Study master’s in Film Studies at UCC

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Meera Sankar

Government of Ireland (India) scholar 2014-2015

MA in Film Studies

Cork is one of the most welcoming cities that I had ever been to….But the highlight of it all was the atmosphere at UCC.

Getting the Government of Ireland (GOI) scholarship and getting to attend UCC was one of the most unexpected but exhilarating moments on my path towards studying and making films. I had barely set foot back in India after a year in Prague studying film when I received word that I had been accepted into UCC and had been awarded the GOI scholarship for the year ahead to do a Masters in Film Studies. It’s been an adventure from the get go. I began repacking my bags and set off for another adventure in one of the countries I’ve always wanted to live in, Ireland.

Cork is one of the most welcoming cities that I had ever been to. The people on the street smile at you and the baristas at the coffee shops and the bartenders at the pubs remember your name after a few visits. But the highlight of it all was the atmosphere at UCC. The staff at the film studies department even before my arrival in Cork had been extremely helpful and had abated all my fears with respect to suddenly reintegrating myself into an academic career after having only been into the practical elements of filmmaking. The international student’s office never tired at my endless questions of possible localities to live in while I searched for accommodation back in India and answered all my (now seemingly ridiculous) questions about life in Ireland, making it all seen less alien and more like home.

I suppose one of the biggest things to get used to when you come to Ireland for the first time is being prepared for any kind of weather. But over the course of a year you begin to get used to it and can just take a peep out your window and know if it is going to rain or stay clear and sunny for most of the day. One of the bigger challenges coming from India was getting use to the local prices being in Euros because your mind automatically converts it back into your native currency, but a month of mild fretting and you get used to it and 2 euros for a cup of coffee doesn’t seem as expensive anymore.

Life at UCC is one of challenges and great fun. You are expected to work had on your course work but the course allows for so much independent thinking that you suddenly feel so overwhelmed at the possibilities of what you can explore. The faculty encourages the students to think within and outside the box. As an Indian studying cinema in Ireland it was very exciting to be able to share aspects of Indian cinema that are not commonly known abroad and to have the faculty equally intrigued by the same. I also managed to meet a lot of filmmakers form Cork, Dublin and from across Ireland and Europe during the various film festivals that were held in Cork and across the country. Being in the film studies programme at UCC also made accessing such events a lot easier and faculty encouraged students to go and acquire as much experience as we liked. The two highlights of my stay were getting my film screened at the Fastnet Short Film Festival down at Schull in West Cork, and meeting Bond villain Mathieu Amalric and almost convincing him to act in my first film, possibly. I also managed to work as the second camera operator on a short film set in Cork, getting the Irish filmmaking experience as well.

But none of that would’ve been possible if the Government of Ireland Scholarship hadn’t been so encouraging and provided the opportunity and the means for international students to come to Ireland to study. The scholarship also puts you in touch with people from other nationalities who are on similar scholarships or opportunities from across the globe, making it more than just the Irish experience but a melting pot of international interests.

I was recently offered a job as the Technical Head for the Post Production and Cinematography department at a new film school starting in Mumbai in India; the school is called F.A.C.E (Film Academy of Cinematic Excellence). I was actually offered the job based on my Masters at UCC so there is so much that I owe to UCC for having gotten this job. Even after I move back to India, I’m hoping to work on a few Irish productions that I have been keeping in touch with during my time here in Ireland.

I’ve attached a few pictures of me on set working here in Cork. It was for a short film called Receptive, Totally Receptive. All the pictures were taken by Izabela Szczutkowska.

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Studying a master’s in English at University College Cork

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Kurian Therakath Peter

Government of Ireland (India) scholar 2014-2015

MA in English

It is not often that you wish you could relive a year of your life and change nothing.

My year in the beautiful city of Cork, Ireland was that rare time that leaves me screaming ‘Encore’. It was both extremely fulfilling as a scholar and fledgling academic as well as personally rewarding. My teachers at UCC are some of the most inspiring educators I have come across; vastly erudite yet easily approachable; wonderful communicators who revivified that sense of wonder about literature that got me into this business in the first place. The opportunity to present at conferences and the guidance I received while applying for the Irish Research Council scholarships were invaluable. My classmates, drawn from the many countries of Europe, were a smart bunch, instantly likeable and accepting, always up for a friendly pint at one of the countless pubs that litter Cork’s landscape.

