Abbey Ho

Abbey Ho

About your course/programme

Why did you choose to study your course?

After graduating as a sports science student, I had worked for a year and realised my interest in doing research work related to sport, exercise, and rehabilitation. A master’s degree in research for a year is a perfect start to get a taste of a research career. More specifically, the opportunity to expose yourself to a multi-disciplinary perspective opens a broader vision and adds value to my existing knowledge. The lecturers at the University of Leeds have a high profile working on innovative, high-impact, and cutting-edge projects.

What do you enjoy about your course?

I enjoy studying with people from different backgrounds. We share ideas and various perspectives on the same topic. Peer discussion allows us to connect and communicate with a range of lecturers specialising in slightly different areas. Journal Club encourages us to collaborate with peers and to strengthen our presentation skills. Advanced data analysis classes gave us a taste of working real datasets and taught by various lectures with different expertise areas. I am learning a lot of additional knowledge and strengthening my intellectual capability during semester one. This summer and semester two I will be closely working with my supervisor and the research project team.

What have been the highlights of the course so far?

It has been an intense course with some of the content specifically designed for neuroscience students, but the lecturers and peers push me to think in all dimensions. Day by day, I am recreating a new pathway of thinking, a critical component in doing research work. I am so grateful that I have taken this course to push my limit, and my life would have changed if I haven’t taken the course.

What has been the greatest challenges throughout your course so far?

Since some of the topics are more towards neuroscience, which is all new to me, I found it challenging. However, active participation in class and asking questions enables me to learn quickly as all the lecturers are experts, and peers are great at sharing their perspectives.

What is your research project on and what has it involved?

My research project mainly focuses on the effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TCES) and motor imagery (MI) in healthy participants on upper limb function and examines the neural mechanism. The laboratory facilities include transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TCES), surface electromyography (sEMG), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The project spans over three disciplinaries, including neuroscience, psychology, and physiology. I am excited to work on a project that will add value to the current research field. Start working from the basics to finishing up the planned project: writing ethics proposal, familiarise with laboratory equipment, plan and design the protocol, participant recruitment, data collection, data analysis, write up the dissertation, and defence your work.  

How do you think doing a research project has benefited you/will benefit you in the future?

The current research project is a soft-landing area in shaping my future research work. As an inexperienced researcher, I have no idea where to start, and the research project helps me understand doing a proper international standardised small-scale project from start to finish. The research project opens up a broader perspective in developing and finding our niche research area.  

About the University

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

The University of Leeds is among the UK’s top universities, well known for excellent teaching and research. MRes in Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation is a distinctive program for developing research skills and practical skills in exercise and rehabilitation.

How have the facilities (libraries/labs etc.) helped you get the most out of your degree?

Edward Boyle Library has an entire level for postgraduate students, including private study rooms and main study areas. The library facilities are excellent, and the working spots are spacious. Due to COVID-19, the library has sufficient COVID-19 secure measures in protecting our health and safety.

Have you joined any student societies/sports clubs at the university? If so, how has this enhanced your time at the University?

For the past couple of years, I played Korfball, and it was tempting to join the sports club after the ease of COVID-19 restrictions. Being part of a sports club brings you joy and a sense of belonging to the university. Joining a sports club is the best way to strike a work-life balance lifestyle.

What key aspects of your experience of Leeds would you highlight to students thinking about coming to do the same course?

The key to studying an MRes program is to be active, engage in classroom activities and be prepared to work under pressure during an intensive year.

What are your ambitions for the future? Do you have specific career plans? Has the University (careers centre/lecturers etc.) helped you with these goals in any way?

MRes program is a great route to pursue a PhD. I am glad that MRes helps me shape a future direction and find a niche in the research area.