Fern Baker, MSc Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology, 2019-2020

Year studied Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology


Why did you choose to study at Keele University?

Keele University had the highest student satisfaction rating and the course was also accredited by IEMA and was perfect for my intended career goal of becoming a Sustainability Consultant. I also had friends who completed their undergraduate degree at Keele, who really loved the university and their courses. 

Why did you want to study your particular course? Did you have a specific career in mind?

I used Prospects career planner when I was deciding what to do after I finished my undergraduate degree. I answered the questions about my interests and one of my career matches was a Sustainability Consultant. This career intrigued me, as I had a real passion for the environment, so I researched the qualifications I would need. I knew I wanted to follow on with my studies by completing a Master’s course and Prospects recommended courses that were accredited. ESGT at Keele University was one of the courses and accredited by IEMA. I looked at the modules taught on the course and they really interested me.

What attracted you to the course at Keele University?

The course really suited my ambitions and interests. I had also seen videos by Dr Sharon George who is the course director, who seemed really passionate about the topic, knowledgeable and engaging. The course accepted students from all backgrounds, as I completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology, so I needed a course that did not require specific environmental qualifications to enter my dream field.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I enjoyed learning about all different environmental issues and solutions, technologies as well as business skills for addressing stakeholders with project ideas, to make real-world changes. The lecturer’s enthusiasm for the course boosted my passion and kept the lectures really engaging. As well as the cohort being so sociable and helpful during role play and group activities, which really improved my confidence. Most of the lectures were also taught in the Sustainability Hub, which was lovely, in our own space. There was also a resource room where you could use the computers, a kettle, and a microwave. The coursework was also very different, so you learnt and exercised different skills from presenting to creating your own research project. I really enjoyed every aspect of the course.

How did your course help you to get to where you are now personally and professionally?

I am following on from my Master’s with a PhD at the University of Nottingham on “Evaluating strategies to reduce net Carbon emissions from dairy production systems”. From studying at Keele I realised my real passion for the environment and the career path I wanted to take into research to help tackle climate change. The ESGT course at Keele increased my knowledge on environmental issues and how to research holistically, as problems are not simple and do not have one solution. I gained confidence at Keele, working in groups of all ages and backgrounds, hearing from different perspectives. The lecturers at Keele inspired me, that we can make a difference and to not give up hope.

Looking back, do you have any advice or tips for future students considering similar study?

If you are interested in the environment and a career in the environmental sector, then this is the perfect course. Sharon is an amazing lecturer; she will help with anything you are struggling with and is really knowledgeable. Environmental sustainability is a really interesting topic, but it does require all round skills, from maths, writing skills, some politics, to chemistry and a mix of science. But this course doesn’t require specific background knowledge, as long as you are willing to learn new skills and complete different kinds of assignments.

What type of skills or personality traits do you think would suit someone studying the type of course you studied?

Open minded to all different perspectives, to view a problem from other people’s points of view. Friendly and sociable as you become very close with your course mates and it really helps when you get frustrating with an assignment and know you are not alone or can discuss a problem with someone who understands the topic. Willingness to engage, as you have role play activities and group presentations as well as solitary work and have to communicate with your fellow coursemates.