An MChem with a Year in York 

Giuseppina, Year 1
MChem: Chemistry

The highlight of my university experience so far has been working in the chemistry teaching labs

Giuseppina, March 2016

My York open day experience was a whirlwind of incredible facilities, enthusiastic staff and bright orange everything! The department’s passion and commitment to high quality teaching thoroughly inspired me.

Any doubt about a chemistry degree was quickly forgotten and I instantly felt comfortable in the department.

The lab facilities blew me away and I couldn’t wait to get to use the exciting equipment and machines. For me the choice was simple. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBm2fxSVpXc

At A-level I started to lose interest in the practical lab work we did, but through the lab courses I’ve already had in the past two terms I have found a renewed passion for it, looking forward to it every week.

The work is considerably harder, but through the great support of the graduate teaching assistants, lab technicians and peers you quickly find yourself developing confidence in your own work.

By working with analytical equipment, such as UV-Vis spectrometers and HPLC machines, I have gained the skills I need to understand, as well as analyse the quality of my practical work and all this has helped me to become an independent and proficient chemist in labs.

Teaching through lectures is supported through chemistry colleges, where you get to work in a more focused group and develop as a team.

This is consolidated by “The Happening”, a chemistry team building event which allows your college to work effectively together as a team and get to know each other better. I have enjoyed working with my college, and I’ve found it feels good to have a smaller community within chemistry who you have worked more closely with and can turn to with any questions you have.

The colleges are also supported by academic supervisors, who give tutorials and workshops but who are also there to check up on your general well being and progress. It is nice to have this direct point of contact, especially in your first term.

The university environment is a constant hive of activity, with over 150 societies and more than 80 sports teams. This huge variety means that there is something for everyone, and even more opportunity to try something new.

The college system of the university also provides a friendly and supportive community that you can turn to when you need it, especially if you are struggling or homesick.

Although it is a busy city, York itself is easy to navigate and has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere that has made me, personally, feel very comfortable and happy living in York.