As an Associate Student, after 2 years at college, Matt went straight into the 3rd year of BEng (Hons) Computer Security and Forensics.
After some research I found out about the Associate Student programme and decided it would be perfect for my situation as college seemed like an easier step to take when returning to education.
As a college student, having access to the facilities at Edinburgh Napier University helped my studying at HND level. I was able to use the excellent Jack Kilby Computing Centre as well as the Merchiston Library as areas where I could study for my Graded Unit. I felt that being in these environments helped to inspire me and I felt as connected to the university as I would have if I was studying there.
What I Got Involved in?
Besides the guest lectures and using the Merchiston facilities, I also took part in a group project that was advertised to second year HND students. This involved an all-expenses paid trip to America with third year School of Computing students where I took part in a Trans-Atlantic cyber security project. This allowed me the chance to meet students and staff at the university. I also took part in an Edinburgh Napier University student internship at the end of my HND to help review Associate Student promotional material. This was a fantastic opportunity to earn some good money working in a friendly environment and certainly beat working in the retail job I had at the time!
Matt talks about being an Associate Student
How did I get involved?
The biggest bit of advice I can give to future Associate Students is to make sure you fully matriculate with Edinburgh Napier University when you begin your first year. Details of how to do this will be provided by your college and are also available in the Welcome Pack. I cannot stress this enough as without access to my university student email account I would never have heard of the America project or the student internship posts. Remember you are just as entitled to take part in these opportunities as any other Napier student! The university is also really good at keeping students informed of placement opportunities and other careers related advice through the email service so to not sign up would be to miss some really good opportunities! Matriculating at the university also means that you are assigned a matriculation card which can be used to access the university’s study areas at night and weekends, making it easier to fit around part-time work.
Before coming to university
There are a number of social events that the university arranges for Associate Students, I would recommend coming to these, as often there is plenty of useful information given out. They also give you an opportunity to meet staff and students at the university and often have the added bonus of free beer and pizza! I would also recommend visiting the Associate Student Moodle page as there are example modules there which you can look at to give you an idea of the content delivered at university. I felt that these also helped me with what I was studying at HND level as first year School of Computing students often study similar subjects.