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Elizabeth Ruddy

BSc in Pharmacology, graduated July 2018, First Class Honours Degree.

PhD student, Newcastle University

My undergraduate degree at Newcastle University was in Pharmacology. The degree was extremely interesting and covered a wide range of topics from anticancer drugs to toxicology. The first year is flexible as you are able to study a range of topics within the Biomedical Sciences before committing to your specific course for the following two years. Not only were the lectures fascinating, the staff were extremely helpful and supportive throughout my degree. I particularly enjoyed the in-course practicals that we did as they were so diverse, allowing me to gain a vast skill set which has helped me massively in my current position as a PhD student. The practicals taught me a range of skills such as spectrophotometry, light microscopy, western blotting and PCR; all of which I currently use in the laboratory.


There were a lot of opportunities available during my degree; examples being, summer research projects, lab assistant roles and dissertation research projects. I thoroughly enjoyed the research project I completed as part of my dissertation project and was taught multiple new lab-based skills. I was also provided with an insight into undertaking my own research and was able to work independently to gain confidence in the laboratory. There was also a lot of flexibility when selecting projects as there was the opportunity to select a computer-based project if this was more suited to your interests and future aspirations. I believe that a lot of people assume that it is essential to complete a masters course before applying for a PhD and although it may be helpful, I strongly believe that Newcastle University set me up with all the relevant skills to be able to go straight into a PhD. The opportunities you have available to you after obtaining a great degree from a fantastic University are endless.

My current PhD project investigates skin ageing in different skin types. I currently work with Newcastle University and Hexis lab; a Newcastle-based unique skincare company, with the aim of gaining an understanding of unique characteristics of individual skin responses to environmental stressors, in particular with different ethnicities.