Inside Working Lives

Opportunities

Daithí Mac Síthigh outlines the benefits of joining the UEA faculty at an early career stage – plus the great lifestyle available to young academics.

Daithi Mac Sithigh

Senior Lecturer in Law
2009 - 2012

Originally from Dublin, Republic of Ireland

UEA gives you the freedom to experiment and try new things.

What do you do at UEA?

I'm a senior lecturer at UEA Law School with a main interest in law and technology. I teach media law and British constitutional law and I direct a master programme in Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law. The subject is constantly changing in response to changes in the online landscape and much of our research focuses on emerging issues. Our teaching covers case knowledge and research skills links to other disciplines.

How did you get here?

Living in Dublin, where I'd done my degree and PhD, I started applying to UK universities including UEA and was attracted by the focus on media law. I knew little about the area before I came. I stayed on campus the night before my interview and awoke on a beautiful, sunny morning to rabbits hopping about in front of the Broad. Coming from a city-centre university, that was a contrast. I was encouraged that so many staff came to my presentation which showed a real community within the School.

Why UEA?

It's a research university which is very important to me and it places value on interdisciplinarity. Many academics of my generation don't see themselves in terms of narrow academic roles and in the law and technology area we collaborate with Schools such as Film and TV and Political, Social and International Studies. UEA may not be a university with centuries of tradition but it's a very good one, and it's ambitious with a sense of youth about it. It's an energetic place.

How's life outside work?

I came with my fiancée who is now studying at UEA - as a scientist she could see the region offered plenty of opportunities. The quality of life is good and you can live well on an academic salary. Going out is affordable, it's easy to socialise with other UEA staff and, where we live, most of our neighbours are either UEA students or staff which feels unique to Norwich and UEA. I don't drive so it's great to live within walking distance of the city centre and the university – it's one of the few places in the UK where you can live without a car. Norwich offers more than you might expect, particularly in terms of culture. There are plenty of gigs, classical and jazz concerts and you can get to London and back in an evening. I've discovered Norfolk too through my interests in walking and wildlife – you can travel to the coast and feel like the last person on earth.

What would you say to someone thinking about coming here?

At UEA you can do so much at an early stage in your career and because it has an egalitarian structure you can make rapid progress. You get a huge amount of support here and UEA gives you the freedom to experiment and try new things.

A wealth of opportunity

Norfolk and East Anglia have a thriving local economy, offering a wealth of opportunity for professionals relocating to the area – such as people moving with their academic spouses or partners.

Norwich is home to Aviva plc (formerly Norwich Union), and is the UK's most significant financial centre outside the City of London. Over 25% of the city's population is employed in financial services.

The county of Norfolk boasts more than 500 creative businesses, including many digital media businesses, advertising agencies and design studios. Archant, the national news group is based here, along with Anglia Television and a branch of the BBC. The pool of creative talent is fed by Norwich University College of the Arts, as well as UEA itself.

Engineering is another key industry, with over 1000 firms employing more than 10,000 highly skilled professionals working in sectors as diverse as electronics, coatings, defence, construction and more. They are supported by Hethel Engineering Centre, which offers worldclass research and incubator facilities.

Norwich Research Park, situated close to UEA, is one of Europe's leading R&D clusters, with expertise in a range of fields from food and health to computing and the environment.