I knew that Loughborough was the place for me after visiting the campus on one of the open days and It’s difficult to narrow down as to why, but it just felt right. From the world-class facilities such as the STEMLab and Pilkington Library to the Students Union and the many sports spaces it felt like an environment I wanted to and could imagine learning in.
I had always really enjoyed Chemistry throughout my time at school and knew that I wanted to pursue the field when I came to university. I’m also extremely interested in drug discovery and development and having found the MPC course being offered by Loughborough it seemed the perfect opportunity to combine the two.
I’d have to say the opportunities for development in practical and theoretical skills. Having laboratory experiments from the start of first year meant we were able to start applying the theory to real applications. Teaching doesn’t just happen in a lecture theatre either, workshops and tutorials really help to get a better appreciation for the material.
It’s really reassuring that all of the teaching staff, not just the lecturers but the laboratory demonstrators and technicians are really eager to help and be there if you’re not certain on something. You can tell that they’re all passionate about Chemistry and really try to convey an open-door policy so you can always get the support you need. The STEMLab really speaks for itself with the analytical, synthetic and biological labs kitted out with everything you could imagine enabling such a range of high-quality experiments to run.
My favourite module would have to be the investigative projects for medicinal chemists (CMC027) currently being run in my third year. The laboratory sessions throughout the course help you to build up knowledge, skills and a thorough understanding of how to operate in a practical environment and now result in a set of investigative projects where we as students have a lot more control in the direction we want to take them. Think it might be interesting to alter the pH, temperature, or solvent? Go ahead! Oh now using the microwave reactor might bring some different results let’s give that a try. It’s definitely a module that helps to prepare you for research or a career after the course by giving you a safe space to develop skills but also how to apply the scientific method and think like a chemist.
The staff are always at hand should you have any burning questions or are having difficulties and I know for me personally have definitely helped me along wherever I have struggled. I came to university without any real practical experience and had a horrific first lab session where I was questioning whether the course was right for me. I reached out for help and was fully supported and reassured from then on and was able to build my skillset and get the confidence to operate with confidence.
I can wholeheartedly say that studying at Loughborough has probably been one of the best decisions in my life. If you want to tackle a degree in Chemistry, Loughborough is an excellent choice. The learning environment is first class and prepares you for whatever direction you decide to take afterwards. I’ve always felt so supported and welcomed during my time here and would recommend it to anybody!
Studying at university doesn’t just extend to what you’re learning in your lectures, but the entire experience itself is so important for how you develop both academically and as a person. Just as much as everybody is there to study, the opportunities don’t just extend as far as the department. There are so many things to get involved with around campus, from societies and sports to fundraising and action projects, if you can imagine something there is probably a group of students doing it. I’ve joined a lot of different groups over the course of my degree, from the AU Frisbee Club, to the Harry Potter society and the British Red Cross society I feel that I’ve been able to find where I fit in and meet some amazing friends along the way.
My favourite thing about being a Loughborough student is being part of the Loughborough family, you can really feel an atmosphere of collaboration and togetherness. I think that extends not just from the course, but the entire university experience. In all pursuits, it’s a combined effort and everybody is there to work together and grow. You definitely hear it a lot around campus and it’s quite difficult to describe but everybody I speak to about it knows the feeling!