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Undergraduate study

Our students

William Fenwick

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

The academic staff are expert, friendly and want to see you do well. I would certainly recommend biochemistry, it’s exciting and a really fascinating intersection of chemistry and biology.

William Fenwick

Why university and why Teesside?

I decided to go to university as I was growing frustrated with the lack of opportunity in the non-graduate job market. I was also excited by the challenge, and the opportunity to reinvent myself. Teesside is ranked very highly in some key metrics, particularly student satisfaction and graduate employment. It is also aligned very closely with local industry and is investing hugely in its facilities.

Why biochemistry?

I became fascinated by chemistry and biology during my studies but couldn't decide between the two, when I discovered Teesside had a biochemistry course, this was the obvious choice for me. I was also aware of the highly dynamic nature of the field and it is a very exciting time to be involved.

What do you like most about your course?

The variety of modules. The training in chemistry allows you to see biology in a whole new light. Studying biology at the atomic level is fascinating, and almost seems like you know a big secret that other biologists don’t. I particularly enjoyed studying organic chemistry, although it is extremely challenging. I also enjoyed molecular biology, particularly the lab side which was fascinating and gave me some highly transferrable lab skills. The academic staff are highly professional, friendly and make very tough subjects, very accessible. If you're interested in biology and enjoy a challenge, or if you're interested in how chemistry applies to biology, biochemistry at Teesside is for you.
I’m the biochemistry course representative and attend meetings to provide feedback from students. Senior academic staff are very eager to listen to all feedback from students and are always striving to improve the student experience.

What do you think about the campus?

Teesside has recently invested a lot in the University infrastructure and the library, which is a great piece of architecture, but is also the ideal place to study. There are always workspaces and designated areas for both silent and collaborative study. The library staff are always on hand to help with any technical issues and are very friendly and approachable. The dedicated careers service are always eager to help with preparing you for graduation and gaining experience in industry.
The North East is a great place and people are friendly. There is some good nightlife in Middlesbrough and the living costs are very reasonable. There is also a lot of beautiful countryside in the surrounding area if you need to relax.

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

We spend a lot of time in the lab and work with lots of industry-standard equipment. I have developed skills relevant to both a biologist and a chemist, from synthesising organic compounds to DNA testing. Many modules develop your teambuilding and leadership skills. I haven't quite decided which career path to go down yet, but the skills I have learned are highly transferable.
I originally intended to go in to teaching, but the more I learn, the more I want to learn. I am considering a master’s or a PhD as there is some very interesting research being carried out at Teesside. There are opportunities for entrepreneurship in biochemistry and bioscience, which I am considering.

Would you recommend Teesside University and your course?

Yes, it is an up and coming university which is investing heavily in some cutting-edge facilities. The academic staff are expert, friendly and want to see you do well. I would certainly recommend biochemistry, it’s exciting and a really fascinating intersection of chemistry and biology. And, if you enjoy a challenge, it is definitely the course for you.