Chlöe Foster

MChem Student

What made you decide to study at UCLan?

I decided to study at UCLan after coming to an offer day. The staff were very welcoming and enthusiastic, as were all the student volunteers. They all assured me that there was always something to do alongside my course despite Preston not being very big, these things included various societies and sports clubs as well as pub quizzes and social events within my own course.

The close location of the halls and town centre also meant that travelling was going to be very easy as everything is within walking distance, including the train station.

What was it that attracted you to the course specifically?

I had always enjoyed chemistry during school and the range of topics in the UCLan chemistry course really appealed to me as I didn’t know what I wanted to focus on.

The smaller class size also played a big role in my decision to study at UCLan as this would mean that the lectures are more interactive, and it would be easy to get help when needed.

What are the facilities like?

My lectures have mostly been focused in Leighton Building and the rooms fit the class size perfectly so that everyone can see the board and hear everything being said. The lab work all takes place in JB Firth which is where most of the staff offices are as well. The labs are spacious and allow for a range of experiments to be done, they are also wheelchair accessible. The analytical suite has a range of different pieces of equipment with a technician always on hand to help you with whatever is needed. Since being a student here I have used most of the analytical equipment with guidance including NMR machines, IR, ICP-OES, SEM and XRD machines.

What is the teaching like?

Teaching technique varies with lecturers and modules. Most lectures are very interactive and involve problem solving and example exam questions being asked on the topics that have recently been covered. There are opportunities for discussion and most of the lecturers are happy for you to go and see them whenever you need help. Lab sessions are supervised by a lecturer and a demonstrator who ensure that everyone knows what they are doing and are being safe.

Have you been involved in any projects?

I have been involved in coursework presentations that involve working in pairs to research around a given topic and then presenting findings to the rest of the class and lecturers. The audience will then ask questions and you will be given feedback. I understand that as I move into my third and fourth years, project work will become a larger proportion of the course and I look forward to the new areas of chemistry that this will open up for me.

Have you had to overcome any obstacles during your time at UCLan?

Before coming to UCLan I was very confident in most areas but knew I had weaknesses that would cause my grades to drop. These weaknesses lie in organic chemistry and during these lectures towards the start of my course I would try and hide, however, since having classes that focus heavily on this topic, I have realised that the best way to learn is to just have a go. If I get it wrong the lecturers point me in the right direction and I get there eventually.  

Could you please give us an overview of the work you have done on placement and how you’ve found the experience?

As I am only in my second year, I have not taken part in a placement yet. However, in July 2019 I start my first industrial placement. It is a twelve-month placement and I hope to gain a lot of great experience working in industry and narrow down my ideas of what I might want to focus on as a career.

One memory that sticks out from your time at UCLan so far?

I will always remember my first week at UCLan, I had moved a long way from home and all of my flatmates were local, but they made me feel so welcome and I settled in very quickly. I have also had great times with my friends on the course and we regularly enjoy time together outside of lectures and labs whether this is lunch or going on nights out.

Any tips to prospective students?

Don’t let not knowing anyone stop you from doing anything. If you want to join a club or society but don’t know anyone else think of it as a great opportunity to make friends and gain new skills and experiences.

11 April 2019