Claudia Thompson (Chemistry UG)

Claudia Thompson

Tell us about your course and what it involves?

I’m a second year chemistry student at the University of Leeds. I really enjoy the course here – it is split up into organic, inorganic, physical and analytical which allows you to get a real idea for which areas you are most passionate about and can push yourself the furthest.

What do you like best about studying chemistry?

I love how chemistry not only gives me the opportunity to learn new skills but also apply them. The contact hours may be longer than most degrees and it can be challenging at times, but the support available from lecturers and tutors is excellent and the social nature of the course means you are never too far from a push in the right direction. We are encouraged to be proactive and have good time management – the department focuses a lot on developing our employability skills and preparing us for after our degrees.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Leeds?

The University of Leeds has a fantastic study abroad programme, which was one of the many reasons why I chose to come to Leeds. I had the choice of studying almost anywhere in the world, and, after a very simple application process, I am very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Calgary (Canada) next academic year.
Beyond the labs and lecture theatres there is vibrant social scene – the chemistry society offers the opportunity to join in with sporting and social events with course mates. Chemistry is surprisingly a very sociable subject.

What is it like to live and study in Leeds?

Leeds is the ultimate place to be a student – there really is something for everyone. Despite being a campus university it is only a five minute walk from the town centre, making it an ideal location for anything from shopping and going out for dinner to going to gigs and clubbing! The nightlife is varied, with something for everyone. The music scene is second to none! 

What are the sports teams and societies like?

Outside of my degree I have had the pleasure of captaining the university’s first competing ballet team. When I found out the ballet society didn’t have a competing squad I decided to get involved and started the first competition team. This just goes to show that if there’s something you’re passionate about but the university doesn’t yet offer it, the opportunities exist for you to do something about it.

What is the best part about studying chemistry at the University of Leeds?

One of the best parts of studying chemistry at Leeds is that many of the teaching staff at Leeds also have research projects at the university – this allows them to integrate their work into our lecture courses, opening our eyes to possibilities of pursuing careers in their fields. As a result of this, I have been attracted to research in the field of developing anti-cancerous organometallic drugs.

And final thoughts?

Studying at Leeds is allowing me to fulfil my potential as not only am I improving as a chemist, but I am developing skills outside of the discipline – particularly through being encouraged to become a better leader, take more initiative and most importantly have fun!