The city and the country are beautiful, often breathtakingly so. I saw much of Cork riding a bike on its cycle-friendly roads. It’s a small city, unintimidating; a city you can make your own. I will fondly remember its meandering river, the Lee and its Lee-gulls sitting serenely on the water as the river carried them slowly forward. I saw much of Ireland on the weekends with my hillwalking club. Walking in the mountains of the Gap of Dunloe or Mangerton is a fine way to spend a Sunday. In the Galtee Mountains one November morning, I experienced snowfall for the first time.

The rain takes some getting used to. A stranger at a bar in Cork told me  “ It’d be a lovely country if it had a roof.” All in all, I wouldn’t change much however. I’m off to Vancouver to pursue a doctorate at the University of British Columbia and I will be glad of all the lessons Cork taught me, chief among them: The probability of rain is inversely proportional to the probability that you’re carrying an umbrella.

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Postgraduates: Improve Confidence in Public Speaking Skills

 

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The GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE & HEALTH POSTGRADUATE COMMITTEEpg society

Invites ALL POSTGRADUATES to attend

The ‘SPEAK’ Workshop

A Monthly Meeting

AIM: Improve Confidence in Public Speaking Skills

The meeting will run for two short hours on a Tuesday Evening

First meeting is November 3rd

Room 2.25 in Brookfield Health & Science Complex from 19:30-21:30

FOR MORE INFORMATION

PLEASE EMAIL: marc.osullivan@ucc.ie

Workshop involves:

Short presentations, giving positive feedback and thinking on your feet

Tea and Coffee Provided

Speak is a non-profit workshop.

Inspired by Toastmasters® and other public speaking workshops.

It is run by the Postgraduate Student Committee, Graduate School of Medicine & Health.

Postgraduate Cafe for UCC Research Students

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Postgraduate Café for UCC Research Students – Autumn 2015

On Thursday October 22nd from 11am to 1pm we will be sponsoring another Postgrad Cafe for UCC Research Students in the Postgraduate Common Room, No. 4 Carrigside

DAY: Thursday October 22nd

TIME: 11am to 1pm

WHERE: Postgraduate Common Room, No. 4 Carrigside (no. 17 grid reference F6 on this map)

We will provide coffee, tea, biscuits and handmade Irish chocolate, yes handmade Irish chocolate by Ó’Conaill’s Cork.

This is a chance for UCC research postgraduate students to meet other students and use the university postgraduate common room. This is a friendly and comfortable environment to meet other students for both social and academic conversations. We encourage our students to come along, enjoy a hot drink and meet some of the UCC research student community.

Please email graduatestudies@ucc.ie for more information.

Societies are for postgraduates too and here’s one for foodies who are interested in fermentation…

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“Fermentation is everything” as famously preached by Louis Pasteur, the granddaddy of fermentation. We also believe this is true, fermentation effects many common foods and it doesn’t have to be declared on the ingredient list. Have you ever wondered why cheese is so delicious? Or why bread tastes so great? Fermentation is the reason, it has been used for thousands of years to preserve foods and is still used everywhere.

The fermentation society was founded in 2014 by a group of postgraduate food science students. We are interested in the origins of these food transformations and more importantly, tasting them.

We organise and host events with a connection to fermentation. To give you an example, last November we invited Elisabeth Ryan from Sheridans cheese mongers to UCC to give a talk on Irish cheese. Thankfully Elisabeth brought samples of these delicious cheeses to taste and talked us through the differences between each one. She also researched some wines (not Irish, in case you were wondering) to match the cheeses and some amazing Irish beer and cheese combinations.

Just to be clear… we don’t just gorge on cheese; we also collaborated with the Archaeology society and hosted Declan Moore to give a talk on the early history of Irish beer. Declan had a theory that we could have been making beer here for 3500 years! He gave us a great talk on the evidence from around the world on early brewing techniques and how Fulacht fiadhs could have been used.

The upcoming semester is still being planned and includes brewery tours with film screenings, bakery tours, expert wine tastings, quiz tastings and much much more. If you’re interested in attending our events or want to get more involved in the society send us an email, find us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know. New members are always very welcome.

