Namrah Shahid studied MChem, BSc Chemistry at the University of Leeds

Namrah Shahid

Why did you choose to study chemistry? 

At AS-Level, chemistry didn’t really interest me but when I got to A-Level a whole new realm of chemistry opened up and the depth of content increased massively and I found myself really enjoying it and my grades improved greatly because of it.

I guess I made the decision based on the fact that unlike my other A-levels, studying chemistry never felt like a chore. It was something I was happy to do and looked forward to (even the exams!).

Not only that but a degree in chemistry can open up many career pathways and so I figured that I had nothing to lose.

It’s by far the best choice I’ve made.

What attracted you to the University of Leeds?

It’s a highly regarded university and the facilities here are fantastic. Even though I’m from Leeds and I live at home, it still felt like a big and new experience to me. The campus is beautiful - it’s like our own little city within Leeds.

Did you visit us on an Open Day? Did you find that experience helpful in making your decision?

I missed out on the opportunity of coming to an Open Day so I contacted the School of Chemistry and they were kind enough to offer me a one-to-one tour.

This only helped in confirming that this is what I wanted to do and Leeds was where I saw myself for the next few years, so yes, it was very helpful.

Has your course lived up to your expectations so far?

I am really pleased with it so far! The content is challenging, which I enjoy and the modules and semesters are very well structured. It just takes a bit of time at the start getting used to it all, but once you get the hang of it, it’s just routine. 

Have you taken advantage of the flexibility of your course and enrolled in any discovery modules outside of chemistry?

In semester one, I enrolled in 2 modules outside of chemistry. They were; An introduction to Middle Eastern Studies, and Calculus and Mathematical Analysis. Two very different modules, both of which I enjoyed.

The maths module helped to remind me of the fundamentals of A-Level maths and I learnt some new topics which I have found to be used in chemistry. These modules were a great opportunity to meet people outside my course.

Have you joined any clubs and societies on campus? 

I’ve joined the University’s Islamic Society, which is great for making friends with common interests to me. The society always has events/socials going on so it gives me something to do and get really involved with - we’re like one big family!

It’s a really nice feeling belonging somewhere and being a part of something and I guess that’s what makes a society fun.

Do you have an idea of what you might like to do at the end of your course?

I have had many thoughts on this, a few of my ideas are; going into chemistry research of skin care products/cosmetics, going into the pharmaceutical industry (which is ideal if you study Medicinal Chemistry) and I’m also looking into studying for a bit longer and taking a postgraduate degree. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

If you like understanding how and why things are the way they are, application of theories and carrying out experiments, then chemistry is for you.

Come and visit us on an Open Day - it should give you a good indication if you can see yourself studying chemistry here at Leeds.