Lauren Bailey

MChem Chemistry Student (4th Year)

What made you decide to study at UCLan?

Originally, I hadn’t considered studying at UCLan, but had applied because I was looking for a university in the northwest and heard it was very good. After attending an applicant day, I was able to meet the friendly academic staff and technicians, as well as see the fantastic facilities and great industrial opportunities on offer for students. Since beginning my studies, the research opportunities and quality of teaching available at UCLan has ensured that I made the right decision.

What was it that attracted you to the course specifically?

Initially, the friendliness of the staff and lab facilities attracted me to this course. During the applicant day, we were given the chance to take part in a small lab session, while having a brief experience of working in the teaching labs. We were also able to talk one-on-one with lecturers, where we learnt further about the content of the course. This aided me when choosing an MChem degree as I was very interested by the prospect of learning advanced material. 

What are the facilities like?

The facilities are very good. The teaching labs are stocked with the equipment required for the level of practical sessions of the corresponding year groups. The 3rd and 4th year teaching lab consists of all equipment and chemicals needed to independently carry out the required lab work, either dissertations or group projects. The analytical suite is accessible to all students - undergraduate and postgraduate - and students are given hands-on experience of analytical equipment such as NMR, FT-IR, HPLC, SEM and XRD from the beginning of the undergraduate degree. The library and IT resources are also very good; there are many computers available all over campus, and the library services allow all students access to various textbooks and scientific journals essential for research and study.

What is the teaching like?

Many chemistry lecturers are very approachable; they are always willing to help and never turn down a student needing additional support. The lecture group sizes are very good, they’re small enough to allow interactive lectures and tutorials, meaning students are confident enough to ask for help when necessary.

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

I have completed two summer placements during my time at UCLan.

The first of which was a voluntary internship, all lecturers are more than willing to accept voluntary research interns during both university breaks and term time. The second of my placements was a paid internship, funded by the university (part of the University Undergraduate Research Internship Programme which offers paid summer internships across all schools in the university). Both placements gave me additional lab experience and massively helped when completing future university assignments that included writing in professional formats. Furthermore, the internships gave me experience as an independent researcher with my own research project. I have gained lots of industrial aid from each UCLan summer placement; for example, I have been named as a co-author on numerous research papers under preparation, as well my work being presented at a professional conference.

Any tips to prospective students?

My major piece of advice is to take advantage of all the industrial opportunities UCLan offers. These internships will massively help when applying for future positions, whether internal or external. During the completion of the internships, all students I have encountered (including myself) have made strong bonds with the academics and researchers. These relationships are also vital as the academics will always provide industrial contacts and further placement opportunities throughout your degree and when considering postgraduate studies or applying for jobs.

As well as intra-university internships, UCLan gives career advice and advertises internships at large companies, AstraZeneca being one.

29 March 2019