My family is from Glasgow and I spent my childhood growing up in the south of England so when it came to choosing a degree I was compelled to return to Scotland. I obtained a First Class BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Human Health) degree from Heriot-Watt University in 2019. I then took a year out before I decided I wanted to study Forensic Science at Strathclyde.
What were your reasons for taking on the MSc Forensic Science at Strathclyde?
I enjoyed my undergraduate degree but I found myself applying to jobs I had no interest in, so I wanted to narrow down my field of interest from human biology to forensic biology.
Strathclyde is currently the best university in the UK to study Forensic Science and I loved living in Scotland for my undergraduate degree so I was excited to try living in a different Scottish city. My mum also studied at Strathclyde and she was excited at the prospect of me studying there as well.
What do you like about your course and Strathclyde?
It’s difficult to be at university right now and having not properly met any of my peers is unfortunate, but I am so grateful for the teaching staff on my course as they have been able to get permission for us to continue with most of our labs.
The crime scene to court exercise which was run throughout semester 1 and 2 was brilliant. We were able to go to the playing fields to examine a mock crime scene and then present our findings at a mock trial with the law students.
Regarding Strathclyde itself, I haven’t had much exposure to the campus because of the pandemic, however I did manage to enjoy the sports facilities during semester 1. I particularly love the swimming pool and I’m hoping I can get back there soon.
What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
The main skill I have learned is critical evaluation of scientific methods which is really important to understand in Forensic Science. Also, I’ve learned the roles of the forensic scientist in the lab and in court which was then applied to the crime scene to court exercise. I also learned about the importance of contemporaneous notes and how to produce an appropriate case file.
What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you achieve your goals?
In the future, I’d like to be working as a forensic lab examiner. Despite the pandemic, we still managed to practice a lot of different lab skills like clothing examination, blood pattern analysis, trace evidence analysis and body fluid analysis.
How have you found your time living in Glasgow and what's your favourite thing about the city?
I started off in private student accommodation living in a studio on my own which was difficult in the pandemic, but then I moved into a flat off George Square with my partner and I have loved it! There are plenty of places to get takeaway lunch or coffee, Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove and Queen’s Park make lovely places to go for walks. And of course, as the saying goes, the people make Glasgow! I can only imagine my time in Glasgow will get even better as restrictions ease, hopefully before the end of my MSc.
Has anything surprised you about living/studying here?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of support we have received during the course. The staff are very willing to accommodate for special circumstances which I think is especially important during the pandemic.
Having visited family in Scotland as a child, I knew what to expect when I moved here so I haven’t been surprised by the city itself. One aspect that I’ve enjoyed that I didn’t really consider before I moved here however, is the diversity of the city. There are so many different cultures represented by the people of Glasgow and it shows itself mostly through the amazing food!
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study in Glasgow at Strathclyde?
Strathclyde has proven to be a supportive, organised and successful university and I really feel I have thrived here both academically and socially. The city has so much to offer and I would strongly recommend considering Strathclyde as an option for both undergraduate and postgraduate study, especially the MSc Forensic Science course!