A week in the life of Louis Thackray


About Louis

Louis is a part-time student on the Masters in Applied Health Research. She attends one day of lectures a week.

Louis has a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science and previously worked in clinical trials. She currently works in procurement and lives locally in York.

Back to the list of students.


I have a part-time job at the University so it was a full day at work today. I work four days a week, which pays for the post-graduate fees and living costs whilst studying. When I got in, I printed off the course notes for the lectures tomorrow and briefly read the suggested material.


It was a full day of lectures today. We had ‘Research Methods’ in the morning and we discussed ‘Ethics in Research.’ Steve Holland, our tutor, made the session really interesting and humorous. I had lunch with some of my classmates where we discussed our concerns regarding the up-and-coming assignments and exams. It really helps to have those chats as you soon realise that everyone feels the same way. In the afternoon, we had ‘Health & Social Statistics’ with Mona Kanaan. One of the great things about the course is the amount of time the tutors will spend with you if you don’t understand something. I’ve really enjoyed this module – this was our last session today and Mona spent lots of time covering the assignment we have been set as well as advice on how to get good marks.


I’m now on leave for two weeks so that I can get my coursework completed and catch up on some ‘me’ time. I save my holidays from work so that I can have the time I need to complete assignments. Today I filled in some application forms for some relevant voluntary work in research which will hopefully expand my skillset and give me some practical experience for when I apply for future vacancies.


Downloaded the data set this morning for the assignment. In fact I downloaded it three times with different headings so I don’t lose it! Cleaned the house, it was buried somewhere under a pile of dust and paperwork.


Day out at Whitby today - I sat by the sea eating fish and chips. I have started expanding my reading for pleasure and at the moment I’m half way through Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ so it’s very apt being in Whitby today; should have put my goth outfit on – then again, perhaps not.


I got my lecture notes out on ‘Logistic Regression’ and ‘Sample Size’ – I have an online test on Tuesday so I did some revision and practiced the SPSS sessions again. I took another look at the assignment and relevant data set, making notes and creating a skeleton outline. In the afternoon, I caught up with some gardening. Later in the day I met up with some friends in the city centre where we had a coffee and a chat. Got in at nine and watched the TV with my partner – I can now critique the adverts – ‘Ah now when they say that ten women agreed that this product made them look twenty years younger, let me tell you about sample size and bias for starters…’ I turn to find my partner’s eyes are glazing over.


There is only so much fun you can have cleaning weeds out of the garden path. I remind my partner that I really do have lots of homework and manage to extricate myself from further duties. I spent the rest of the day working on my assignment and catching up on some relevant reading. After about six hours, my brain had had enough so I put all my work away ready to begin again tomorrow.