Jessica Watson studied BSc Chemistry at the University of Leeds

Jessica Watson

Why did you choose to study chemistry? 

It was by far my favourite subject at A-Level which made it a very easy choice to continue studying chemistry at university.

What attracted you to the University of Leeds?

When I visited the University, I loved the flexibility in the course which was great as I wasn’t certain exactly where I wanted my degree to take me.

I love the city and it was obvious when I came to my interview that the University were really keen to support my sporting commitments alongside my degree which is something that was really important to me.

Has your course lived up to your expectations so far?

Definitely. The course has been really challenging so far but it’s also really rewarding which makes it highly enjoyable.

One of the best parts of the course is the practical aspect – 9 hours of labs a week really makes the theory learnt in lectures more relevant.

Can you explain a day in the life of a chemistry student?

A typical day will usually take one of two forms; one where you are in labs, which is pretty full on as its hands on rather than listening to a lecturer. On other days you’ll have 3 or 4 lectures usually interspersed with a bit of down time.

How would you describe student life at Leeds?

Student life is better than I was expecting it would be. Even living in the halls furthest away from Campus in Oxley, there’s so much to get involved with socially and so many opportunities to mix with so many different types of people.

I understand you play cricket at a national level, how does this impact on your studies?

Most of the time I am able to juggle my academic and sporting commitments without them intervening with each other too much.

Occasionally due to training commitments or tours I do have to miss contact time at uni.

However I have always received whatever support I need from the University in order to make up the work.

Is the University supportive in helping you achieve your sporting goals?

The support I have received from the university has been invaluable and this year would have been a real struggle without the help I have received.

My tour was rather awkwardly placed over the first 3 weeks of term but with the help of my personal tutor everything was sorted for catching up when I returned before I left.

This was amazing – the support I have received from the department has far exceeded anything I was expecting.

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

Even after this year I am still a little unsure where I want to go with my degree. 

My real career dream is to play cricket for my country but it is a real comfort to know that if for whatever reason this should not come to pass that I will hopefully have a really versatile degree to kick start an academic career.

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

I would definitely recommend chemistry – if you enjoyed chemistry at school then it only gets better once you get into university!