Undergraduate study

Student testimonials

Ranked Top Five in the UK for overall student satisfaction in Chemistry (National Student Survey 2017), our staff pride themselves on the supportive and stimulating environment they have created within the Department of Chemistry. Find out what our students say about us below.

Here's what some of our students, past and present, have to say about their experiences:

Robert Lee (Chemistry)

With such a deep insight into all branches of chemistry, it’s hard not to find something you enjoy.

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Sophie Millett (Chemistry)

I’m hoping to do a PhD in drug research. My course is really helping me to achieve this goal by teaching me the necessary research and practical skills.

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Anita Cooper (Chemistry)

I chose Loughborough initially because of sporting reputation, but after visiting the campus I found that the University has excellent science and engineering departments. What most appealed was having the opportunity to study, work in the lab, socialise and play sport all in one place – to equally high standards!

I really like Chemistry as a subject. Sometimes it’s abstract and seemingly random, but when it all comes together it’s unbelievable what can be explained. The lecturers are very thorough and supportive. They will see you outside of lectures via appointment if you are confused about anything.

I would like to get into petrochemistry and biofuels in the future and I feel the organic chemistry modules will be beneficial to this line of work. I would also like to do an industry placement so I can eventually go into a field of work where I can use my degree.

Roberto King (Chemistry with Sports Science)

What made you study BSc Hons Chemistry and Sport Science?

When deciding on my university course selections, I was keen to study sports science, preferably at Loughborough. I was conscious, however, of allowing my potential career options to be kept open and therefore decided on a joint honours programme with a science subject as I’d always had an interest in science. Loughborough fortunately offered Chemistry with sports science and that was my course of choice.

What made you decide to study at Loughborough University?

The main appeal initially was the sporting prowess Loughborough University had to offer. In addition, I had lived in Loughborough for several years prior to starting university and at the time my A-Levels were drawing to completion, my family moved out of the area. It made sense for me to stay and complete my degree at Loughborough instead of moving with them.

What did you enjoy best about studying at Loughborough?

I just love the atmosphere around the campus! It’s such a great place to study with something for everyone. There is a superb balance between academic and extra-curricular activities and the campus as University as a whole really tries to get all the students involved wherever possible.

What did you enjoy best about studying within the Department of Chemistry?

I think the most enjoyable aspect of my degree was the almost ‘family’ type feel I got from my time spent in the Department of Chemistry. There was certainly a sense of belonging passed onto the students and I made a lot of friends both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The degree programme was well structured with timely lectures integrating into lab classes. The equipment on site is superb and staff were only too pleased to help as and when required.
How do you think your undergraduate degree has helped you over the years?

I think an individual’s undergraduate degree always serves as the foundations for future employment and life choices in general. Personally, my degree helped me develop laboratory skills and work practices that were new at the time and gave me a taste for scientific research. I enjoyed practically seeing how the theory I learnt in lectures actually manifested itself in glassware I was using for my practical’s. I also feel that my degree helped me appreciate what is involved with self-directed learning; that is, where I chose to be self‑sufficient and go away and research things in order to compliment the lecture material taught to me. These skills are vital for a career within the physical sciences.

What would you say to a prospective student now considering coming to Loughborough to study Chemistry?

Go for it! There is such a buzz around the department and we are always seeking to better the facilities and teaching methods available to us, as new opportunities arise. It is very much a pro-active department with friendly, knowledgeable staff and a great social calendar. You will be made to feel welcome from the outset and have the very best student experience!

Jack Daley (Chemistry and Sports Science)

The most compelling reason to join Loughborough's Chemistry department is the amount of hands-on lab-work that you can get involved with in the early stages of the course and the high end facilities that the University offers to its students.

My main reason for coming here was the uniqueness of the Chemistry and Sports Science BSc course, allowing me to combine the two disciplines I am deeply passionate about into one degree program, providing me with diversity and distinction in my choice of study.

I enjoy the camaraderie of having a slightly smaller course size. This has led to strong friendships being built and a tight group of colleagues during lab-work. Teaching is of a high standard too. Lecturers are always providing opportunities for you to come to them with questions and they offer help whenever you ask for it.

