Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine MRes


Student Profile

About me

Name: Hannah
Course: Mitochondrial Biology PhD
Study mode: Full time
Where I'm from: Britain

Choosing Newcastle

I applied to Newcastle University in 2009 for my undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences as it has an excellent reputation in this field of study. After visiting for the open day I knew I wanted to study and live here and have been doing so ever since!

Studying at Newcastle

I am doing a PhD in Mitochondrial Biology, which is based in the University Medical School laboratories. I really enjoy the practical work in the lab and the other aspects of scientific research such as writing papers and attending conferences. It is hard work and sometimes long days but definitely worth it if you enjoy it.

Compared to undergraduate study, there is a lot more independent learning and it is more like having a real job than studying. I work in a lab so I usually do 9-5 but I can manage my time so I can leave earlier or arrive later, which suits me really well.

Postgraduate Community

There are a lot of postgraduate students in my lab group and we socialise quite regularly. I have friends who are still studying here from my undergraduate years so I see them often too.

Funding my studies

My PhD is funded by a generous donation from the Barbour Foundation, made to the University Medical School to fund several PhD projects and a few fellowships. This covers my tuition, expenses in the lab (for materials etc) and I also receive a stipend every month which is like my salary.

Career aspirations

I would like to continue in research after completing my PhD. Not only will I have the qualification from the University but also the skills and contacts that will help me to go further in this field.


As I was here for my undergraduate degree, I had been living in Newcastle for four years before beginning postgraduate study and knew the area quite well. I rent a flat in Jesmond with a friend who was also an undergraduate here. The price is very modest for the area and I rent from a private landlord. I have rented from agents in the region before and although this was a fairly simple process, I prefer my current setup as I don’t have to pay agents’ fees!

Living in Newcastle

I like the size of the city – it isn’t too big and you can easily walk from one end to the other. Coming from the South of England I find everything really inexpensive, which is always a plus. And the people are very friendly too. There are great transport links with the Metro and buses. The town centre is great for shopping and there are plenty of cafes and bars. The nightlife caters for all tastes and there are often people from all over the UK travelling up to Newcastle for the weekend just to experience this. Outside of the city centre there are a lot of quiet residential areas, some with large student populations (like Jesmond), which is nice to come home to at the end of the day. I would definitely recommend this city to friends, whether for the weekend or a lifetime.

Remembering Newcastle

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Newcastle. After completing my postgraduate study I will have lived here for seven or eight years and I hope that I can stay in the region for many more years to come.