Introducing Matt Russell – BSc (Hons) Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) (Top-Up) student

Hello everyone, my name is Matthew Russell. I’m 21 years old and from a little town in the midlands called Burton Upon Trent. I am currently studying BSc Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) (Top-up) here at University Centre Reaseheath.

This is my third year here at Reaseheath as I previously completed the FdSc Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) course. Before this, the only animal experience or higher education experience that I had was during a previous year of study at another education centre.

Coming to Reaseheath has really helped me to realise what I would like to do with my future. Reaseheath has allowed me to explore different areas of the animal industry by being in lectures and by working on our very own zoo.

Whilst being a residential student for 2 years I got to properly experience the Reaseheath life. From being on campus everyday it was clear to see how well you can develop a strong friendship group. This was particularly clear to me as I moved in late and was immediately welcomed in by both my course and the group of people I was living with! Of course being on campus means that you are in the heart of everything from going to the Thursday night socials (as well as all the other events on in the student bar), to being able to access the onsite gym! Reaseheath is also very helpful with things a littler further away. As they offer mini-bus trips to the local Sainsburys and other super markets for your food shopping as well as the occasional trip to Alton towers or other activities like that.

Over my two courses here we have been involved in many things. Our lectures have always been delivered as well as can be and our lecturers have always tried to accommodate any queried that I might have from the lecture I’m in the assignment I’m trying to get my head around. Some of my favourite modules over the years have been our husbandry module where we’ve been able to work on the zoo. Welfare issues has also been a favourite of mine because its in these lectures that the course has really had our best debates and really challenged our ways of thinking.

During this time, I’ve also been lucky to go on some exciting and amazing trips. I’ve visited working farms and labs and I even got to go to Costa Rica for two weeks on my Experiential learning module in second year. That was a truly incredible trip that I would highly recommend to anyone and everyone.

The big thing for me in my final year is of course my dissertation. I was able to get my dissertation sorted at the end of last year as I was collecting my data over the summer. I did this at Twycross zoo and my dissertation itself is an investigation into whether attendance at a Penguin talk increases conservation knowledge. As we came back to University in September the dissertation efforts have increased with lots of work currently going into a Literature review.

This year, and this week in fact, I also graduated from my FdSc course. This was a really great experience as I got to go to the cathedral in Chester and recognise all my hard work as well as the hard work of my friends on my course and others. The day in whole was a brilliant experience even if it was raining for most of it!

As my dissertation progresses this year I aim to keep you all up to date with how it’s going and I suppose how I am doing with it all! Speak to you all again soon.