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Paul Henderson

Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical-Sciences_Student_Paul-HendersonWhat appealed to you about Northumbria University and studying in Newcastle?

Northumbria is a very modern University, keeping up to date with all modern practices.  The lecturers teach students to a very high standard, giving them every possible opportunity for their life after university. Newcastle is such a vibrant city with a great nightlife full of friendly people making it the ideal place to study.

What was it about the course / subject area that particularly appealed?

Biomedical Sciences always appealed to me as I always had a keen passion for human biology. To gain a good base of knowledge in the area of human health and disease provides an excellent grounding for me to hopefully move on to a career in research in the near future.  The University also offers excellent postgraduate courses that, as I come closer to the end of my degree, are of real interest to me.    

What qualifications did you have?

I applied for my course through UCAS while doing my A levels, gaining a conditional offer of achieving 260 UCAS points, I achieved a B in Biology, a C in Chemistry and a C in History. 

How did you feel during your first week at Northumbria?

My first week at Northumbria was initially a bit daunting, however once realising that all the new students around me were feeling exactly the same I felt more confident and happier about studying at Northumbria. Everyone was so friendly making me feel very relaxed and at home.

What was enrolment or induction like?

My first week at Northumbria was excellent, induction week cleared up anything I was unsure about on my course allowing to prepare for the year ahead, then fresher’s nights out allowed me to meet other students from all over the University on many courses, making many great new friends.

What do you like most about the course?

My course is an excellent grounding for any future career in science. The ability to learn about up-to-date modern techniques on an accredited course gives me a great advantage over other students. However what really stands out for me is the people I have met; fellow students on my course are all amazing friends, who I hope to keep in touch with after my life at university.

Can you give an example of a piece of work you’ve been involved with recently and what it involves?

Work that I am involved in recently is a piece of novel research, growing a cancerous cell line to test the effects of certain molecules within the body on chemotherapeutic agents. It is a great project to be involved in on the cutting edge of a certain area of cancer research, which could possibly be published in a scientific journal if meaningful results are obtained.

Do you have the opportunity for any work placements during your course?

There is great opportunity to undertake work placements. This can either be by the applied route where students work two days a week in a hospital, allowing them to carry out the course full time and getting paid a similar wage to a part time job, or by taking a year out to work before returning for the final year. Particularly in Biomedical Science there are a number of hospitals close to the University that students are able to work in, meaning they don’t have to move away or travel too far. 

What do you do when you’re not studying?

When not studying, I have a part time job in a department store called John Lewis which is a good way to earn a little bit more money. However my real passion is sport, something which is great in Newcastle and Northumbria. There is a huge array of sporting clubs from judo to yoga that are all reasonably priced.  I am a member of a local running club which meet two nights a week and enter many races across the North East. I enjoy rock climbing and, with many indoor walls around Newcastle and more to open soon, it’s a great sport to be involved in.  I also enjoy hill walking and camping, with Northumberland a short drive from Newcastle it’s a perfect place to get away for a weekend.    

What’s your accommodation like?

Being from Newcastle I remained at home throughout my time at university.

What would you like to do when you graduate?

After graduation I am still unsure as to what I would like to do; however over the summer I got a job as a student associate through the University, where I worked in a school for three weeks.  I really enjoyed the school environment and even had the chance to do some teaching to year 9 students.  However I would like to see the industrial side of science before maybe going into teaching.  My research project that I am currently involved in is very interesting and is something I would like to carry on with after my degree.  I might explore working in research at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.

How do you get on with your tutors?

The tutors are great.  Their open door policy means they are there to help in any aspect of your study.  As many of them have extensive scientific backgrounds they are great to talk to about future careers. Every student is given a guidance tutor who is on hand to deal with any problems you have throughout your time at university.  Being in my final year I have also been assigned a project supervisor who is really helping me with my final project, keeping me on track and helping me with any problems that occur. 

Have you used Student Services during your course?

The University offers a great student service that offers help with everything from accommodation problems to exam revision help. I have never used them myself but hear nothing but good reports from other students.

Do you have any advice for anyone applying for your course, or for university in general?

Pick a course that you enjoy, something you have a real passion for and find interesting, that way you will get the most out of your time at university. Be careful with your loan as it's easy to spend it all as soon as you get it, however it will go faster than you think, have fun but ration it wisely. Take a look at everything the University has to offer from charity work to sports clubs when you start and make the most of everything you can, you only get a short amount of time here so make the most of it. There are certain sports clubs and other things I am just finding out about in my final year and wished I had known about when I started.    

What three words would you use to describe your time at Northumbria?

Exciting, Enjoyable, Stimulating  

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