More about Abbi
Why I chose NTU
"I chose to study at Nottingham Trent University as I fell in love with the rural location of the Brackenhurst campus that still allowed easy access to Nottingham City. I attended an open day and felt that the course offered the best opportunities for a science career through choice of modules and staff expertise. Each year of my degree gave me opportunities to develop specific skills and explore what interested me in the vast field of equine science. Being able to personalise my course was of particular importance to me as I was very interested in a lab based graduate career."
Abbi's time at NTU
"The BSc Equine Sports Science course at Nottingham Trent University has a great reputation and the content is interesting and inspiring. During the open day I attended the staff were very welcoming during their talks. Everyone is so friendly and the campus is beautiful - what more could you want!
“The course focuses on looking at the horse as an athlete and the equine industry surrounding it, from learning how a horse’s body functions and its behaviour and welfare, to debating the ethics surrounding current issues within equestrianism. The course covers a wide variety of content with the option to tailor the course to your interests with chosen modules.
“I have enjoyed furthering my knowledge of equine anatomy and physiology as well as other modules such as equine sports injury and equine disease and diagnostics. One aspect I particularly enjoyed was creating a research proposal within a small group and carrying out the research and presenting our findings to the class, with some interesting results!
“This course is always keeping up to date with recent research and events, which keeps it interesting and relevant whilst still teaching the core elements. Brackenhurst campus is an amazing place to study with fantastic facilities from the library to the equine centre and the staff are always keen to help.
“Being a student at NTU is great and I have loved every minute of it. Brackenhurst always has such a welcoming feeling to it and everyone gets on well with each other. The social side of Brackenhurst is great with its own bar and SU - you can also go to City or Clifton which are also amazing. There is so much to do from sports teams to societies as well as great SU nights.
“In my first year I was part of the NTU Panthers - Brackenhurst’s cheerleading team - which was a fantastic experience and I had so much fun. In my second year I joined the Brackenhurst Entertainment Committee which is responsible for organising all the events at the SU throughout the year, coming up with unique ideas and new nights to cater to everyone’s preferences."
Abbi's current job role
"Since graduating from NTU I secured a job working within the epidemiology and disease surveillance department at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in Newmarket.
"Within our team we conduct epidemiological research into aspects of the equine industry relating to the health of horses. This includes bio-security practices, and diseases and illnesses like laminitis, equine grass sickness and strangles.
"This research is then used to provide information and guidance for all members of the equine industry. Disease surveillance is important to help understand the prevalence of a disease, establish any trends for disease distribution and to help understand who or what falls ill to a disease. This information helps researchers to develop methods of disease control such as vaccines and outbreak control methods.
"For my current job I am responsible for designing and coordinating a new surveillance system for strangles. Strangles is a highly infectious bacterial disease in horses which is endemic within the UK, however, despite the disease being endemic within the UK the true extent of the disease is yet to be quantified, this is where my job comes in!
"An average day for me includes recruiting vet practices and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to join our project by contacting them over the phone and via emails, collecting and organising data, preparing presentations for internal and external meetings and writing for publications.
"I am currently studying towards a PhD in equine infectious diseases at the Royal Veterinary College."
How my degree helped me get where I am today and advice to future students
"My time at NTU really helped me develop the skills I need for my job. My first job at the AHT was working on a different research project where entry level skills were needed to help the project principle investigators with the day to day running of the project. From this I gained further research skills needed to do my current job which is a much more independent role. My course taught me core skills such as scientific writing, research and statistical analysis, all of which are necessary for my job on an almost daily basis.
"I also worked as a student ambassador during my time at uni which helped give me the confidence to speak and present in public, as well as working on telephone campaigns speaking to prospective students which helped with my confidence when talking on the phone.
"As part of my course I undertook a placement year which gave me the chance to explore different jobs within the equestrian industry. For this I did three different placements. I worked on a research project coordinated by one of my lecturers, I was a visiting worker at an equine hospital and then completed the rest of my placement year working as a technician on the AHT’s orthopaedic yard. I really think my time on placement year helped me to focus on what I was interested in when returning into third year and the connections I made at the AHT also came in handy when applying for my first researcher job at the AHT.
"Getting into research can be tricky, my advice is to make the most of the opportunities that NTU can offer with research, whether it’s helping out on student or staff projects or undertaking a placement year where you can make connections with researchers. Contact research institutions and enquire about visiting worker opportunities - lots of larger scale projects often need people to help with jobs and may be keen to take on a student for a few weeks. Having experience under your belt and being enthusiastic will definitely help when applying for jobs in research!
"Thanks to the opportunities offered to me at NTU and the support that the staff gave me throughout my time there, I developed a great interest in veterinary research. I have travelled and presented my work at international conferences to industry experts and have published work in scientific journals in addition to writing articles for magazines such as Horse and Rider and The Showing Journal. Without the excellent teaching and opportunities to develop specialist skills offered by NTU, I would not be where I am now. I look back on my time at NTU with great memories, I made lifelong friends there and I wish that I could do it all again!"