- Course: BSc Sports Science and Physiology
Why did you choose to come to Leeds University to study the above course?
Having first trained as a contemporary dancer for a couple of years I decided that I wanted to go into dance science research , however with my lack of science qualifications I was unable to get onto the BSc in Sports Science and Physiology. I chose to come to the University of Leeds as they allowed me to do a foundation year first to attain the skills required to complete a degree. I could have gone else where but it was important for me to be in a department that was renowned for its research and its academic reputation.
What do you enjoy about your course?
There is such variety of topics to choose from when studying Sports Science, ranging from Biomechanics to Neuroscience you are spoilt for choice it’s great because you can tailor the degree to your own specific interests. Also it’s always fun to see people’s reactions when they find out that sports science students don’t just spend our time setting out cones and that we study physics, mathematics, physiology, neurosciences, psychology and biochemistry.
What have been the highlights of the course/programme so far?
Over the summer I was given the chance to fulfil a research internship role working with dance and the elderly. The work that I have been involved in will eventually be published and it will be amazing have been given the opportunity to be a part of published work that could potentially push for more dance in the community to improve quality of life in older adults. I never imaged that I would be working in dance research so quickly it was a perfect opportunity provided by the course.
What was your greatest challenge throughout your degree course?
The academic side of the course is rigorous at times, and having taken a non-conventional route to University I sometimes find it hard to immediately grasp some of the more complex scientific concepts covered. However, this makes it all the more rewarding when I do achieve success.
Tell me about how staff support has helped you throughout your time at university?
The equality team here are great , there are so many great people here at the University of Leeds who really want you to do well, it is good because in a University full of so many students I have never felt like I have been just another number. The support from the course has been fantastic, particularly Dr Strauss who has always made me feel so welcome and makes time for everyone (as proven by the queues outside her office)! Lyndsay Reid has helped me handle every difficulty I’ve encountered. Had it not been for Dr Astill I would have never experienced working with current research in dance , the staff want you to do well and if they can help you with your career plan they will do everything they can like getting you involved in their own research or giving you contacts .
How would you rate the facilities available to you throughout your degree? How have this enhanced your experience?
The facilities at University are excellent, and I’ve been lucky to participate in practicals using a wide range of equipment, from measuring oxygen consumption , to calculating forces during jumping, to viewing first hand anatomy tutorials. I am grateful for the high standard of lecturers we learn from and their video podcasts which are fantastic revision tools.
About the University
Why did you choose the University of Leeds?
As they offered a foundation degree and having previously attended Northern School of Contemporary Dance, I knew that I liked what Leeds as a city offered.
What key aspects of your experience of Leeds would you highlight to students thinking about coming do the same course/programme?
I think it is great that Leeds welcomes students from more unconventional academic backgrounds. So long as the individual shows dedication and commitment to strive for high grades, there is always a route that the University of Leeds can offer onto undergraduate training.
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?
Being able to learn Motor control and neuroscience has encouraged me to understand how it is we move. It has also sparked a passion for wanting to study/research how best to facilitate dance learning in children and whether dance learning can help children to adapt to new challenging movement situations. But also if dance and exercise can help children learn faster in academic class room settings. When I was 13 me and my friends wrote time capsule notes , having never got round to burying it I recently found this note amongst old birthday cards ; alongside other teenage crushes it read what I want to be when I grow up … ‘a dancer and a scientist ‘ . This course has enabled me to fuse my love of dance with science, and has reinforced my opinion that dance science deserves a place amongst the research in sports, exercise and motor control. Without the help of the university lectures Dr Astill in particular I would not have been able to have the chance of experiencing research, especially that in the field of dance.