Postgraduate

Medicine and Surgery MPhil, PhD, MD

Emma K

Student profile

About me

Name: Emma 
Course: Clinical Pharmacology PhD
PhD Title: The influence of Vitamin K, genetics and concurrent therapy on anticoagulation outcomes in adults and children
Study mode: Full time
Where I’m from: Greece

Choosing postgraduate study

"When I was in the second year of my studies, I realised I wanted to know more about science and actually get involved with research. As time passed, I learned more and more my life was improved by the knowledge I gained. So, postgraduate study was the next step to achieve my dreams; to become as good as I can in my research field and contribute to a very important field that helps people being treated for certain diseases and that gives hope. Genetics was my first priority, because I believe genetic information has a huge role to play in enabling people to understand the human body and the way it functions."

Choosing Newcastle

"The reason I chose to study at Newcastle was the features of my MRes course. It consisted of only three months of taught modules and about six months of research in the discipline I wanted to specialise in. I applied immediately, I was accepted and then I started searching for more about the University and the city. What I found was that it was the ideal place for me. A city similar to my hometown with a high quality of life and a highly ranked University with various chances to improve my employment opportunities and to develop myself on a personal level."

Studying at Newcastle

"My current course, the PhD, is a very intense research degree that requires a lot of hours of work, different ways of communicating my science both to the public and the research community as well as laboratory and experimental training. These might seem to be disadvantages, but rather I find they are benefits for someone who wishes to become a researcher. During my course, I am convinced I will have proper, and enough, support from both the University and my supervisors. I honestly don’t need to worry about anything.

"I have also had the opportunity to participate in various postgraduate events, such as the North East Postgraduate Conference (NEPG), and I have been made to feel part of a large postgraduate community where ideas are exchanged and we have support from each other and the University.

"I would propose my course to motivated people looking for advanced research experience with an appropriate background.

"During my undergraduate course in Greece, I had to tackle various issues concerning the facilities and the budget spent in Education and Research. I always felt I didn’t have as much support as I needed, and in order to find this support much personal effort was required. My Pharmacy studies were great in terms of the amount of knowledge I gained (the academic staff were responsible for that, and their job is much more difficult than the staff in the UK because of lack of staff in Schools). However, I didn’t have many opportunities to take part in community activities or student representation (mostly formed by youth group-members of Greek political parties). Therefore, I needed to spend my free time solving issues within the University (eg exam or schedule changes) and earning money for extracurricular activities (dance, volunteering, language learning). Time management and organisation are now skills I have, but why did I have to acquire them in such a hard way?

"Newcastle University offered the chance to expand my interests and achieve all the above within just one year with the support from its electronic system, its staff that are always helpful no matter what the problem is, its societies and Students’ Union activities (a huge source of new, interesting things to try) with minimum or no additional cost. Also, I have created strong friendships all around the University using these opportunities."

Postgraduate Community

"During my first year, I represented the University accommodation I was living in, I volunteered some of my time for a good purpose and advanced my communication (language courses) and management skills. I took part in a poster evening, the NEPG conference, meetings with scientists and loads of seminars. I felt part of the student community from the very beginning and I have kept finding ways to maintain this amazing feeling up to now, as a PhD student. I have found ways to contribute and be involved even if there is little spare time available. My life is exactly how I want it to be at this point."

Funding my studies

"Although I had never visited the University before starting my MRes course, I found loads of information about funding options on the University website. I had decided to be a self-funded student, so I didn’t search thoroughly for funding. I knew, however, that among all these opportunities for funding, I would be able to find something that suited me if I needed to.

"My supervisor during my MRes studies suggested that I should stay and continue my studies with him, as he had already trained me in certain time-consuming techniques used in the laboratory for his projects. He also appreciated my background studies, which are relevant to his research interests. Our collaboration was perfect in all terms and I had already informed him about my willingness to proceed into PhD studies. So, he is currently funding my studies using University funding available from previous projects that he had completed. This is just an example of the high employability chances as a graduate of Newcastle University, because the skills gained are highly appreciated."

Career aspirations

"Newcastle University gave me the unique chance to gain experience in a variety of fields and multidisciplinary research. As a Pharmacy graduate, I was easily integrated into the Medical Faculty, studying Genetics and I continued in the field of Clinical Pharmacology, combining the study of diet and genetic influence in medication management.

"I would like to stay in academia and work as a researcher after my PhD. I would also consider some clinical experience in collaboration with the NHS. At the moment, industry is not a sector I would be interested in, apart from the research conducted in cooperation with it."

Accommodation

"I used to live in University accommodation during my first year at Newcastle. I had applied through the University website to most different types of the University accommodation and I was allocated a room at St Mary’s College, in Fenham.

"At the moment, I rent a house in Sandyford along with a good friend of mine, also a PhD student. I wanted to be more independent and living with a friend at a low price, close to the centre was appealing to me. Also, the area is not only within walking distance from the centre, but also safe, quiet but lively. It was easy to sort it out and I was lucky because my housemate found the property after visiting an agency."

Living in Newcastle

"Newcastle is a lively city, full of young people. The old city centre is stunning, offering amazing places to explore. By the river, you feel free from anything that bothers you, simply because the beautiful bridges inspire you to think optimistically and in no time you will start dreaming. A great number of international and European students choose Newcastle initially for their studies and then to work. That makes the city multicultural.

"The local people, called ‘Geordies’, have nothing in common with the unsociable or unfriendly British you might have in mind. At the beginning and without prior visit in the region, the local dialect is difficult to understand. However, if you wish to try, you end up using local phrases and your understanding is improved without even realising it!
“Last but not least, whether you are a party animal or not, you will definitely find places to help you relax and have fun with friends and colleagues. The connections with the rest of the UK are excellent. Newcastle is the capital of the North East, but far cheaper and safer than the actual UK capital.

"I would absolutely recommend Newcastle to anyone searching for a friendly, calm but full of energy city and of course I would suggest travelling around as there are quite a few interesting places to visit nearby."

Remembering Newcastle

"In choosing a highlight of my time here, my first response would be my Congregation ceremony, in which I felt proud to be a graduate of one of the top UK Universities.
“However, the highlight of my student experience was when my supervisor proposed a collaboration for my PhD, as that really proved the amount of work I had done during my MRes project and how much that was appreciated."

Advice

"Once you have found exactly what you want to study at Newcastle University and you have been accepted, you should just look forward to starting your studies. Everything else you might be worried about will be sorted out with the constant, multi-level support from the University and the motivation you get from the academic staff. It is a unique experience to study in this University, with high rates of employability and there are also numerous benefits to living in Newcastle. Don’t doubt even once about that! You won’t regret it."