Fermentation@uccsocieties.ie

https://www.facebook.com/groups/288490274674467/

Twitter @FermentationSoc

UCC PhD student research: Contemporary Pilgrimage in Ireland

Contemporary Pilgrimage in Ireland: A Cultural Geographic Perspective

Pilgrims ascending Croagh Patrick on the annual pilgrimage day, Reek Sunday

Pilgrims ascending Croagh Patrick on the annual pilgrimage day, Reek Sunday

By Richard Scriven, Department of Geography
Graduated in June 2015
Follow Richard on Twitter: @CorkGeog

There has been a marked increase in the numbers of people participating in pilgrimages globally in recent decades. Ireland is no different with thousands of people go on some form of pilgrimage annually. These are rich, meaningful journeys that are undertaken by those seeking blessings, healing, comfort and authentic experiences. My research examines these journeys within Ireland and considers how they shape the places and people involved. As a geographer, I am fascinated by human-environment relationships. I study how people, through their actions and ideas, shape the world around them and how environments influence and define people. In the performing of pilgrimage, it can be seen that people are ‘making’ holy places and that the locations are, also, defining people as pilgrims.

My methodology is a qualitative ethnography that involves observer participation and interviews with pilgrims. By attending the pilgrimages and participating with other people, I can get a first-hand appreciation of what is involved. I use cameras and camcorders to capture the performances and events of the pilgrimage. The images and audio-visual recordings allow me to vividly present the riches of these practices as a distinct socio-cultural phenomenon. The fieldwork is complemented by interviews in which I discuss pilgrims’ motivations and experiences. These accounts enable me to explore of the meanings and significance of pilgrimage and illustrate the importance they hold for many people.

My work focuses on, Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo, Lough Derg, Co. Donegal, and four holy wells in Munster. On the last Sunday in July, Reek Sunday, thousands of pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick in the modern manifestation of a festival stretching back to the Celtic harvest celebration of Lughnasadh. This large scale devotion is a unique event in Western Europe with people from all over Ireland traveling to ascend the steep peak and get Roman Catholic Mass on the summit. Lough Derg or St Patrick’s Purgatory is a three-day pilgrimage during which pilgrims withdraw from the world on a lake-island, fasting, going barefoot, keeping a 24 hour vigil and completing sets of prayers in the continuation of a centuries old tradition. Ireland has over 3,000 holy wells, many of which act as sites of local devotion and pilgrimage. Religious beliefs in patron saints and folk practices combine in these activities as people come to collect the holy well water and pray for special intentions on feast days.

My research demonstrates the enduring role of pilgrimage and the importance of the multifaceted relationships between and place. In combining my geographical concepts, the rich audio-visual materials produced in fieldwork, and the accounts of research participants, I provide new insights and appreciations of pilgrimage in contemporary Ireland.

Pilgrims prayer sets of prayers on the island pilgrimage of Lough Derg, Co. Donegal.

Pilgrims prayer sets of prayers on the island pilgrimage of Lough Derg, Co. Donegal.

 

UCC Computer Science course offers you the chance to successfully change career direction

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By Kirsty Hilliard, Higher Diploma in Applied Computing Technology, 2014

* Come to our Postgrad Computer Science Information Evening on Tuesday 24th June 5:30pm to 7:30pm *

My initial qualification was a degree in Archaeology from UCC. I graduated into the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008 only to find that the Archaeological industry had collapsed alongside the construction industry. I subsequently found a management level position in retail and worked for several big names over the next few years. There was a lot of competition for higher level management jobs and I moved to the UK in the hopes of getting more experience over there. My partner was offered a great opportunity back here in Ireland so we came home again and I found it very difficult to re-enter the workforce, even at entry level positions, as there were so many people desperate for work for after years of recession.

There seemed to be a lot of articles and reports on the news that IT based industries had more vacancies than they had qualified people applying for them so I looked at ways of breaking into that sector. I started a Java programming course and soon after discovered the UCC H-Dip program that was starting in September. I told one of my friends about it at the course to see if she would be interested and we both applied and got in.

What had interested me in the UCC H-Dip was the range of different topics that it covered, there were many areas one could branch out from, rather than being cornered into one specialisation right from the start. We learned basic scripts and commands for operating systems and Networks, good for administration, programming in several languages, which helps not only your CV but improve ones won logical reasoning skills. We also covered modules in Databases and Excel which are multi-industry essentials these days.

