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Rebecca Rodney

Biology with Forensic Biology

Biology-with-Forensic-Biology_Student_Rebecca-RodneyWhat appealed to you about Northumbria University / studying in Newcastle?

I had heard a lot of good things about Northumbria University from people already studying here. Northumbria University has a really good reputation and the Open Day confirmed that it was the place for me. I am originally from Cumbria and had visited Newcastle regularly and loved the city, it was also ideal that I wasn’t too far away from home.

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

I have always been interested in biology and chemistry but decided to follow the biology route because I love lab work. The combination of biology with forensic seemed really interesting and gave me more routes to follow in the future when deciding on a job.

What qualifications did you have?

I continued on to university from sixth form, with all my GCSEs and three A levels. I applied to university through UCAS and carried out this procedure at sixth form with the help of teachers there.

How did you feel during your first week at Northumbria?

My first week at Northumbria University brought a lot of feelings. I was really excited being in a new city and all the activities during fresher’s week make it very enjoyable. I also felt homesick but the vast amount of activities helped to keep my mind off things and to settle in easier.

What do you like most about the course?

The course involves a lot of lab based work which I really enjoy; it means that you can actually get hands-on experience which is a good attribute to have when looking for a job. All the staff are very helpful and all have experience in their area of interest which makes the teaching easier to understand.

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

For my dissertation project I am researching different bacteria to find possible new antibiotics. This involves a lot of independent work in the labs by isolating and culturing the bacteria. The project tutors and lab technicians are always there to help and support you with your research. The course is very demanding and has a high work load, however it is manageable and the support given and the work you put in is clearly reflected in the marks you achieve.  

How do you get on with your tutors?

The tutors are easy to get along with and are there to help whenever you need them. They are also very understanding when you have problems out of university and try to ensure your work is not affected.

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

Work placements are available between your second and third year, I chose not to carry out a work placement as I found it important to finish my studies while I was in the habit of working. Some people from our course did attend a placement and emails are sent out to students all the time to inform you of available opportunities if you are interested in a placement.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

In my spare time I like to catch up with my friends and have a good laugh. I also love to dance so I attend a class at dance city. I am also a typical girl so love to shop and Newcastle is a great place to do this. The nightlife here is really good and will fulfill the needs of any party animal. I don’t have a part time job because I like to be free at weekends for when I want to visit home but a part time job is achievable with this course if you are able to fulfil the workload needs alongside a job.

What’s your accommodation like?

In my first year I lived in university halls, mine was Quay Point, they were really nice for student accommodation and my flat mates were a great match to me. All the halls are close to the University and are very secure. In my second and third year I lived in a house and there is a lot of student houses and accommodation available to suit different needs.

What would you like to do when you graduate?

When I graduate I am interested in working in a lab carrying out research. This is different to what I wanted to do when I first started the course, because I was interested in working for the Forensic Science Service but my mind has been changed during the course.

Have you used Student Services during your course?

I personally have not used the Student Services however I am aware of what services are available and do plan on using the careers services over the next few month to help me prepare for interviews and make a good CV.

Have you used Student Services during your course?

Make sure you pick a course you are interested in because you have to study this particular subject for three years and if you don’t enjoy it then it is unlikely you will do well in it. It is also important to try and get a lot of credits in your second year because third year is hard work and if you lose marks in your third year, your second year marks can pick up your final grade.

Apply for your accommodation as early as possible because where you live will affect how you feel and if you are unhappy with anything at all speak to someone they will do their best to help you out.

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

Interesting, Challenging, Fun


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