Lucy Packman studied BSc Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds

Lucy Packman

Why did you choose to study food science and nutrition? 

Ever since I was little I have been told off for 'playing with my food', so being told by a careers advisor at school that I could do a degree in food, and from a scientific angle (another passion of mine) filled me with utter excitement! 

Also the future of food supplies is unknown due to the ever increasing population, having the skills and knowledge that come with doing a food science degree will inevitably help in securing food for the future.

What attracted you to the University of Leeds?

At Leeds, high-class teaching meets a well-designed student city! With thousands of students at the University, there is everything you could ever need right on your doorstep, yet the compact School of Food Science and Nutrition feels like a second home.

My A-Level chemistry teacher is a graduate of the School, so of course encouraged me to study at Leeds! 

Did you visit us on an Open Day? Did you find that experience helpful in making your decision?

Yes I did. It was a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere and a great chance to meet staff and students, as well as to tour the facilities, not to mention the chance to ask hundreds of questions, particularly the things you can’t find out from a prospectus, like how comfy are the seats in the common room (They are very comfy!).

I went to Open Days at other universities, which helped me make the decision that Leeds was definitely the place for me.

Has your course lived up to your expectations so far?

Most definitely. It is a really varied course, with a good mix of lectures and practical work, all taught by excellent staff in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere!

What do you enjoy most about your course?

The broad mixture of topics covered, from the in depth chemistry to the implications of food on health, not forgetting the practical aspects of new product development.

Which aspect of food science and nutrition do you find the most interesting? 

Just how complex food is! Something as simple as mayonnaise has so much complex chemistry and physics involved in it - it is remarkable!

How would you describe your lecturers and tutors?

They are the kind of people you know are very busy, but always have time to help you with any aspect of university life.

They know you as people rather than student ID numbers on exam result papers. They are also very passionate about their work, and most definitely know their stuff!

Have you taken advantage of the flexibility of your course and enrolled in any discovery modules outside of your degree subject? 

During my first year, I took a module from the School of Design on colour and the design process. It gave me a great understanding of not only how colour can influence choices in our daily life, but also how complex recreating colour on various media is.

I feel it will be very useful in the future, particularly in designing packaging for food products.

Can you explain a day in the life of a food science and nutrition student?

Most days involve lectures and some seminars or revision sessions - lab sessions are held once a week.

There is always time to relax at lunch in the School common room, or at one of the cafes or lounge spaces on campus!

As a food student, there is always time in the day for dinner!!

How would you describe student life at Leeds?

Full of anything you want it to be! With hundreds of clubs and societies at the University to get involved in, there is never a quiet moment.

Leeds, as a city, is designed with students in mind, from plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants to regular bus services across the city and everything you need in a compact area.

Have you joined any clubs and societies on campus? 

I am the current president of the Scout and Guide Society, and am a member of the Dancesport (Ballroom and Latin dance) society.

Being part of a society is a fantastic way of making the most out of your time as a student - you meet some fantastic people along the way and it is a fantastic way of unwinding after a long day of lectures and laboratory work!

Are there a lot of things to do and get involved with in the city?

It is difficult fitting everything into my busy schedule! From part time work and volunteering opportunities to shops, restaurants and pubs, and of course the annual German market, Leeds is a fantastic place to study.

With campus being very close to the city centre, you never feel far from the hustle and bustle and the lively atmosphere.

Do you have an idea of what you might like to do at the end of your course?

Over the past few years I have worked part time in a butchers’ and deli shop, during which I have progressed to become involved in the running of the shop, and the technical side of the business.

This has not only helped me develop skills and use my knowledge gained in a professional setting, but has taught me that I definitely want a career in food.

I am very much community led and a people person however so a career that combines the two would be perfect!

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

Leeds is a fantastic place to be, in terms of the School of Food Science and Nutrition, the University as a whole and the city itself.

But my top advice is get involved in all aspects of university life, such as joining societies and taking your studies beyond the lecture theatres and into the real world.

Make the most out of your time at university!