Aside from the study, the people I met during my year were one of the best parts. The Lecturers were very understanding and always willing to answer questions or explain something again, you could really tell that they wanted us to do well. I always found them to be very encouraging about getting into the industry and they pointed out practices that would be helpful out in the ‘real-world’ whenever we came across one. I consider myself extremely lucky in the classmates that I had. There was always a great atmosphere in the Lab and we worked well together making sure no-one was struggling on anything. I think it helped that we were all relatively mature, having done college already and worked for a few years, not to mention that we all came in with the same goal of getting into IT so we were all serious about doing well.

After an intense year, just before my exams I was offered a place on the Graduate program for Lidl in the IT stream which was a huge weight off my shoulders and an affirmation of sorts for taking on the course in the first place. Currently I am doing my 6 month rotation in the Service and Support division of the IT department and I sometimes surprise myself at what I know and can do as a result of the H-Dip. I work with a lot of specialists and it is very handy for me to have the range of knowledge I do when troubleshooting a problem as I can see things from multiple directions not just one.

I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment and the biggest one we face is changing how our employees work on a daily basis. Currently they are reliant on excel and it’s not quite meeting our business needs, so I have been charged with developing suitable Databases with a Java based front end to help make their life easier and their work faster by taking the weight off their laptop processors, all thanks to what was written on my CV under this course!

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UCC Computer Science course offers you a stronger technical skillset for your career

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By Aideen Sinnott, Higher Diploma in Applied Computing Technology, 2015

* Come to our Postgrad Computer Science Information Evening on Tuesday 24th June 5:30pm to 7:30pm *

I worked for many years on the business side of an IT company. I loved working with technical employees and learned a great deal from them. Both reading and experience showed me that there were many people like myself, with business acumen but without technical skills.  My goal when coming back to do the Higher Diploma in Computing Technology was to upgrade my skills so that I would have a strong business/technical profile that would enable me to continue growing in an interesting and hopefully “cutting-edge” career.

Attending the same lectures as Computer Science students at UCC was a bonus.  Not only was our learning on a par with the Computer Science class but we had the opportunity to be taught by some exceptional lecturers.  We got a really good grounding in Computer Science and the technical ability to design, create and manage a database-driven web site as well as other essential computing knowledge.

Initially, I had intended to engage in further study to specialise before returning to employment.  Guidance from a particularly inspirational professor led me to pursue my own learning project which I intend to focus on now.  The way that I think about business has changed during this year.  I can see that my background, now enhanced by a new way of thinking will help me in any business environment to creatively use technical concepts to solve business issues.

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Postgraduate Cafe for UCC Research Students

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Postgraduate Café for UCC Research Students – Summer 2015

On Wednesday July 1st from 11am to 1pm we will be sponsoring the first Postgrad Cafe for UCC Research Students in the Postgraduate Common Room, No. 4 Carrigside

DAY: Wednesday July 1st

TIME: 11am to 1pm

WHERE: Postgraduate Common Room, No. 4 Carrigside (no. 17 grid reference F6 on this map)

We will provide coffee, tea, biscuits and handmade Irish chocolate, yes handmade Irish chocolate by Ó’Conaill’s Cork.

This is a chance for UCC research postgraduate students to meet other students and use the university postgraduate common room. This is a friendly and comfortable environment to meet other students for both social and academic conversations. We encourage our students to come along, enjoy a hot drink and meet some of the UCC research student community.

Please email graduatestudies@ucc.ie for more information.

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UCC Research Students Showcase Their Projects

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Demystifying Research – UCC Students Showcase Their Knowledge!

Mind reading, treatments for cancer and the development of efficient internet connections – these are just some of the research projects that will be showcased by UCC’s doctoral students on Tuesday May 26th in the Aula Maxima

The UCC Doctoral Showcase is an annual event which recognises the achievements of our doctoral students and provides the finalists with a unique opportunity to communicate their research and its impact to a non-specialist audience.

The Showcase aims to demystify PhD research by giving students, employers and external representatives a flavour of the incredible range of research projects underway at UCC in a lively, engaging and accessible way.

SCHEDULE – Tuesday May 26th

Morning

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