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Student Stories

Student Stories

Blogs and vlogs from students of the University of Edinburgh

Day in the life of a Geophysics student…

Sunset behind Edinburgh Castle
Reading Time: 3 minutes

…by Alexandra / from the USA / studying Geophysics (MEarthPhys)

Hi, I’m Alexandra and I’m a 2nd year geophysics student! When I was looking at universities, I was not really aware of what an average day might look like, particularly for more lab-based subjects! Hopefully this post will give you a bit of an idea of what it’s like to study in Edinburgh!


I start my day off bright and early, as I have a 9am Geophysics lecture to get to! I make a quick breakfast and then it’s off to the bus stop to catch the bus to Kings. Edinburgh has really great public transport, so it’s really easy to get to and from Kings Campus!

I only have one 9am a week this semester, so sometimes I’ll get there a bit early and treat myself to a coffee at the JCMB magnet cafe, which is one of my favorite places to study on campus! This also gives me a chance to finish any last minute work that I might have for any upcoming deadlines, but luckily I had no deadlines today! I attended my lecture, which was a really interesting lecture on Geomagnetism. After this lecture I had an hour break, so I met up with some of my friends to work on an upcoming maths hand-in. There’s lots of great places for group study around Kings, particularly in Murchison and the Nucleus! We didn’t get as much maths done as we should have, but we had fun catching up on what we did over the weekend!


Then it’s off to my next lecture, a two hour maths lecture. This lecture was on Vector Calculus, which although I find challenging, I’ve also found to be quite interesting and useful in my other courses! Luckily we got a quick break in the middle of the lecture, so the two hour lecture isn’t too difficult. We all had another hour break before our next lecture, so we decided to grab a quick lunch. There’s plenty of places to grab food on Kings campus, but we decided to just grab meal deals from the Nucleus shop. There’s a lot of cafes on campus to grab hot food, and there’s even microwaves in the Nucleus if you brought your own lunch!

After lunch, we headed off to our last lecture of the day, a geology lecture. I’ve really enjoyed my geology course this semester, as there are a lot of labs which are really engaging and helpful for learning lecture content. Right after this lecture I had a two hour maths workshop, so I head back to JCMB for a chance to ask the teaching assistants questions and complete some workshop problems. This workshop was interesting, and I found it really helpful to be able to work through questions with a group of people. After this workshop I had finished my classes for the day, and I took a bus back to my flat for a quick break. I also usually use this time to practice my cello for a bit, as a way to unwind after a long day of classes!


I spent an hour revising some previous lecture and working on some maths practice problems, and then I decided to head to the gym for a bit. The university gym, Pleasance, has some amazing facilities, which happens to include an archery range. I’m a member of the archery club, and I like to get some practice in whenever I can, which is super easy when I have access to a range so close to my flat and the university! I spend two hours getting some practice in, and then I do a quick weights session in the main part of the gym. The gym is really modern, and has so many different machines, equipment, and sports facilities!

At this point it had gotten fairly late, so I went back to my flat and made a quick dinner. Then I spent another hour or so working on some uni work, primarily an upcoming lab report for my geophysics class and preparing for my geology lab in the morning. This was a long day, but I got to spend the day doing things I love, from studying a subject I truly enjoy in to having a nice gym session! This was just one day in my life at university, but I hope it at least gives an idea of what Edinburgh is like as a student. Edinburgh is truly an amazing city to be a student, and there are so many unique opportunities available here, from sports/societies to academics!

Want to find out more?

Chat with Alexandra

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