James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Beca Williams

I would like to thank the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for their support with my tuition fees this year. After receiving a First Class BSc Human Geography degree at Cardiff University, I was very keen to continue with my studies, in order to develop myself further. The Foundation's financial support enabled me to study without worrying about tuition and living costs. I decided to study a brand new Masters course at Aberystwyth University, MSc Behaviour Change. The course was ambitious, current and exciting. The cross-disciplinary nature of the course meant that I was able to broaden my horizons by studying business, psychology, geography and politics modules during the year. The course has therefore opened doors to areas of work that I had not considered possible as a career before this year. 

The field of behaviour change is increasingly important in today's world, with bad, extractive behaviour and habits a global problem. This is very clear when trying to reduce the impact of climate change on our planet. I had the opportunity to listen to great lectures about how to change the behaviour of individuals to reduce household waste, to reduce individual use of cars in Ceredigion and how to reduce smoking habits. There were also many guest speakers, from organizations such as NHS Wales, the Welsh Government and Dyfed Powys Police, underlining the importance of the study and the credibility of the Master's degree for all environments. During the summer, I had a part-time job working for the university's CUPHAT research project, looking at ways of developing a tourism industry in the coastal highlands of Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The context of my Master's degree contributed greatly to my ability to do the job successfully.

I wrote my dissertation on the problem of local behaviour change. Focusing on the behaviour of tourists in the Snowdonia National Park, following the anti-social behaviour  highlighted in the media, and the recent name change referring to Eryri and Yr Wyddfa in Welsh only. I had the opportunity to interview very influential individuals in the field of tourism from organizations such as the Welsh Government, County Councils, Mentrau Iaith and the Snowdonia National Park Authority. It was also a great experience to be able to carry out a survey with Snowdonia tourists visiting Snowdon in July, to see what kind of behaviour and habits needed to change.

I am now following a PGCE course to become a secondary school teacher, with the hope of securing a job in Ceredigion. I really appreciate the Foundaiton's generosity.