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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Sarah Kelly MSci Biomedical Science

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Studying at Southampton is inspiring as you are given a real insight into the research being carried out at the University. The student community is incredibly welcoming. There are so many events and you are able to integrate with students from a wide range of courses.

Why did choose to come and study at Southampton?

I first considered Southampton as I had a friend already at the University who loved the city and student community. I chose Southampton over my other choices because of the competitive science programme. Many universities offer Biomedical Science, but the course at Southampton includes a large amount of laboratory work which hugely increases your employability. It offers the opportunity for long-term independent research projects and each module is strongly influenced by current research.

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton?

Having taken a gap year, I was worried about performing academically at university. I also had not taken chemistry at A Level and I was anxious about keeping up with the biochemistry aspect of my course.

Once at Southampton, how were your fears overcome?

The first year of the course ensures that everyone is at the same level. There are modules specifically for people who didn’t take chemistry A Level which provide an excellent foundation for the more complex content.

What is it like studying here?

Studying at Southampton is inspiring as you are given a real insight into the research being carried out at the University. The student community is incredibly welcoming. There are so many events and you are able to integrate with students from a wide range of courses.

How do you rate study facilities at the University?

When studying a science degree you are based in the Life Sciences building, which has fully equipped teaching laboratories and plenty of workspaces. Fourth year projects are conducted in the research laboratories with state-of-the-art technology, allowing you to work alongside University professionals.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences) so far?

During the summer between my second and third years I completed a 6-week summer research placement in Katrin Deinhardt’s laboratory. I researched the whether the unfolded protein response occurs in a mouse model Alzheimer’s disease, generating novel results that contributed towards a doctoral thesis.

I am also the President of the Biological Sciences Society, which provides academic and social events for students throughout Life Sciences. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this role as it has allowed me to make professional connections, but also to have so much fun at social events.

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

Studying at Southampton has given me confidence in my academic ability and provided me with transferrable skills, both academic and personal, that will aid me throughout my career.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

My favourite aspect of my course is the opportunity to study a wide range of fields; from neuroscience, to pharmacology, to cancer. This has provided me with a broad knowledge base and allowed me to explore many potential career paths before specialising.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

In the third year we have the opportunity to study modules from other courses, such as business or psychology. Third year dissertation projects are also not limited to laboratory work; we can choose library projects, science communication or field work, amongst others.

Did you stay in University accommodation?

I stayed in Wessex Lane halls, which is where I first met the people that I have lived with throughout my degree. University can be difficult sometimes, and so it is great to live surrounded by all of your friends.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

Southampton is a fantastic city to be a student in. The night life is amazing, with so many different clubs to suit all kinds of music tastes. With so many live music venues and bars, there is always something going on!

Do you have future career/study plans after graduating?

I am graduating this year and am planning to work in clinical trial management. I am currently applying to positions and graduate schemes and hope to be based in London.

What one word sums up how you feel about your experiences so far at Southampton?

Inspiring

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