Abbie Wright

Abbie adapted her original plans to follow a growing interest in environmental research. As well as biology, she has chosen to study physical chemistry and environmental science modules linked to hydrology, water systems and climate.

Freedom to choose

Wishing to pursue her interests in environmental science as well as biology and chemistry, Abbie Wright found our Natural Sciences programme ideal. “I wanted a degree that would be flexible for me, as I wanted to be allowed to study the elements of each subject that really fascinated me without having to continue sections that I didn’t enjoy so much,” she tells us. “I also didn’t feel I was ready to thin my learning to one subject - I wanted to keep my learning broad.”

Abbie’s broad scientific interests are reflected in the path she has chosen through her degree. “I chose to study biology, chemistry and environmental science,” she says. “When I first applied I had intended on studying biology and chemistry with maths, but I decided that with all the research going on regarding the environment and climate change that environmental science would be a really interesting subject.  In first year I studied the cell biology route, the core chemistry and the core environmental science modules.

“In my second year, I specialised in chemistry to follow an inorganic physical route; in environmental science I am following a series of modules linked to hydrology, water systems and climate. For biology, I have maintained a fairly broad area of study covering cell biology, biochemistry and genetics.”

Fantastic environment

When asked what stood out about Lancaster’s Natural Sciences degree in particular, Abbie replied: “I chose the degree at Lancaster because the flexibility offered was so much greater than that of other universities. The degree scheme also seemed very well established, and offered a nice blend of advice and guidance but still allowed me a lot of choices and freedom in my decisions. When I visited I also enjoyed the tour of the Department - the labs were modern and a new chemistry building was under construction, meaning that any equipment we used would be up to date and I would have the best possible lab experiences.”

Interconnected subjects

One aspect of the Natural Sciences programme that Abbie has found particularly beneficial is the opportunity to discover the interconnections between different science subjects, giving her a more well-rounded knowledge of her subjects than she could have received by studying them alone. “Something that has definitely stood out about studying Natural Sciences is the overlap between the subjects that helps to deepen understanding,” she says. “The overlaps between my subjects have provided me with more examples and applications of information that I have learnt, and helped me to understand the relevance of all subjects to each other. In some cases I have found that some modules in biology would not have felt complete without understanding gained from the chemistry modules. The same can be said for the link between chemistry and the environmental modules.”

Abbie is quick to recommend the Natural Sciences programme to prospective students, considering it to be a challenging but highly rewarding degree scheme. “I would definitely recommend Natural Sciences to students who enjoy science across a broad spectrum and who enjoy a challenge,” she says. “The work is by no means easy, but the skills and knowledge you gain from studying many varying modules side by side is not something that I think you can gain from studying a single strain of science.”