Roger Tang

Student spotlight details

Before enrolling on the course, Roger was working as a Sustainability Analyst. He knew he wanted to pursue a PhD but felt he needed to improve in aspects of data collection. He did the Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques (PGCert) and appreciated being able to work full-time while studying without feeling overwhelmed. Now his PhD research is focusing on the topic he pursued for his PGCert field project.

'Before I enrolled on the course I was working as a Sustainability Analyst, writing the sustainability section of a bid for the ‘Transport for Wales’ rail network. I had completed a BSc in Zoology and MSc in Sustainable Development, but I felt I needed to improve in aspects of data collection in order to pursue a PhD. The PGCert provided just what I needed. 

'I found a couple of aspects of the course particularly helpful. The face-to-face week was brilliant. I met interesting people—lecturers and students—with whom I truly hope I will stay in contact in coming years. In addition, I was able to complete a project I have been meaning to do for some time: I travelled to Wales and looked at the impact of mine waste of floral distribution.

'Alongside the course, a colleague and I competed and won funding in the University of Oxford IT Innovation Challenge, where we sought to improve aspects of the online interactive teaching experience of the PGCert. This has now evolved into a teaching tool that can be used throughout the university.

'Since finishing the course, my team has won the contract to operate the rail transport network in Wales. With my newly-established Oxford references and training, I applied for a PhD and was even awarded a scholarship. I have now relocated from London to Brisbane, Australia to pursue my research, which is an extension of my field project at Oxford.

'For anyone considering the course, I found being an Oxford student opened doors. I would also recommend making the most out of resources available, participating in anything extracurricular, and thinking ahead-of-time about field project funding sources. The PGCert is fantastic as a tool for propelling people into further education or improving skills which are highly valuable for career prospects.'

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