Karen Turner: BSc Genetics
"I chose Leeds because it has a really friendly atmosphere; I’d visited a lot of universities and been to a lot of open days where I’d got the feeling they weren’t particularly bothered about whether I chose their uni or not. Leeds was really different, the lecturers I met on the open day seemed genuine and enthusiastic and I knew straight away it was the uni for me.
I choose to study BSc Biology, I’d found a love of the subject during sixth form. During my first year on the Biology course I realised that I really enjoyed the genetics module I was taking more than any of the others, so I decided to swap to BSc Genetics for Year 2.
My highlight of the course has been undertaking a year in industry. I would recommend it to anyone on a science degree course. I spent a year working in the transgenic department of a large pharmaceutical company in Essex and absolutely loved it. I gained a lot of experience of varied lab techniques, met a lot of new people and also experienced first hand what it is like to work in the scientific industry
I’ve found the level of support offered to be really good. I’ve had both major and very minor problems during my time at uni and my personal tutor has always been there to help with any issues and to offer advice. I’ve also been to see my degree manager on a few occasions and he has also always spared the time to help solve my problems. There is always support available if you need it.
Each year at uni I’ve tried out different societies and sports clubs, there’s so many that it’s hard to choose what to do! This year, I started doing about four, but due to time commitments it has slowly dropped down to just badminton. I think uni is definitely the time to try new things, it’s much more difficult to try things when you are “grown up”, and with the amount that is on offer it’s difficult not to find something that you want to have a go at.
When I finish I plan on taking a year out to work in a science-related job before doing a PhD in genetics, and then hopefully eventually going on to get a job in industry."
At the time of writing, Karen was a final year student. She graduated in 2009.
Tom Hannacher: BSc Genetics
"I chose Leeds because I liked the atmosphere of the University and city when I visited on an open day. The Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University is strong and the course suited my needs. The city itself is vibrant with plenty to do and an exciting social scene.
I first applied to study BSc Applied Biology at Leeds as it was advertised that was possible to do an exchange year abroad between my second and first year. I decided to change my course to BSc Genetics as I particularly enjoyed the genetics and cell biology aspects of the course. I also found out that all Biological Sciences programmes can include an exchange year abroad! The flexibility of any Biological Science programme makes it extremely easy to switch to other courses after a year if there is a different side to biology that you find more interesting.
I would definitely recommend Genetics as a programme of study at Leeds. I have found it interesting and stimulating to learn about the forefront of scientific progression. On the whole the teaching has been to a high standard and there is support availiable if you find areas of a module unclear.
For me, the best part of the course was the research project in my final year. It gave me an insight in to what it would be like to continue in science after higher education, and enabled me to independently control how I studied. Throughout my time at Leeds I have found genetics to be a particularly interesting and evolving subject - students are kept up to date with current advances.
In my third year I took part in the exchange programme with the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Living and studying in Australia was fantastic. It enabled me to experience a new culture whilst broadening my education. The close proximity to the beaches and city centre provided plenty of entertainment outside of study! I would advise any future students to seriously consider this opportunity.
The academic facilities at the University are great. The Library provides a good place to study and there are always plenty of computers available. There is a wireless network on campus which is great if you want to use your laptop, it enables you to work anywhere you want.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my entire time in Leeds. In particular my first year in halls of residence enabled me to meet many great friends that I have remained close with throughout my time in Leeds. There are such a diverse number of bars and clubs that there is always somewhere to go, no matter what night of the week or your musical tastes. The huge student population gives Hyde Park and Headingley a great student feel and summer is fantastic with everyone outside relaxing on the park (when not studying!!).
I found it relatively easy to meet people on my course. The first year practicals and the Freshers Week networking events provided a great opportunity to meet people and socialise. Outside of the course, halls of residence and sports clubs have enabled me to meet a large number of people very quickly.
In my first year I was a member of the University of Leeds Volleyball club first team. I also played five-a-side football with other people from Biological Sciences once a week. I have been a member of the Leeds Snow Riders every year and went on one of the trips to the Alps. The trip was amazing with a good mix of skiing and partying! This year I am a committee member of the Wakeboard Club which has been a fantastic experience. It has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people and really get involved with the organisation of the club."
At the time of writing, Tom was a final year student. He graduated in 2009.