More than learning. Belonging.

To find out more about what it is really like to study at Lancaster University, see what our students had to say.

Megan John

A home for Megan

"I knew Lancaster was the university for me when I first came on my Open Day, and I walked into the Chemistry Department, and it was so small and friendly, and all the lecturers knew exactly who I was.

Before I came to Lancaster, I didn’t really know what the college system meant. But when I came here, it was a great way to make friends. It’s nice to have friends in your house, on your course and in your societies. I joined the snow sports society and the wind band because it was a great way to meet new people. In my spare time, I enjoy being able to go cycling and really explore what’s around Lancaster because there are so many nice things.

"I really enjoy all the lab time you have on the degree because it really helps your learning. A lot of the other universities I’d visited had done chemistry in an organic, inorganic and physical way, but when I came here, the modules were more interchangeable, so you get a lot of variety in what you’re learning and it feels like a broader view of chemistry.

"We’re also really lucky because the Chemistry Building is relatively new. We have our own areas to work in and everything’s in a nice central area. The labs are amazing!

"My favourite part of the course has been my third-year research project. It’s been good to take something right from the start and follow it through, and do all the research, all the learning behind the theory, figuring out what’s going on, and planning experiments and having that control of the science that I’m doing.

"I’m not sure what I want to do after my degree yet. The Chemistry Department has been really helpful sending out lots of different job ideas and the careers service has been really helpful by looking over my CV and covering letters. When I do figure out what I want to do, I should be in the best possible position to get a job and succeed."

Megan John is in her final year of her BSc Hons Chemistry.

Benjamin Dale

A community for Benjamin

"I came to one of the Applicant Visit Days, and I was very impressed with how friendly the Department was. It was my first impression of Lancaster, and it sold it to me. When you're looking at different universities you're also comparing them on rankings, and Lancaster does score highly. You want to be able to say that you've been to a top-class university. In terms of applying what you learn, I think chemistry is one of the best subjects that you can study. It varies how much lab time we have but it could be up to fifteen hours a week. If you're doing a project it could be up to 20/25 hours a week.

"In my summer break, there are lots of opportunities to advertise for internships and research. Last summer I had the opportunity to do some research here and this year I’m hoping to get an internship at a company. I want to use the experience to decide what I want to do in the future, whether I’d like to keep studying in academia, doing a PhD, or if industry’s right for me.

"One thing that I’ve really enjoyed is the opportunities for research/ We’re given quite a lot of independence. It’s quite exciting being at the forefront of science and discovering new things. I really enjoyed working with my supervisor, and we were actually able to make an academic publication from what we researched.

”One of the best things about the Chemistry Department at Lancaster is how small it is and this means that the staff to student ratio is really good. You can speak with staff any time, and I’ve been really impressed with how eager they are to help you. It’s a nice friendly atmosphere. I’ve enjoyed living in Lancaster and have actually been impressed with how much there is to do here.”

Benjamin Dale is in his third year of his MChem Hons Chemistry.

Kate Fraser

A world for Kate

"I'd never really thought about Study Abroad until I came to the Open Day and it was mentioned at the end of the speech. I looked into it a bit more and there was loads of support, so you're not just getting thrown into this different country and having to look after yourself.

"We had the opportunity to go to Australia, Canada and a couple of places in America and New Zealand. I went to Kentucky as the course there matched what I was doing here. It was a really cool place and I feel I actually got to, experience the real America. I got to do a project over there and work in an American research group. I also made connections as well; I still email my supervisor who supervised my project in Kentucky.

"Studying abroad has meant having more skills to add to my CV - I can now say that I'm good at communicating because I've communicated with all these different people and I'm flexible as I've had to adapt to a whole different country. I also feel like you're building your confidence as well because you have to make new friends really quickly and make these connections. It also made me appreciate Lancaster more, as I feel you are a bit spoiled because it's such a good department.

"In Kentucky, I did a computer-based project, where I was simulating molecules that would prevent the overcharging in batteries. For my fourth-year research project at Lancaster, I'm now looking at energy storage molecules. It's been this project that's made me realise that energy storage is what I want to do.

"I visited Vancouver in my year away and could see myself living there, so I've applied and been accepted for a PhD at Vancouver University. All the PhDs I've applied to have real-world applications."

Kate Fraser is in her final year of her MChem Hons Chemistry (Study Abroad).

Emily Hindley

Spoilt for choice for Emily

"I loved the feel of the University when I first visited as it seemed to be like a small, friendly community.

"The consistent high rankings across university league tables were also really appealing as well! Everyone I spoke to was really friendly and made me feel excited at the prospect of studying here. Although Lancaster is a small city, there is still so much to do here.

"Over the course of my degree, I have spent extensive time in both synthetic and physical chemistry laboratories, developing my analytical and problem-solving skills. The degree has provided opportunities to also improve my teamwork, communication and independent thinking skills.

"There is a vast range of research being conducted here at Lancaster across the different areas of chemistry. When it came to choosing my Masters research project, I was spoilt for choice! My research project was on 'Investigating the impact of monomer sequence on biodegradable copolymers'. It involved combining different polymers in an attempt to synthesise biodegradable polyesters that have desirable properties so they can be used in a variety of industries - including pharmaceuticals, biomedicine and packaging.

"My supervisor has provided me with so much support. As my project links so closely to projects she is currently researching, it is clear she has a really keen interest in the results I have got, and how to progress the project even further. I loved doing my project, as it combined many different areas of chemistry - including coordination chemistry, polymer chemistry and analytical chemistry. I am currently considering pursuing a PhD here at Lancaster University. Everyone at Lancaster is extremely friendly and makes the idea of completing my PhD here even more exciting."

Emily Hindley is in her final year of her MChem Hons Chemistry.

Sapphire McNeil

A career for Sapphire

"I really enjoyed my chemistry degree at Lancaster. The support from all the staff members was really amazing. There was a really good staff to student ratio in lectures as well as seminars/workshops which meant you got to know both staff and other students very well, leading to a welcoming learning environment.

"During my degree, I did an internship in the Chemistry Department. This helped me make faster progress with my fourth-year project as I was already familiar with the software I used and it helped me gain a PhD place here in the Department.

"I decided to stay at Lancaster because it was a unique opportunity to pursue research in actinide chemistry through computational modelling. In my PhD research, I'm working with an academic who is looking at nuclear chemistry. I'm enjoying the research as it has applications in the wider world, particularly in the nuclear industry. If we can understand the fundamental chemistry with respect to bonding in uranium, then we can use this knowledge as a solution to clean up nuclear waste. After my PhD, I hope to continue my research as a post-doctoral researcher in this field of work.

"If you're looking for research excellence and a friendly, safe and beautiful place to both live and study, then Lancaster University is for you!"

Sapphire McNeil completed her MChem Hons with a 1st class and is now studying a PhD in Computational Chemistry at Lancaster University.

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