One of the things I like best about being a Loughborough student are the diverse opportunities available for sporting involvement, and also the effort made by the departments to provide employment possibilities for your sandwich year or post-graduation. I hope to move into a PGCE year here at Loughborough University so I can train to become a chemistry teacher.

I’d advise anyone thinking of going to university to definitely think carefully about where is right for you, but the Loughborough experience - from the Students’ Union, to the sport and obviously the degree and employment possibilities - has proved a great choice for me. And my course mates can definitely attest to that too.

Lucy Rogers (Chemistry MChem)

The campus format at Loughborough is very appealing, it makes student life easy, rather than feeling trapped. It is one of the few universities that offer a Chemistry course tailored towards Forensic Science, so this was of real interest. The campus itself is very green and has everything you need within a short walk away.

I chose to study Chemistry MChem because I had studied Chemistry at A level and wanted to pursue a career in Forensic Science. Instead of choosing to take a Forensic Science course I thought that the Chemistry course would be more beneficial. It is hard to know what you might want to do 3-5 years down the line when you are just 18. So I thought a broader subject choice would allow me to focus my studies later on when I had experienced more in life, both educationally and socially.

The course is quite fast paced which is good as it means you get to learn from a wide range of areas of chemistry and the variety makes the studying more motivating. I prefer analytical chemistry, and the forensics modules are obviously my first subject choice. I had the opportunity to sequence and study my own DNA in the Forensic DNA module which was very exciting. Practical lab classes are a great way for you to fully understand and apply what is taught in lectures

I particularly enjoyed my year in industry and Loughborough has a range of placements on offer. It was an invaluable and a good decision to do it, and another factor that attracted me to the particular course and university. My placement in the toxicology department at King’s College Hospital was well worth extending my degree by a year. I got the opportunity to live in London on a wage and had a taste of full time 9-5 working life. My employers were keen for me to experience as much as possible during my time there, so I attended conference/lecture days, witnessed some post mortem procedures, and spent a day in the A&E department, as well progressing through the routine work. After nine months I was confident enough to pass my knowledge on to other employees who were being trained.

The opportunities and the status of the University is apparent from people’s responses when I tell them that I study at Loughborough. I love the social atmosphere and the fact that I have tried so many new things here. I have made some friends for life and I would not choose to go to any other university.

There are so many social opportunities to take part in - different events and clubs every year. So far I’ve been part of the Ballroom Dancing Society, have volunteered for the RNIB College, raised money for RAG charity event ‘Escape and Evade’, tackled the 3 peaks challenge, and I have joined the Student Rowing Club. I have lived in halls of residence for my whole degree so far, which is the best way to get the most out of the social atmosphere. The Students’ Union is one of the best in the country and the University is, of course, famous for its class of sport.

The local town offers some fantastic clubs, high street shops, restaurants and a cinema, but Leicester and Nottingham are not far away if you want to visit a bigger city. The work and social life experience here is one of the best in the country and the course gives an insight into so many different areas of chemistry that there is something to be enjoyed by everyone!

Sunil Rajput (Chemistry MChem)

My attraction to Loughborough University was both its relative position in the University league tables for Chemistry and the sporting aspect. Attending the open day secured my interest in the department and the area where I wanted to conduct the next 4 to 5 years of my life. I chose Chemistry because I enjoyed it from a very young age and because I knew it was something that can be developed. Looking at the bigger picture, research was always what I wanted to end up doing and that's currently where I am in my life now. I took the Foundation Year, which was a very big help to me, enabling me to enter the course despite not having the right A-Level grades.

I enjoy laboratory work most about the course. The experience gained in different techniques and using new and upcoming equipment was very enjoyable. I liked most of the modules where there was hands on lab work. Therefore, my favourite modules would have to include the research projects conducted in my third and fourth year, plus all the organic modules. The teaching quality is of a high standard. Sometimes things do go wrong or you find that work can be stressful but I found that talking to lecturers to find out what could be done in certain situations was very helpful over the years.

I have acquired a PhD position in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham. The research follows on from my specialisation of synthetic chemsitry and will allow me to apply it to both biological and physical aspects. The project entails designing enzyme responsive polymers to stimulate neuronal networks.

