Undergraduate study

Robert Lee

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

Robert Lee

Year of Study



MChem (Hons)


Why did you choose this course?

I chose my degree at Loughborough University as it was ranked high in the league tables for chemistry, and I had been told to look at Loughborough by one of my teachers during A-levels. I have always enjoyed chemistry and I felt that Loughborough would be the place to go to further my education in the subject.

What attracted you to Loughborough University?

For me, Loughborough is quite close to home; I was able to see the town and the campus well before applying and immediately knew that this was where I wanted to do my degree. Being a good university for chemistry, I had no hesitation in putting Loughborough as my first choice.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

The thing I enjoy most about the course is definitely the time spent in the lab. I enjoy getting to be hands on, instead of purely going to lectures, so the chance to be doing experiments is brilliant. Where many chemistry courses break down labs into synthesis labs and measurement labs, Loughborough breaks them down into the four main disciplines (organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical) so there’s a clear distinction in what is being learnt in the lab sessions.

Being in my final year, I’m currently doing a research project which allows me to spend the majority of my time working in one of the research laboratories with PhD students.

What do you think of the teaching quality?

The quality of the teaching is very good; the lecturers are incredibly knowledgeable and generally enthusiastic about their subject, and are always willing to help with any problems.

Do you have a particularly favourite module?

Organic chemistry modules are by far my favourite, and my final year project allows me to expand on this. I find it fascinating how only a few elements can be combined and manipulated in so many different ways, all abiding by simple rules, to create everything from plastics, to pharmaceuticals, and to life as we know it.

What support have you had from the department?

The support the department provides is excellent. There is a personal tutor system in place, with every student having a member of staff who they can go to with any problems. All members of staff take complaints and queries very seriously and deal with them promptly to ensure that students are as satisfied as they can be and are treated properly.

There is also a staff-student committee which acts as a bridge between the student body and the staff, who deal with issues which a student may not want to bring up directly.

Describe a typical day on your course

In the first couple of years, there are several hours of lectures each day, and around two lab sessions each week, which are generally four hours long.

In my final year, there are significantly fewer lectures, approximately 5 hours a week; however the lab time increases to about 32 hours a week.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

After graduating, I plan to further my education by doing a PhD. My Loughborough degree will enable me to get onto PhD courses at other universities.

The department staff also have a great deal of knowledge of the research carried out by lecturers at other universities, so provide a wealth of information regarding PhDs that would be most suitable for me.

What would you say to someone considering studying your course?

My advice to a prospective student would be, be prepared to work hard. The course is very intense, but you’ll know you’re getting a great education. With the large number of contact hours, you get amazing value for money, and with such a deep insight into all branches of chemistry, it’s hard not to find something you enjoy.

What do you think of the social activities on campus?

There are countless social activities to take part in; the Students’ Union offers a huge selection of things to get involved with, ranging from sporting societies to a circus skills society, to a student run cinema.

The chemistry department also has its own society, ChemSoc, who organise events throughout the year such as the annual chemistry ball, socials and departmental sporting events.

What do you enjoy most about being a student here?

The thing I enjoy most about Loughborough is the great atmosphere, both in and out of the department. The campus is a great environment for both work and leisure; it’s possible to go from being in a lecture or lab, to relaxing in the union or EHB restaurant, in only a few minutes. This coupled with the high quality of the education, the great staff, and the wide range of topics covered, makes being a Loughborough University student amazing.

What do you find inspiring about Loughborough University?

The thing I find most inspiring about Loughborough University is how it manages to maintain its position as one of the country’s leading universities, despite not being an old one. The university is very in tune with its students, as can be seen from the outstanding student experience; as a result Loughborough University makes a real impact on the lives of the people who pass through it.