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Undergraduate study

Our students

Janelle Edwards

Janelle wants to use her degree in her future career to make a difference to people's lives.

Janelle Edwards

BSc (Hons) Human Biology (Extended)*

I’ve made great connections and had the opportunity to use some great equipment within the chemistry, biological and food laboratories at both the Middlesbrough campus and the National Horizons Centre in Darlington.

Tell us why you decided to go to university and why you chose Teesside

I decided it was time to think about my career. I chose Teesside as it was local, which was ideal for family commitments. I was unwell as a child and I wanted to give something back. Due to my medical conditions, I couldn’t study paediatric nursing, so I chose the next best thing, which was human biology. This has worked out for the best, as I love what I do. To learn how the body works, how it interacts with things and how it repairs and fights things is fascinating.

What do you like most about your course?

I like the practical work in modules, for example Biological Methods. I love the interaction with professionals in Medical Microbiology. The course gives you an entire rounded learning opportunity. I also really enjoyed the Human Aging and Disease and Anatomy and Physiology modules, although there was aspects of all modules that I enjoyed.

What do you think about the campus and the services offered?

The services offered at the university are fantastic. I’ve had a lot of involvement with the disability service for my dyslexia diagnosis and my needs assessment, which greatly improved my ability to complete my degree to the best of my ability, without it suffering due to my learning difficulty and physical conditions.
The Students’ Union and the library have fantastic services for all aspects of your student life. The Students’ Union services cover support for housing, family, mental, emotional and financial issues.

What do you think about Middlesbrough and the surrounding area?

Middlesbrough is full of opportunities, it is a large town that has great support. The town itself has a great retail aspect and work opportunities. Middlesbrough is close to the coast and countryside, so it has fantastic places to visit such as Eston Hills, Roseberry Topping, Captain Cook’s Monument and the Cleveland Way. I grew up in Middlesbrough and I’m proud of the place I came from.

Are you a member of any clubs or societies or student ambassador?

I was a member of the pole fitness club in my first year, it is a unique workout for strength and core training ability and I made new friends.
I was also part of the Human Biology Society, which is a group to help each other through exams and assignments.
I am also a student ambassador which allows me to grow and develop skills and to be involved in helping young people entering the university, as well as working with a range of businesses. I also volunteered at James Cook University Hospital in the microbiology and R&D departments, which helped me expand my skillset and develop new ones.

What skills and experience have you gained at Teesside that you feel will help you in your chosen career?

I have spent a lot of time in the laboratories and I’ve gained vital skills to perform tests and identify bacteria and viruses, as well as how to identify age-related diseases and the processes involved when taking medication. I also gained fantastic skills in working with others and businesses, communication, organisation and using my own initiative. I’ve made great connections and had the opportunity to use some great equipment within the chemistry, biological and food laboratories at both the Middlesbrough campus and the National Horizons Centre in Darlington.

What are your ambitions for the future?

To complete my masters in microbiology at Teesside and then to continue on to a studentship in my field to achieve my PhD. I would love to be able to work with bacteria, infections and help people to stop or treat these common diseases. I want to make a difference for people all over the world.
My advice to someone who is thinking of coming to Teesside is make sure you do your research into all the different courses available and ensure you pick the one that fits what you want to do most.

*This course is now known as BSc (Hons) Human Biology (with Foundation Year)