More about Robyn
On the MRes Cancer Biology:
I chose to remain at NTU because I wanted to further my studies within a familiar environment. I enjoyed my time here at undergraduate level so I thought it was only logical that I continue on to postgraduate level within the same place.
What do you enjoy about your course?
I enjoy the opportunities I am given to exercise the knowledge I have accumulated as part of undergrad as well as getting to expand on this and develop it further - particularly in more practical laboratory situations. The taught modules are very interesting since they had particular emphasis on cancer, immunology and cellular signalling as well as the different experimental setups that can be used to investigate aspects of this.
I also really like the longer research project with an MRes as I get to develop my practical skills further and apply knowledge I have gained through both academic and extra-curricular sources on a daily basis. I like the prospect of a challenge - something that I am granted with my research project.
How did your work placement help you?
At the end of my final year I was given a placement within the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Centre which I enjoyed greatly. Although it was short, it provided me with a good level of insight into the professional laboratory setting as well as giving me the opportunity to develop my capabilities independently. I learnt a variety of new techniques which are now crucial aspects of my research project as well as a wider understanding of their applications. Not only was it a valuable experience on a professional level but I also met some wonderful people along the way that have helped me to develop both personally and professionally.
What are your career plans after doing your Masters?
I would very much like to progress to a PhD either in the near future or in a few years or so. In the meantime, I would like to develop my work experience further within the research industry. However, I am also considering teaching as a possible career so that I can share the knowledge and skills that I have acquired with other individuals.
Robyn on her BSc Pharmacology degree:
"I have always enjoyed science and learning about medicine. I loved the idea that this course would allow me to learn about how different medicines work and how different diseases can affect the body. I also like the flexibility with regards to jobs that you get with a science degree."
"Coming to an open day was an integral part of my decision making. I wanted to be far enough away that I wasn't coming home very weekend, but close enough that if I needed or wanted to go home it is easy to do so. The accommodation, particularly during my first year, was also critical, and being able to see the close proximity of both halls on Clifton campus really helped me to cement my decision to study at NTU. I really valued the opportunity to see the facilities I use now in my studies such as labs and lecture halls, and this allowed a more course specific comparison to other universities."
"Loads of technical equipment is available in the labs and the equipment is always kept to a high standard. Computers are also readily available outside of the labs with laptops available for loan if a desktop computer cannot be found. A lot of the books recommended by course tutors are also available in the library and the campus bookshop."
"In-depth practicals always supplement the lecture material and the content of lectures is really interesting. For example, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis were covered in a lot of detail in the second year. Cancer is a massive topic in Year 2 which is covered in many of the modules. Asthma, ebola and inflammation are also intensely covered."
"My confidence has definitely grown, as has my ability to work on my own initiative. My technical skills are now more advanced and I am confidently using equipment that, until coming to university, I had never used. My communication skills (both written and verbal) have greatly improved and my transferable skill set is more rounded and more tailored to working in the science sector."
"I consider getting my Student Ambassador job an achievement as well as my grades. My Student Ambassador role involves talking to prospective students and their parents at open days and university events, representing the university outside of hours/on events outside of campus, working with schoolchildren to provide information about the higher education facilities, and working on course specific events. The job gives me flexibility with the hours I work which is fantastic."
"Up until my second year, I was never really truly aware of the student support services and what they do. During the exam period of my second year I really struggled and I became very stressed, emotional and lethargic. My friend recommended the student support services as a way of getting help with coping with stress. I was advised by the doctor to try talking to a counsellor, which I did and I am now very grateful for all the support I received during that time."
"I really love my course and living in Nottingham. There is always something to do so you can never truly be bored. There are plenty of different places to go in the city to relax outside of studying."
"Before I came to university, I really wanted to go into research and development above anything else. Since being at NTU I am more relaxed about my career and I am more open to new opportunities. I am now looking at recruitment, teaching, law and toxicology as well as research."
"My advice to anyone considering coming to NTU - DO IT!"