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Rabia Gafoor

Career Path: MSc in Paleopathology

What appealed to you about Northumbria University / studying in Newcastle?

I chose Northumbria University as the course and department were well respected, with lecturers who had extensive experience within the field. As a local to the area, moving away to another university/area never appealed to me, especially when I had such a respectable and outstanding university on my doorstep!

What did you do after you graduated?

After achieving my Bachelors I knew that I wanted to increase my understanding and knowledge in a subject that I had briefly visited during my final year at Northumbria; the study of skeletal bones. As Durham has a world class Archaeology department I decided to apply for Paleopathology; the study of trauma and diseases in human remains.

What are you doing now?

I am about to start my MSc in Paleopathology at Durham University.

What did this process entail? 

To apply for a place at Durham University I had to complete an application form and attach the transcript of all the modules that I had studied in my 3 year undergraduate degree. Two references were required from lecturers to verify my grades. I also had to include a personal statement regarding the reasons why I chose to study that particular subject at that university. My interests, hobbies and relevant experience also came under  close scrutiny during this process. 

How did your degree benefit you applying for an  MSc at Durham?

The variety of modules that I studied during my three years at Northumbria University allowed me to accomplish an unconditional offer from Durham University. Some of the modules that I studied were not available to students carrying out the same course at a different university and I found that this helped me substantially, for example statistics and chemometrics are not normally included in a forensic science course at other locations, but the fact that I had achieved a good mark in these modules impressed the staff at Durham University, as these skills may be required during my MSc course.

As my course included an optional industrial placement year I found that the lecturers at Northumbria really improved my chances in getting a placement. Numerous meetings were held between students and potential employers in order for presentations and aptitude tests to be carried out within the university campus.  During the interview process I found that the advice and help that I received from the academic staff gave me the confidence to impress my future employers, earning me a highly coveted job at a prestigious pharmaceutical company in Durham, GlaxoSmithKline.

Is there anything else you would like to add about Northumbria University?

I couldn’t have asked for anything more from a university. The knowledge and support available to students is exceptional, while the location, nightlife and facilities make it an unforgettable experience!

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