- Course: Chemical Biology MSc
Why did you decide to study for the MSc in Chemical Biology?
I did my undergraduate degree in Greece and I majored in both bio-chemistry and organic-synthesis and I just wanted something which fell into the interdisciplinary field; into the interface between chemistry and biology and understanding the chemistry of what cells use as products and how they conduct their chemical reactions. It’s quite fascinating. So that was the main reason but the University of Leeds was also proposed to me by one of my supervising professors in Greece. I applied to other universities as well but this was my main goal.
What made you decide to do a Masters specifically then?
I wanted to do a PhD as I had an idea that I wanted to follow an academic career but I wasn’t totally sure about that and so I thought that I would do a Masters first and see how that went. It was a great decision as I have now been accepted for a PhD and I am about three months into my PhD.
How did you find the facilities here compared to what you had in Greece?
They were like night and day really. Unfortunately Greek universities don’t have as much money or funding and so being able to just queue my NMR samples was just amazing because in Greece we had to book our one hour slots to get our NMR samples and so the system wasn’t as automated. The facilities here are absolutely fantastic; you have everything you need just at the tips of your fingers which means you can get on and just do science which is just amazing.
How have you found the teaching?
Well, there were ups and downs. I can remember at first having difficulties expressing myself in English but that didn’t go on for long. I didn’t have problems understanding the professors though. The level of teaching however, was amazing. Of course I can’t compare it with a Masters in a Greek university but I had suggestions that I didn’t have during my undergraduate degree. So the lecturers would put some references on a slide so that I could go and look them up if I was interested in them. It was great.
How was your first time living here?
Well it was my first time here in Leeds and in the UK and so last year it was cold with the snow and I am very pleased that this year it hasn’t been as harsh. So this is something that you have to work with. But other than that I think that the UK has solid academic foundations; the universities have been in the UK since the 1400’s and so there is a strong academic mentality which is what I enjoy.
What would you say to other students thinking of coming to study a Masters at Leeds?
Don’t give it a second thought, come here, you will love it. I truly loved it. I had my second thoughts of course as everybody does but it’s not until you get here that you realise ‘phew I made the right choice’.