The annual Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs) highlight the incredible work carried out by institutions for their students. Due to Covid restrictions, this year’s awards were not collected on uni campuses as usual, but instead based on submissions from institutions, which were then judged by our special student panel.
2021 WUSCA winners
There have been a few ups and downs with tutors changing part way through terms but overall the experience has been positive. I do think that during the induction process that students should be made aware that the time required to be actually on site jumps a lot in the second semester, as a mature student I have to work to fund my study and warning would have been helpful as my employer was understanding but it did cause a few issues.
Visitor talks, regular updates on local industry placements
Practical sessions are always very interactive and extremely informative. Lectures are usually engaging with lecture notes being available for the most part prior to sessions. I do feel that a it would be helpful if a little more individual feedback was available in a contact setting rather than just remotely.
Everything required is available but it would be helpful if there was more HE study rooms as the few that we have are always full
Extremely good. I have a chronic illness which sometime impedes my ability to access the course as I normally would and they have been very good at working with me and making alterations wherever possible and offering additional support.
Good. Meets expectations and continues to develop my interest in the subject. I feel as though I should be properly equipped to proceed to industry on completion of the course.
The Department has liaised with industry to develop the course so that it best equips entrants into the careers market post-graduation. Emphasis is placed on applying wine science in a commercial context. Lunch time careers talks by external speakers from varied areas of the industry and evening seminars with producers from around the world give real insight into academic and experience-based qualifications sought after by employers. Modular teaching facilitates defined coursework/exam objectives. The mandatory industry placement is a great way of building one's CV. It is good to be taught by staff who are genuinely interested in their subject(s) and who have extensive industry experience.
- Modular course design. - Focuses on building basic knowledge leading on to more in-depth topics. - Improves essential work place skills (maths/computer literacy/research/etc.) - Practical application of the science (weekly vineyard practicals, field reports, lab sessions, trips to local businesses and abroad). - Instruction on the latest scientific developments.
- Great online and physical library resources. - Remote access to Plumpton Online study interface. - Well equipped laboratories and winery. - Continuing development of facilities with new Georgian marani. - Staff always schedule time for tutorials. - Good vineyard equipment and land resources. - Ample quiet study and IT suite places. - Proactive Higher Education Quality Officer. - Excellent!! value on-site cafe. - It is definitely like studying on a working farm.
- Good coursework feedback online in easy to use format. Personalised comments. - Good private tutorial availability. - Always able to discuss topics with teachers during/after class.
Lectures and academic studies have been useful and interesting Library resources and academic papers were useful and relevant Not enough practical experience included, especially in regards to viticulture Very little tasting provided during the course, would be useful for learning how to identify wine-making problems, wine-making techniques Poor student life
Regular career talks Practical lab skills Practical wine making
Most: Interesting, applicable written assignments Least: Little to no practical experience in viticulture/wine-making
Tutor feedback good for assignments Good personal support was available when needed, friendly and sympathetic, Tutor support during thesis was poor, several attempts needed to get support
It's been a pleasant experience so far - the travel is long and expensive but my time here as been productive and interesting. The communication between teachers and pupils needs to be improved and so does the quality/quantity of equipment.. For the amount we pay on an annual basis I feel this has been seriously lacking from our course. Other than that I can say I'm pretty content.
careers talks, work placements, masterclasses, transferable skills
experienced teachers, good balance between academic teaching and practical learning. At times unorganised and insufficient/bad quality equipment
Very enjoyable. The tutors are all excellent. I was originally doing a foundation degree but I am enjoying it so much I have switched to the Ba ( Hons). So I have chosen to spend an extra year there.
Weekly careers talks and guest speaker
Interactive lesson make learning easier. When your lecturer just reads the slides to you.
Mixture of positives and negatives. Some useful teaching techniques, interactive learning etc. The decision-makers in the department don't appear as interested addressing issues as they could be.
Compulsory work placement. Career talks by people from the industry
Scheduling of modules to complement one another.
Could be better. Useful feedback on assessments generally
Vineyard practicals in the first year were good and constructive, and the same can be said for the third year industry practical module. Overall the quality of several other modules (in terms of materials, subject and delivery) is extremely poor, and the course suffers from some seemingly redundant modules. Winemaking practicals were very unconstructive and often unnecessarily stressful. There are however good tasting opportunities available, as well as some informative and well-organised study trips and a good student community ethic.
There are a number of guest lectures from industry professionals and alumni and opportunities to gain industry accreditation in areas such as fork lift driving. A compulsory practical module in industry is also part of the course, and we as the opportunity to participate in broader industry qualifications such as WSET.
Good things: there are extremely good vineyard practicals (only in the first year) and lots of tasting opportunities. Bad things: the course materials (lecture notes and assessment briefs) are extremely poor across all modules. Some modules have badly designed assessments and the resources for laboratory and practical work are insufficient. Much of the practical work is conducted in an unnecessarily stressful environment.
The facilities are average overall - the winery and laboratory have potential to be better but the equipment is old, poorly maintained and the reagents/chemicals/yeast cultures out of date. The vineyard equipment remains broken for long periods of time.
General HE learning support is good but support from some lecturers is, although knowledgable, extremely unenthusiastic and quite apathetic. Some online resources are good. Marking and feedback is sometimes delayed.
I have enjoyed studying at Plumpton College, however I would prefer more contact hours to spend more time on the subjects.
Work placements Cv and cover letter help Job interview preparation Transferable skills
I like that the course is interesting, however to me the 2nd (final year) of the course has too many modules thus not allowing students to spend a much time as we’d like on assignments and project.
Very good support from tutors and teachers
I’m happy with my experience. I’ve spent time in the vineyard and winery, produced two wines and feel like I’ve learnt a lot. There have been some problems with organisation but these have already improved since semester 1. The campus is rural so one challenge is transport. Many students drive in and parking can be a problem. This is a difficult question to answer as I’ve never done a masters before, nor have I studied postgrad at a college. Some students on my course are not happy but I think they are expecting to be handheld throughout. Some of the concepts are difficult, for instance there is a lot of challenging and complex chemistry, and not everyone has a background in chemistry. The biggest problem I have with the course is the negativity these people spread - and I’m not sure how the institution could help with this.
Regular career talks, and networking events. Internship if wanted. Many transferable skills with a big focus on presentations.
Recordings of lectures Group work Logical lectures - however some lecturers struggle with timing Practical sessions
Good. There’s a vineyard, winery, HE facilities. The library has what we need. Unfortunately we learn at a college where the students are younger and not necessarily engaged with their studies, so the library can be quite disruptive.
It is there if you need it. Staff are friendly and always there if you need them.
Not very good. They removed routines in the animal management unit for my year, but they kept the course that was about the unit but we had no experience in it. Both course leaders we very good but my other teachers we not as good. Plumpton does not always listen to the students, so far they only listen about the common room but not other concerns
We get work placement each year and we have to do 100 hours
Most =discussion during the lesson Least = group work during lesson
Poor internet, not enough study rooms, good library, not enough car spaces and ICT people who are never there
Academic = the course leader is very good and provides excellent feedback, however other teachers can be lacking or late feedback Personal = for my first year we had no student support