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Joseph Patrick Taylor Luery

Applied Science Extended Degree into Applied Chemistry MChem

Where are you from?

Newcastle Upon Tyne

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I love doing practical work (working in labs) and my chosen course here has approximately 40% of the course as practical based, meaning even at the lowest levels, I'll be in the labs at least once a week - compared to other universities that only have a lab once fortnight as a maximum.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle is my favourite city in the UK that I've been to; it has everything you could ever want from a city: culture, nightlife and affordability. We're also never more than a 5 or 10 minute walk from an open green area, which I really value.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

The friendliness of the people up here never fails to amaze me. No matter who you are, there's always someone who's got the time for you, especially on on the bus home.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

It was a pretty good experience starting at Northumbria, the students union organise massive events for everyone in their first year to make sure you find the right friend group and all get along well.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

It's a tie between Anne Willis, who runs the foundation year and will stop at nothing to make sure you settle down here, and Jon Bookham, the Applied Chemistry programme leader. He makes the most boring of subjects interest you, and manages to get some of the best attended lectures.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

That's got to be Bookham aswell, explaining why we should try and take a placement year and a masters year and what it means for our lives and careers once we leave uni.

What is your favourite place on campus?

It's got to be NB317, it's a medium-sized computer room that 99% of the time, doesn't have any lectures going on inside it, also it's a smart card access, meaning only students who do a science course can use it.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?

I'm a committee member on the student-lead chemistry society, I'm a STEM ambassador and I'm also on the committee for the local section of the RSC.

What is the best thing about your course?

The practical sessions, when you graduate one of the most important things - after having a good degree - is that you have some practical experience, here we do as much as we can in the labs, from boring titrations to synthesising the weird and wonderful.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

Revise for open book exams, start your lab coursework in the same week you get it and don't spend your entire student loan on booze in the first week - going on a diet of super noodles and baked beans isn't fun.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

I want to some day complete a Ph.D and I want to work within the industry. Long-term plans are to co-start a chemicals company with my course mate.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Take advantage of the help you can get from your lecturers, they really don't mind staying back and explaining things to you, no matter how stupid you may think your question is.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Definitely.


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