Holly Roberts

Holly Roberts

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Holly was attracted to Leeds for several reasons. The fact that it is a campus university - so it’s condensed but still in the city centre means everything is nearby – was one important consideration Obviously the course itself was vital to her decision-making too. Holly noticed that there was a lot of variability in the module choices – such as astrophysics, theoretical physics, and medical physics. There is also lots of innovation and research too – not just within the university but in Leeds itself – which is great for internship/job prospects. The combination proved to be an appealing mix. 

“I chose to study physics as I have always been a curious person. Instead of just accepting why something behaves the way it does, I want to know why – and being challenged motivates me. I also liked the research some of the academics do, so I wanted to have the chance to get more involved in this.”

New people and a stimulating environment

For Holly, one of the best aspects of going to university has been meeting lots of new people as she explains: “The students are all friendly and everyone is happy to help each other (even students in different years). Also, the staff are so helpful and all have a genuine interest for you to learn and do well.”

Another great aspect for Holly is the campus at Leeds. It has a lot of libraries and study spaces, so everyone can always find somewhere best suited to what they need to work or socialise. Holly also says: “There’s plenty of coffee shops to get that needed caffeine fix and places like Old Bar are perfect if you need something stronger after a long day!”

And as a city, Leeds has something for everyone. There are plenty of parks for walks, lots of different restaurants and cafes, a good nightlife scene. It also has a well-integrated campus, so students feel part of the city too while still feeling safe.

Exciting projects

Holly was lucky enough to do a summer internship between her second and final year in the molecular and nanoscale physics group. She assisted in the research of a lateral flow assay for colorectal cancer detection which was exciting because it meant performing research into something no one has done before.

For her final year project, Holly carried out research into uncertainties that arise during lung cancer radiotherapy treatment. This allowed her to become familiar with medical journals and look at data relating to patients. The best part of this project was that it’s a current issue within radiotherapy departments, so it is interesting to be performing research that is useful.

Ambitions for the future

Holly says the course has been both challenging and rewarding. She’s certainly enjoyed meeting a broad range of people and that has helped her to create a network and understand better how to build strong relationships with people – all of which will help her as she enters the workplace 

“Throughout my degree I have found a passion for medical physics. I love the idea of being able to put my degree to good use by helping people and researching ways to improve healthcare. I am hoping to progress into a role in medical research/engineering.”

Holly has some excellent advice to share with future students too. 

“Physics is a challenging but rewarding course. Even if you feel like you are finding it hard or maybe have a bit of imposter syndrome (something I struggled with), you’re definitely not alone and it’s important to make the most of talking to the people around you and not being afraid to ask for support. Also, make sure you find that work-life balance otherwise you can burn yourself out!”