- Course: MSc Food Science
What course are you studying?
I'm studying for an MSc in Food Science in the School of Food Science and Nutrition. It is a year long course running from September to August.
Why did you decide to study a masters at the University of Leeds?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemistry in 2011 and having been working since; I decided that this was the time to return to education to learn more about practical applications of science in the food industry. I decided to study at the University of Leeds because of its great reputation as part of the Russell Group. The university is research insensitive which is a great benefit as the academics at the university are involved in current research and this is seen in the content of lectures. The School of Food Science and Nutrition is very highly regarded. The University also has great sporting facilities at The Edge and has lots of societies and sports to get involved with. Lots of the societies at the university run 'Give it a Go' activities which are a great way to try something new without committing or paying upfront.
What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University so far and why?
Everyone in the school of Food Science and Nutrition is very friendly and very supportive. The master's courses in the School of Food Science and Nutrition attracts students from across the world so I have had the opportunity to meet and work with people from different cultures.
I have been part of the Irish Dancing Society and my favourite part of that was taking part in the dance shows at the union which was held over 3 nights. This has been a great opportunity to meet new people and helped build my confidence by performing!
Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.
I am excited to start off my research project which is 60 credits of the 180 credits master's course. I know what my project is now so I am completing a literature project at the moment to prepare for the start of the research which I will complete in June and July.
As part of the Food Analysis module, we had the opportunity to work as a group and conduct a nutritional analysis on a food product which was really interesting. We are then going to compare our results of the nutritional value of the product to the label on the product.
I have been the postgraduate rep for the school of Food Science and Nutrition this year which has been a great opportunity to learn more about how the university works at a higher level. It has also been great to be able to communicate the views of students as it is important that the student voice is listened to.
As part of the Irish Dancing Society at the University, we were able to raise money for Irish Health and Homes by dancing at venues around Leeds on St Patrick's Day. This was a great opportunity to give back to the local community.
What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?
Leeds is a great place for students. It has everything in the city centre which is actually quite compact. There is great shopping at the Trinity centre and lots of restaurants, bars and clubs. Leeds also has great connections to the rest of the UK including London. It is also easy to get around the city by walking or using public transport. Leeds has a large student population so there are lots of opportunities to get involved in different activities be it sport, volunteering or dance to name a few.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I am now looking for my first job in the food industry after completion of my Master's. Having spent my time in Leeds learning about different aspects of the food industry I am keen to get involved with specifications, legislation or recipe design. I know that a Master's from the University of Leeds will stand me in good stead for securing employment in the industry.
What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?
On the course, I have had opportunities to work with different groups for different projects which has helped develop my team working and communication skills by working with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
There has also been the opportunity to complete different assessed tasks including both individual and group presentations and written work including lab reports and scientific papers. The chance to enhance my presentation and scientific writing skills has been beneficial and will definitely help me in the future.
As well as experience from the course I have also further developed my skills with other activities including volunteering and taking part in society activities.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
To students coming to Leeds to study Food Science, I would firstly say congratulations on securing a place on the course and to enjoy their time in Leeds. I would encourage them to get involved with some of the activities offered in the university or local area as this is a great way to meet people, develop new skills and get settled into a new place. It is also important to maintain a good work-life balance.