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The University of Southampton

Clarissa Chay MChem Chemistry with six-month placement, 2018

Undergraduate student

Clarissa Chay's Photo

With chemistry, there is a large overlap with maths and the other sciences, so it is always really varied even when just considering core chemistry modules.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

I chose Southampton because it was one of the only universities offering the flexibility in the course I wanted to study. When I came for an open day everyone was so welcoming and it felt like somewhere I would really fit in.

What is it like studying here?

Studying here has completely transformed the way I work as a student, the help from lecturers and resources available have encouraged me to work my hardest and the sense of achievement from completing work to such a great standard really motivates me.

How do you rate study facilities at the University?

The library has everything you would need as an undergraduate in chemistry, there are so many books with alternative explanations to the lecture notes. It’s also really handy that lectures are recorded so if you needed to recap something explained, it’s not a problem. Lecturers are also more than happy to help with anything you might not understand, so you definitely don’t have to struggle through it alone!

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

My research project in my third year has been my favourite part of my degree so far, though I’m off to Australia for my fourth year project so that could very well change! Although the undergraduate labs are fun while you’re learning, there is nothing like using those skills to discover new science, while researching new topics your own supervisor wouldn’t have the answers for.

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

While at university, I have been working as an iChamp, which is a job given to students by the university to help encourage the use of technology in our learning. Not only do we have the benefit of a student-staff partnership where our ideas are put into action, we also have the opportunity to improve our own experience as a student body and all the future students that study here. This also meant I didn’t have to work part-time during my degree, so has made studying at Southampton a much more positive experience compared to anywhere else I could have gone.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

I appreciate the amount of freedom we are given in customising our degree by choosing which modules we would like to take, while having the reassurance that the degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry for any of the options you’re given.

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

There is the option to study anything from language to business modules in your first year, and in third year I’ve taken an education module alongside my chemistry ones. With chemistry, there is a large overlap with maths and the other sciences, so it is always really varied even when just considering core chemistry modules.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

Southampton as a city is always exciting, because there is always something going on to interest everyone. Whether you like daytime markets in town or games nights at a local pub, there’s so much in Southampton city centre and that’s only a tiny part of the area you would be living in! The campus itself is very pretty too, and if you find the not-so-secret gardens you will always have somewhere you can go to when it all gets too much.

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