Anusha Panjwani: MSc Bioscience (Infection & Immunity), 2007
Anusha worked for the specialist pharmaceutical company iQur Ltd, which specialises in developing novel approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of liver disorders, particularly Hepatitis C and liver fibrosis. She is now a PhD student at the University of Leeds.
"My degree helped me 100% to get this job as I was headhunted whilst pursuing my masters project in the virology lab! I really love the challenges of my new career- there's so much going on; undertaking hands on wet lab work; learning new techniques; the freedom to brainstorm; the combination of academic and industrial work experience; becoming more aware about company investments; delivering to set targets; liaising with other sections of the company based elsewhere in England. I'm thoroughly enjoying my current job and hope to start my PhD soon.
The MSc wasn't easy, but it certainly taught me how to multi-task and to produce quality work. My advice to other students would be "Come and experience Bioscience at Leeds - it's well worth it!" "
Charlotte Ndribe: MSc Biodiversity & Conservation (2009)
PhD student/doctoral assistant, Dept of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
"My speciality is plant ecology. I was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to read MSc Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Leeds, and interestingly my field research project took me to Thailand. The project was ecology-based work on the distribution of riparian figs along streams. The aim was to determine the effect of distance away from streams on fig species and to assess the importance of these streams for fig recruitment and establishment. I spent about 6 weeks in northern and south western Thailand from the end of May to early July. I had to design the project myself, and my tutor put me in contact with researchers in Thailand.
Throughout the project I worked with PhD students from Chiang Mai University. I worked at 5 different sites, so I moved around a lot. I really enjoyed the practical work; taking samples and identifying fig trees, although the work was tiring in the heat and I got bitten a lot! I also made friends with people working on the FORRU project (Forest Restoration Research Unit ) under the Eden Project and went on an extra trip tree planting in Northern Thailand, which was a great experience. I really enjoyed having the chance to work in Thailand; meeting new people; experiencing a new culture; improving my field skills and applying theoretical knowledge - it was all great!
While still a student at Leeds, I applied for doctoral studies in Switzerland and was awarded a grant to further my studies in plant ecology and phylogeny at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
My degree at the University of Leeds cannot be overemphasized as it was extremely rewarding. I benefited immensely and know that I am only where I am today as a result of the quality academic training I got while at Leeds. I had excellent tutorial instruction and guidance with courses structured to be applicable in real settings. I remain thankful to my project supervisors for the incredible patience and expertise they bring to teaching students.
I thoroughly enjoyed being a student in such a vibrant cultural and international setting. It was exciting to work in teams and exchange ideas with people from literally all over the world. There were challenges, but they only made me more articulate, efficient and independent. I always cherish and keep good memories of the University of Leeds.
My advice to other students considering the course would be to ensure you get the best out of your time by prioritizing and setting targets that can be achieved. Also, it is advisable to explore the range of modules offered, rather than just aiming to complete the required credits; focus on gaining relevant information and a broad horizon in this interesting field."
Ahmed Abouserwel: MSc Bioscience (Infection & Immunity) graduate
"I chose Leeds on the recommendation of my tutors in Libya. Three of them had done PhDs at Leeds and the university has a good reputation. I studied Dentistry in Libya and was attracted to the MSc Bioscience programme because I wanted to improve my knowledge of molecular biology. I plan to pursue a dentistry career in tissue engineering and in order to do so I need more specialist knowledge of molecular biology and genetics. After my Masters I plan to do a PhD in Leeds. I am sponsored by the Libyan government, so after my PhD I will return home and work splitting my time between a university hospital and private dental clinics.
I really love the practical work with protein and genes. Doing dentistry I had worked with a lot of patients, but I didn’t have much laboratory experience at the molecular level. I’m learning new skills and techniques and using up-to-date equipment I hadn’t tried before - it’s very stimulating. Access to the latest scientific debate has been a real highlight - I have attended three University of Leeds conferences, covering a broad spectrum of medical issues including Microbiology and Dentistry, since I’ve been here.
The facilities here are amazing! Before starting the MSc Bioscience programme I did a year’s English course at another university and the facilities here are noticeably better. The library is excellent and the specialist Biological Sciences librarian is really expert at helping you use search engines and find what you need. There are lots of computers, so it’s easy to get access. We also have our own special computer cluster for people on my programme. And I can access the Library online facilities from my private computer at home.
We all get on well on the Bioscience course - we’re just one group and it’s easy to mix with both British students and students from other countries. My advice to prospective students would be to arrive about a month before the programme starts to give yourself plenty of time to “acclimatise”; that way you have time to settle down and sort out any practical matters. I would really recommend the International Student Welcome organised by the University’s International Centre. You can get a lot of help with practical issues like accommodation and the best places to shop, plus meet lots of current students. I would also suggest making contact with students who know the British education system; either via the International Centre, UK graduates in your home country or the British students on your course. They can give you “insider tips “ which will save you a lot of time while you are getting used to a new system. Try to make friends early on – the International Centre will help you do that. A few reliable friends will help you settle in and help you put any worries into perspective if you do feel a bit homesick or anxious. Students in their second year at Leeds can really help you with good advice."