildflowers on the main campus

Overcoming the language barrier

One difficulty international students might have with adapting to their studies in the UK is the language barrier. Fortunately, I was able to attend the University’s writing café, where I met mentors who helped me improve my writing skills, and the English support group to hone my academic English. 
Polly Hung, 
BSc Environmental Science and MSc Environmental Consultancy
Trees on ancient Dartmoor woodland
Black and orange butterfly on a purple flower

Our lecturers immersed us in the content

On my masters degree, I really enjoyed the lectures from Dr Paul Lunt and Professor Sean Comber. In particular, I enjoyed the public inquiry content on the Environmental Assessment module (GEES517); both lecturers gave their utmost efforts to provide students with an immersive experience for a planning inquiry. 
This allowed students to examine current legislation and guidance on environmental assessment, as well as to conduct critical investigations to a professional standard. 
I have always had a keen interest in biodiversity and learning about different habitats and their associated wildlife. For my dissertation, I did an overall review of amenity grasslands and wildflower meadows, focusing on the diversity of bumblebees and butterflies in Plymouth’s Central Park. I found examining the challenges associated with this particular environment and the biotic interactions affected by human activities fascinating. 

Real experience with local organisations

For my work placement, I worked with Green Minds Plymouth as an ecological surveyor and conducted monitoring surveys of bumblebees and butterflies for five months. 
I completed primary data collection and analytical fieldwork, which was great fun and a fantastic way to gain hands-on experience. I also participated in events held by Green Minds Plymouth and collaborated with different organisations, such as the RSPB and Butterfly Conservation. 
After completing my studies, I plan to stay in the UK and pursue a career in Plymouth, as the city’s location between the coastline and Dartmoor National Park means that there are numerous environmental jobs available. On top of that, I simply enjoy the lifestyle in the UK. 

MSc Environmental Consultancy

Conserve our environment for future generations – work within the sector on an eight-week placement to reduce human impacts and provide solutions to today's environmental challenges across the globe. This MSc programme helps launch your career, giving you the skills and knowledge required for a job in the environment sector. Maximise your career prospects by learning the latest desk, laboratory and field techniques used in the management and assessment of environmental impact.
Scientist in white safety suit examining polluted water in a river at industrial site. Image courtesy of Getty Images.