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The University of Southampton

Samantha Earl Master of Natural Sciences (structural and Materials Chemistry with Oceans and Climate), 2014

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Hi, I'm Samantha Earl and I studied Master of Natural Sciences (structural and Materials Chemistry with Oceans and Climate) within Chemistry at the University of Southampton.

My experience at the University of Southampton really has made me a more well-rounded individual, and taught me that the more you put in, the greater the rewards.

The Natural Sciences degree offers me the chance to combine the areas of science that I love into a single degree programme – gone is the worry of selecting a single subject and leaving others behind! With the ability to alter my chosen ‘major’ (Chemistry) and ‘minor’ path (Oceanography), and with a certain amount of flexibility in my module choices, I am able to build on the areas I enjoy as I progress through my degree. My course has a large amount of contact time including: labs, boat practicals, fieldtrips, workshops, tutorials and lectures; each of which provide close contact with renowned scientists and so broadens my scientific awareness. Being spread across multiple disciplines enables me to meet many more students and staff. Utilising these newly obtained skills, I have become both an independent and multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary student.

Outside of my course I have become a Student Ambassador for the University, and currently sit on two club/society committees (ChemSoc and Southampton University Sub-Aqua Club). I undertook an Excel Southampton Placement Programme last summer where I was given the opportunity to gain further hands-on lab skills enhancing the scope of my teaching modules. I also participate as a volunteer to help with outreach work across my schools.

The University of Southampton has an excellent academic reputation (both teaching and research), with the benefit of being a campus-based university situated just outside the city. It has great facilities, a relaxed atmosphere, and a friendly community – what more could you ask for?

The city itself has everything a student would expect (great transport, shopping, leisure facilities, etc.), yet is not too busy or crowded. It has open spaces (ideal for a picnic), is by the sea (great for water sports enthusiasts), and has a varied nightlife and music scene. It really does have it all!

I am still undecided about where I want to go in the future, but expect to stay in the field of science. At present, I am interested in PhD opportunities that would allow me to use my knowledge of some or all of my disciplines. I will attempt to take each opportunity as it comes and see where I end up.

My experiences at the University of Southampton really have made me a more well-rounded individual, and taught me that the more you put in, the greater the rewards. Take every opportunity you can and no matter how many years you choose to study here, it will never feel enough. In short, I came to the University and will have gained much more than a degree.

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