- Course: Natural Sciences MNatSc, BSc
- Nationality: British-American
Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds?
When I first looked round the university, I immediately loved the campus and feeling of the city. The flexibility of the course was very suitable for me - I could tailor my degree to exactly what I was interested in. The union and societies also had so much on offer, I quickly felt very welcome at the university.
Why did you choose Natural Sciences? What combination of subjects are you studying, and why?
I really enjoy moving between the different subjects and couldn't decide which of my A levels to take to higher education. I study Biology and Mathematics, with Chemistry in my first year. My main subject is Biology, and I definitely benefit from the skills I have gained in my other sciences to be able to approach the work in new ways.
Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far?
This year I am working in a lab researching the hedgehog signalling pathway in cancer, creating my own mutant cells based on real cancer patient mutations which will help support my supervisor's actual research. I also enjoyed working on a group grant proposal on understanding the genetic nature of autism.
In my second year, I was able to take a discovery module in music performance. I spend a lot of my spare time playing violin, so to be able to incorporate these skills into my degree and get specialist teaching was an excellent opportunity.
What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?
Leeds is a very easy city to live in as a student, and the low cost of living means you can access a lot more for a much lower price. I came to Leeds from the south coast, but the affordable and well developed transport links made this straightforward. There is also incredible countryside that you can get out to in under half an hour from the city center. Renting privately after my first year felt secure due to the Unipol charity setting a code of standards for letting agents, and offering advice and support when you needed it.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I am planning to take a year off after my degree to prepare and apply for graduate entry medicine, or another career in the NHS. This year has been particularly useful as I have been learning about different human diseases from experts all across the biological faculty. As an alternative, I would definitely like to continue studying, particularly into human genetics and cancer.
What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?
Being able to balance myself across my studies was a useful skill I've learnt, showing time management and adaptability. I also have developed good analytical skills from all sciences in my course. At university I have also enjoyed being a member of the music society, where I managed an orchestra where I learnt leadership skills and made friends from all different degrees.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
The degree is often hard work, but the broad range of opportunities and choices you have are well worth it. You will be enjoying not just one school, but three different schools of sciences, giving you access to so much teaching. It's also so helpful having connections with other natural sciences students with different science knowledge to help you with unfamiliar topics.