My advice to prospective students would be to make sure you know what you're letting yourself in for. Make sure you research all the modules as well as the experiences you will be gaining. Loughborough is also one of the two departments in the country to host a radiochemistry department, giving you additional experience you wouldn't gain elsewhere.

The best thing about being a student at Loughborough University was the friends and connections I have made. The facilities for both social and sporting activities are also amazing (even if you aren't a pro-athlete), giving the chance for everyone to get involved. The atmosphere is what you make of it - there are activities, social events and sporting opportunities to get involved in - which I personally thought was brilliant. Living in halls of residence in my first year was an amazing experience.

Daniel O' Flynn (Chemistry MChem)

I was really impressed with the Chemistry department, the campus and the sports facilities available.

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Paul Brack (Chemistry MChem)

Loughborough appealed for several reasons: its reputation as an excellent university, academically and in terms of the student experience; the extent and diversity of the facilities available on campus; and its proximity to good transport links, meaning that I would be able to visit other places easily. Also, because I grew up in a small village and don’t enjoy the hustle, bustle and hassle of living in and getting around large, crowded cities, I always wanted to attend a campus university. I wanted to make sure that I was going to study a high quality programme and so the first thing I checked was whether or not the courses were accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which they were and still are. I felt the courses at Loughborough gave a broad overview of all the branches of chemistry, thus leaving lots of scope for different career choices at the end of the degree. I was also particularly attracted by the prospect of completing a year in industry (which I did, spending a year at AstraZeneca from July 2010 to July 2011).

One of the great things about studying Chemistry at Loughborough is the amount of time we spend doing chemistry. Most of the modules in the first two years involve going into the laboratory and getting hands-on experience of doing the chemistry that you have learned about in lectures. This can be challenging, but it is great preparation for the longer research projects carried out in Parts C and D. In the first year module CMA003 (Spectroscopy and the Structure of the Universe), we learned about the key role of chemistry in the history of the universe, and indeed, the development of life on this planet. It really helped to put everything else that we were learning into context and illustrated the importance of chemistry in our everyday lives. Teaching is excellent. Lectures and lecture notes are clear. Small group workshops are often used to work through more difficult concepts, and are very helpful, and staff are always available to help if you really can’t understand something yourself.

In October I start a PhD under the supervision of Dr Sandie Dann and Dr Upul Wijayantha here at Loughborough, supported by a CASE studentship in collaboration with Intelligent Energy. I will be investigating the properties of the membrane electrolyte assembly in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

Loughborough is a great place to study chemistry. The staff are friendly, accessible and helpful, the campus is a pleasant place to live, and the course content is both interesting and challenging, and the campus is a pleasant place to live. Social hubs such as the EHB or Students' Union are well used by the students and foster a happy atmosphere. The best thing about Loughborough University is that you are more than just a number. The staff across the institution really care, and are committed to delivering a first class experience to the students. You feel like you and your education really matter.

Ellie Henshall-Bell (Chemistry with Analytical Science MChem)

I was attracted to Loughborough University because it was a campus university and everywhere I needed to go was easily accessible. I also knew of people that had been in previous years who had recommended it as a student experience.

Having always been scientifcally-minded, I chose to study Chemistry with Analytical Science. I knew that Loughborough enjoyed a good reputation for its science courses, with Chemistry being high up in the league tables. The course is challenging in parts, but also rewarding, and I preferred the analytical and physical chemistry modules. I like that the lecturers have an open door policy and are always available at short notice to help with any coursework and exam preparation queries.

To anyone considering Loughborough for Chemistry I would advise them to take an industry placement year as your drive and focus completely changes in your final year. I carried out my placement at EffecTech in Staffordshire. They are a company who specialise in gas measurement and I worked there as a scientist for the year. After graduation I will be returning to EffecTech in a new role as a Technical Sales and Marketing Specialist.

The best thing about being a student here is that the courses are good and the social experience is known to be one of the best in the country. There is always something to do on campus, day or night. It is a good university for student experience.

Dan Sedgwick (Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry)

The lecturers are all very approachable and open to questions and suggestions; I've always received help when I've needed it.

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