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The student experience

Current life science students discuss why they chose the subject
CHRIS HARRIGAN: Unlike most people, I didn’t go straight to university from school. I worked for a few years in finance because I thought that was the career path I wanted to take. But after working for a few banks, I quickly realised that it wasn’t, and I decided to pursue something that I actually had a keen interest in. So I made the decision to go to university back in 2013 and started in 2014. I enjoy genetics, as back at school that was the thing that I found most interesting. And I prefer molecular biology over macrobiology, because I like studying the things that can’t be seen, the things that aren’t so obvious.
RYAN SEDGLEY: When I first came to uni, I, like most people, had no idea what I eventually wanted to end up in. So especially with the life sciences programme at Glasgow University, it offers a broad range for you to study all different aspects of biology in the first two years. And you get to pick a specialty so you can cut out bits that you do or do not like or are not interested in. And then it’s only in third year that we start to specialise. So I’m now on the genetics course.
But I originally joined the uni on the neuroscience degree programme, so I’m really thankful that I was actually able to experience the genetic modules and realise that that was what I was actually in.
JULIE O’DONNEL: I just love university life. I love being part of a sports club. I’ve always liked learning, so obviously, uni was the number one place to go and do that after school. And I’ve always been really heavily involved in basketball, and I was able to bring that to uni with me. And I’m now president of the club. So it’s gone pretty well, yeah. This is a tough year, though. A lot to do.
DANIEL WOOD: You have a new freedom when you come to uni you don’t have in school. In school you’re always told where to go, what to do. But in uni, you go. You’re responsible for your own learning, and you meet loads of people. And you just– not that there’s no rules, but you’ve got your whole life straight in front of you.
JENNY REGAN:I’m interested it going into research. I’m interested in going into Parkinson’s and dementia after I finish my degree, mainly because my grandma was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when I was in third year, which then progressed into dementia. So when I was studying, what I wanted to do– I always wanted to go into research behind this, and this course gives you the opportunity to do that.
CHRIS HARRIGAN: I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in two internships during my time here and with organisations such as ScotGrad, they have very close links to the university and very close links to industry as well. They offer a range of places across Scotland for you to take part in, be it first, second, or at the end of your third year. The university itself also has a programme called “The Head of College Scholars list.” It’s subject to your exam grades, but if you do well enough, you have the opportunity to apply for funding, and you can work within research groups within the university.
So there’s lots of availability across the university and industry in terms of placements you can take part in, be it industry or research.
JENNY REGAN: Social life is the good part of the university, I would say. Everyone’s kind of open to going out for a night out and the union is the best place to meet new friends, and even after, if you’ve had a stressful day, just to go down for a few drinks with friends. Or even a Saturday night, if you don’t want to go out, just have a few drinks. It’s definitely a good place to meet your friends.
DANIEL WOOD: I’ve made so many friends since I’ve been at Glasgow, just through tutorial groups, labs, lessons, or even the social things like the sports clubs and societies. It’s really good for meeting new people and having just a great time.

Meet some current University of Glasgow life science students and hear what they have to say about their experience of university so far.

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