This article presents selected elements from the research findings of a Master’s thesis related to the experiences of first year students on a new degree programme. Data was generated for those elements through questionnaires and focus group discussions. The analytical framework was based on the model devised by Bourdieu (1977, 1986) and Field (2003) which attempts to identify the forms of capital at work in the lives of first year students and the dynamics among these forms of capital. The specific findings of the study were considered by colleagues to be of some discussion and dissemination value in relation to general discourses about retention of first year students generally