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Leicester Postgrad Alumni
Joe, PhD Student
"I finished my undergraduate Biological Science degree at the University of Leicester in 2015. During that time I’d had chance to work on a few lab based projects and was pretty confident I wanted to go on to do a PhD. For a year after my graduation, I took part in an internship program in the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology (GGB), to be sure that I wanted to commit to a career in research. During this time, I interacted with a number of different academics within the department and really benefited from seeing different perspectives of science and how research can be done. The following year I was offered PhD positions in Belfast and Birmingham, but chose to stay in Leicester. Firstly, I felt the environment fostered by GGB was very supportive of PGR students both pastorally and in their career ambitions. Secondly, I had built up a great support network of friends during my time in Leicester, which for me was really important when undertaking a PhD which can at times feel isolating. Lastly, Leicester has an exceptional reputation in many areas of Biological Sciences research – particularly in genetics. I feel that this reputation is founded on a great team of academics doing outstanding science, who are expertly placed to nurture the next generation of aspiring scientists. If I had to give anyone looking to do a PhD at Leicester a tip, it would be to try to get to know a bit about your prospective supervisor, both academically and personally. They will be your go-to for 4 years, and good working relationship can really make doing a PhD a great experience."
Daniel, MA Student
"I started my undergraduate degree in BA Film and the Visual Arts here at the University of Leicester back in 2015, and in 2019 I graduated with an MA in Film. It was never my intention to go on and study at Master’s level, but as I write this, I am now in the middle of applying for doctoral research and looking towards a career in academia. I pin this down to the fantastic one-on-one tutorship and access granted to me throughout my time at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I had a variety of other institutions I could have chosen from to continue my studies at, each with their individual specialties and benefits. For me, however, the only fitting option was remaining here. One of the major benefits of remaining within the institution direct from undergraduate is that you are continuing on an academic path with researchers and colleagues who have first-hand knowledge of your trajectory, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. In terms of my doctoral research, applications for further funding have proven to be incredibly competitive, but the whole process has been made so much clearer thanks to the clear commitment and help of my tutors. As someone with autism, I haven’t always had the easiest route through academia, so making the leap into postgraduate research was an undoubtedly daunting decision, as is the thought of a PhD. I have often felt inadequate or like an imposter, so that familiarity – both within my immediate environment and with colleagues – has been so essential towards my development."
Matt, MSc Student
"Once I finished my BA in Film and the Visual Arts at Leicester, I decided I wanted to stay in full time education and move onto a Masters in Marketing. I considered a range of University’s and spent a long time researching and looking into what would be the best move. At first, I wasn’t sure if staying Leicester was worthwhile as going somewhere else and starting fresh seemed an exciting prospect. However, there were a number or practical and logical benefits which ultimately led me to stay on.
Firstly, was the Centenary Alumni Discount - which gave me a 20% discount on fees. Anyone who has an undergraduate degree from Leicester is eligible for this. In addition to this the cost of the course itself was not badly priced against competitors – some of which were charging over £10,000 for UK and EU students. Combine this with the fact Leicester is one of the most affordable UK cities to rent and live, meant that financially it made a lot of sense. A lot of master’s students have to work to support themselves and Leicester provided a good range of job opportunities for me within retail and bars etc. Overall, the money I was able to save and earn by choosing Leicester went a long way in me being able to socialise and enjoy myself in my free time rather than continually worrying and stressing about meeting bills. But - even with these savings there were some financial stresses!! Masters is expensive so any savings you can make can go a long way.
Secondly, having done a 3-year course I still knew people in and around Leicester. Most of my friends had done either a year abroad or were on a 4-year course. This meant I had friends to live with and it was easy to find accommodation and go to house / flat viewings towards the end of my third year. If you are changing subject like I did, having the familiarity and security of being at the same university and having people that you know can go a long way in helping you settle and get up to speed on your new course. I still also met a ton of new people and got to have new experiences on my course, so it wasn’t just a case of more of the same. Overall it was a good decision for me, and I think I made the right call."
Bethan, MSc Student
“I started my undergrad at the University of Leicester in 2014 studying BA American Studies (with a year abroad). I loved my degree and am glad I chose to study it as it was the best decision for me at the time, however I hadn’t chosen it with an end career goal in mind. After I graduated I started to consider a career in marketing, and having little knowledge surrounding the skills needed to pursue this I decided to look into doing a Master’s Degree.
I studied MSc Marketing for the Creative Industries and it really helped in focusing my career goals and exposing me to the business world. I knew I wanted to stay in the Midlands and strongly considered going to University of Loughborough and Birmingham City University, however was priced out of them both. I didn’t have a lot of savings due to the Master’s being a last minute decision, so not only did the Alumni Discount really help sway my decision to Leicester, I also had the job security of carrying on as a student ambassador and knowing the property market well enough to find a cheaper letting. On top of this I had the added advantage of getting other part time work secured ahead of September through being alumni of the University.
It would have been fun to study somewhere new, but I was grateful of how easy it was to transition to my Master’s (particularly with it being a different subject) through still having some friends here and knowing the city and campus well, plus I still had lots of opportunities to meet new people!”
Neelam, PhD Student
"Studying Biological Sciences (Genetics) at the University of Leicester gave me first-hand experience of campus and the quality of teaching, which encouraged me to apply for an MSc in Molecular Genetics at the university. The MSc provided me with hands on experience with a broad range of experimental techniques, research strategies and a thorough understanding of current genetics concepts, which are applicable to modern research. Even though the course was demanding and challenging, it was the ideal steppingstone to undertake a career in research. The taught phase MScs provided by the School of Biological Sciences are excellent as they include a 6 months laboratory research project in which you become part of an active research group and employ modern approaches and technologies to solve research questions. After completing the MSc, I started working as a Departmental Technician for Genetics and Genome Biology. I was then fortunate to enrol onto a part-time PhD program at Leicester, helping me towards my goal of a career in research. Studying a part-time postgraduate degree whilst working full-time can be challenging and requires good organisation and time management skills, but the supportive atmosphere of the department make it an extremely fulfilling experience."