Biology was always the subject that resonated most with Emily at school, and for many years her heart was set on becoming a doctor. But would medicine be the right choice for her - or would a brand-new degree, Medical Science, prove to be the perfect fit?
When I was in primary school my teachers would ask us every year what we wanted to be when we grow up. Most kids would constantly change their answers, but mine always stayed the same – I wanted to be a doctor.
Like a lot of children at that age who decide they want to save lives, it originated from watching A&E shows on TV with my parents. The complexity of the job seemed very appealing to my young mind and I just ran with the idea.
I carried on with this idea all the way through secondary school, with the odd moments where another career would catch my attention, but it was the only one that stuck. It wasn’t until sixth form when the idea of becoming a doctor started to lose its appeal. Biology was still the subject that resonated with me the most and I still found the human body fascinating. However, I couldn’t imagine myself studying medicine and working in a hospital or a GP surgery.
When it came time to apply for university courses I felt slightly lost. I still applied for medicine but my heart wasn’t in it and I found myself not worrying about whether I got a place on the course or not. Over the period of a few weeks I scoured the UCAS website for a massive variety of courses, not just medicine related. As I took A-Level Art, I even started to look at different art courses, though I couldn’t imagine myself pursuing art as any more than just a hobby. Nothing felt a right fit for me. I knew I wanted to study and that apprenticeships or work wouldn’t be the right path, so I tried to understand what I really enjoyed and what my strengths were.
The interest I had in biology was hard to ignore and I had a good level of understanding of the subject. I, however, did not have much enjoyment for either maths or chemistry past the basics (which I also took as A Level). So, I knew any course that largely incorporated either maths or chemistry along with biology was not for me. It was then that I came across Medical Science at ARU. It was a fairly new course (I applied late 2016), which at the time didn’t seem to be offered at any other universities, and it had a wide variety of modules, most of which covered the areas in biology I found interesting. The other modules were topics I either hadn’t considered or even heard of, but it got me excited. I applied two months before the January deadline for UCAS and turned my attention to my A Levels, slightly relieved I had found a course that felt like right for me.
Months down the line I received the exciting (or dreaded depending on the context) email from UCAS saying my application had been updated – I had a conditional offer to study Medical Science! I firmly accepted and can honestly say I have no regrets.
By Emily Yeulett, BSc (Hons) Medical Science student
Emily studies BSc (Hons) Medical Science at ARU in Chelmsford. Find out more about this, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.