8am to 10am
I begin my day by getting myself some breakfast before heading onto campus. It’s about a 40-minute walk from my house, so I get some decent exercise. I set up my stuff in the Graduate Centre, which is a nice sociable environment to work in where a group of us can work together. This area also has easy access to much-needed sustenance from the Scholars Bar. I ease into my day by grabbing myself a coffee and catching-up on various emails and other kinds of basic admin. I might send my family a quick message via Skype and have a quick catch-up with friends before starting work on my PhD.
10am to 1pm
I put on my headphones and crack on with my research, which currently involves creating digital models of historic landscapes using Computer Aided Design (CAD) to be used for spatial analysis with Geographical Information Systems (GIS). These models are based on the data I collected during research trips away from campus. Data can span from transcriptions of manuscripts from certain archives to fieldwork conducted at specific heritage sites of interest. Modelling can be a long, intricate process, in order get the textures and structure to a decent standard, but seeing the final product makes it all worthwhile.
1pm to 2pm
With about an hour or so for lunch, this allows enough time to have a chat with friends, check up on the latest news and social media, and venture outside for some fresh air and sunshine. I may even take this opportunity to head to the library and loan/return some books.
2pm to 5pm
In the afternoon, this is normally a good time to see my supervisor to catch-up on my progress and ask any questions. I may bump into other students or lecturers in the department and have a friendly chat with them before heading back to the Graduate Centre to crack on with more work. I may decide to do some writing for a change, which is required for various aspects of my PhD. This can be anything from writing down workflows to the chapters that will go into my final thesis. More recently, however, I have been writing an article about my research for an international journal, abstracts for both national and international conferences, and a portfolio of my teaching experience to receive an Associate Fellowship to the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
6pm to 7:30pm
I head back home at the end of the working day. My housemates will arrive back from work, from the real world outside of university, and we will have a chat whilst making dinner and spend some time to relax in front of the TV.
7:30pm to 11pm
If I have a free evening, then sometimes I will want to finish something I’m working on and keep the momentum going. However, having time to relax is important! Yoga is great if I have been sitting at a desk all day. I also meet up and chat with my friends, whether that is having a go at the local pub quiz or a night-in with a movie. But sometimes, a cup of tea and an early night is just what is needed!