Richard Weaver: BSc Pharmacology graduate (2006)
PhD student, University of Leeds
"The Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds is large and well respected with excellent facilities. Specifically, the Pharmacology programme is an interesting course supported by an excellent teaching staff. I had such a great experience at Leeds that I'm staying for another four years to study for my PhD.
The highlight of my time at Leeds was being awarded the prize for the best overall performance in Pharmacology during my 1st and 2nd years of study. I also found the placement year at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals invaluable in terms of giving me an edge when applying for PhD positions, as it instantly makes you stand out from other applicants, and I definitely returned back for my final year more focused to do well. I was part of a research group developing compounds for the treatment of Type II diabetes. I am currently in the 3rd year of my PhD at Leeds working with G protein-coupled receptors, which I studied the theory of at undergraduate level."
Jessica Lindo: BSc Pharmacology (2007)
Research associate in the Department of Translational Pharmacology at Renovo
"I would recommend the Faculty of Biological Sciences at Leeds to anyone considering the study of a biological science. The facilities and tutors are excellent. Many of the tutors took time out of their schedule to sit and talk to me and help me with my future career plans. One of the highlights of my time at university was going on a day trip to Covance Laboratories in Harrogate. We got to speak to many of the scientists working there and were given presentations by the managers. We were also taken on a tour around the building, I enjoyed it as I felt I had a more of an insight into the industry. Whilst at uni I was a member of the Afro-Caribbean Society and the Biomedical Science Society; both were fun groups for socialising and meeting new friends.
After graduating I wanted to take some time off as I have never taken a gap year. So I went on a few holidays over the summer, and then in September, I started looking for a job. I did not want to continue into further education, as for me I did not feel this was the best option and I wanted to begin working. There is always the possibility of completing further education while I am working, and my company may sponsor me to do this.
I am currently working in the pharmaceutical industry, the company that I work for specialises in researching new ways of preventing and reducing scarring. Without my degree I wouldn't have even been considered for this role and it also helped me develop skills that I needed to give me a footing in this job, such as report writing and laboratory and interview techniques.
My advice to prospective and current students would be to take the time to sit and talk to one of the tutors about the different options for the future. They are all more than happy to help, even with little things such as helping you to improve your CV. Also, many of the extra-curricular optional lectures that the Faculty put on are fantastic, they give you a further insight into biological sciences."
Lindsey Brown: BSc Pharmacology (2006)
Development Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics, GlaxoSmithKline.
"I did a three year programme in BSc (Hons) Pharmacology with an additional, optional year in industry during which time I worked for GlaxoSmithKline R&D. This was perhaps the most invaluable part of my degree and I would strongly recommend it to current and/or prospective undergraduate students as it provides an excellent step up to further study as well as making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. In addition, you will find that an industrial placement will stand you in good stead for the final year of your studies as you have the benefit of working with some of the best scientists in the industry using up-to-the minute lab technology and techniques.
I currently work for GlaxoSmithKline, in Development Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics and will do so until October of this year when I am returning to Leeds to undertake a PhD-testimony to how much I love Leeds as a University as well as a city!
Leeds is a fantastic city for students, and the staff in the Faculty of Biological Sciences will provide the support and encouragement you need to be successful in your chosen scientific field, I can not recommend Leeds more highly!"
Alice Dawson: BSc Pharmacology (2001)
Finance/Banking Associate at Clifford Chance LLP
"I am working as a Finance/Banking Associate at Clifford Chance LLP. I am employed in the London office, but currently on a 2 year secondment to our offices in Dubai. Living and practising law in an Arabic country, with strong Western influences, has been an interesting and enjoyable experience so far.
My degree equipped me with analytical skills and the ability to assimilate complex concepts and find suitable solutions - I employ these skills day to day - only the solutions are no longer medical/pharmaceutical solutions but legal and commercial solutions.
The opportunities I have been given working for Clifford Chance have been amazing. I went on secondment to the Hong Kong office working in Aviation Finance between 2005 and 2006. I used to live in Hong Kong as a child before the 1997 handover so returning as an adult, now that it is part of China again, was fascinating. I organised a hockey and football tournament, based in Düsseldorf (with the assistance of the partners in Düsseldorf) for all the Clifford Chance offices. It was a challenging but immensely fun experience as Clifford Chance is the largest global law firm in the world.
I loved my time at the University of Leeds. The Pharmacology department was run by excellent lecturers and tutors, the course was intensive at times but interesting and Leeds as a city has a lot to offer. I spent 4 years in Leeds, choosing to do a year in industry at a clinical trials company that was pretty much on campus. I then spent 2 years in Nottingham at law school, but I never had the same affinity for Nottingham as I did for Leeds.
BSc Pharmacology is a specialist course, but there are many other career options available to a good science graduate from Leeds. The career department at the University is an excellent place to start when looking for ideas and inspiration."