- Name: Jack
- Course: Physiological Sciences BSc Honours
- Where I'm from: UK
“The teaching quality on my course has been excellent. All lecturers are very passionate about their research area, and therefore deliver this clearly and enthusiastically in lectures. All lecturers are happy to help and are very approachable if you need them.”
I first thought about studying at Newcastle University when Graduate Ambassadors visited my sixth form to tell us about higher education and Newcastle. I did some research and saw the fantastic reputation that Newcastle has in the biomedical sciences, and thought this is somewhere I need to see. After visiting the open day, I fell in love with the course, campus and city – it was so exciting and vibrant, and it is then I knew I wanted to study here. The students spoke so enthusiastically about the university and lecturers about the course.
Studying Physiological Sciences
The thing I love most about my course is the vast knowledge and variety you get from a degree like Physiology. The common first year is great to give you a flavour of all the different degrees the School of Biomedical Sciences has to offer, and this allows you to carefully and confidently choose your path and specialism for the next two years. With such a broad degree, you cover in great detail lots of different areas of human physiology – from cardiovascular to molecular physiology to neuroscience.
There is a specific topic for everyone. My favourite module was Molecular Physiology and Pathophysiology. This is because the lecturers on this module are very interesting and engaging, and deliver content in an excellent manner. I enjoyed learning about experimental evidence in this module, which was presented in a clear and understandable way, rather than becoming over-complicated and overwhelming.
Recommending Physiological Sciences
I would tell them to choose whichever degree the School of Biomedical Sciences has to offer that is their gut instinct. Then I would tell them to go into first year with an open mind, to work hard and enjoy the variety of different modules on offer, e.g. genetics, biochemistry and pharmacology. After having engaged with the material they will be able to pick which program to follow for the remaining two years, and know that this is where their scientific passion lies.
Living in Newcastle
The thing I enjoy most about Newcastle is that there is so much on offer, and that you should never get bored. There are so many bars, restaurants, cafes etc. as well as plenty of other places for recreational activities. I would tell a friend that Newcastle is probably one of the most vibrant cities in the UK and that there is a really comfortable feel to it. Compared to other cities it is not too big, so it is easy to know your way around and not get lost, and with great transport links such as the metro you can go to wherever you want, be that the beach in Tynemouth or the town centre for shopping.
Students often have the opportunity to become part of the society committee, which looks great on your CV and can be a lot of fun to put forward your ideas and steer the society in a direction that you want it to go in. I’ve also been a Student Ambassador for the university, which involves doing paid work for the university to help run promotional events and on-campus activities and conferences, whilst enhancing your CV and developing key skills that graduate jobs will be looking for. I am channelling this experience and my skills altogether by completion of the ncl+ award, giving me official recognition for my extra-curricular activities while learning how to utilise and apply these skills to my future career.
Since leaving halls in first year I’ve been living in Jesmond, which seems to be the most popular student area in Newcastle. I’ve had two completely different situations, from living in an 8-person house in second year to a 4-person in final year. It was fairly easy to sort out accommodation, just make sure you take your time and check out the house properly, don’t rush into anything. If you’re unsure there is a service at the university that can check over contracts and things for you, to make sure everything is in order.
Managing my money
Once you know how much loan you get, I would calculate how much this equates to each week for the academic year. This way you don’t overestimate how much money you have and run into trouble, or underestimate and be living off barely anything except essentials – you need some luxury. Some weeks will be more expensive than others, depending on social life and shopping etc.
After I graduate I am hoping to go into teacher training to teach secondary school Chemistry. I am going back to Chemistry after having time out from it with my degree because it was a subject I loved at school and would enjoy bringing to life in the classroom. Combining this with my degree will be useful as I will have the flexibility of knowing I can also teach Biology, which I am also passionate about. This, I’m hoping, will make my career very interesting and diverse.