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Emily Coulson

Leeds has a great vibe - I knew it was the place for me

I chose Leeds as it was one of the best universities in the country for sport science. This was important to me as I wanted to receive the best quality teaching in order to get the best possible degree I could. I attended an open day in the summer before coming to Leeds and knew from then Leeds was for me this was simply just because of the vibe I got. The campus has everything I need and is close to the city centre but there was also Weetwood sports facilities not too far away as well. So, everything I needed was in walking distance. Leeds’s population consists of 1/8 student which is a statistic I found very reassuring as I knew a lot of people would have been new to the city and a similar age to me.

Making global friends and volunteering in the community

Leeds gave me the opportunity to make friends from around the world and I currently have Greek, Spanish and Egyptian friends. Without coming to Leeds, I would never have had the opportunity to meet people from around the world. Whilst at Leeds I have taken up football coaching at a local club called Leeds Hyde Park. Volunteering in the community, especially with this club, has been very rewarding as I have facilitated the development of the children from when they start at the club at around the ages 5/6 to when they progress at around 13/14 years old.

Practical, hands-on learning strengthens my knowledge

My degree is very hands-on, so I get labs regularly. In these labs, we get taught the practical applications to what we will or have been taught in lectures. This solidifies my knowledge base and sometimes aids my understanding and helps with revision as I can recall what I did in the lab. I'm now in my second year actively use the four main libraries at the university. Brotherton is my favourite due to its aesthetics and its atmosphere but Health Sciences is usually where most of my books are. The social space in the Health Sciences library allows me to complete group work as we can talk amongst ourselves and use the computers available.

Taking up new hobbies and re-discovering old ones

In my first year, I joined Skate Society and tried to master how to ride a skateboard. I still haven’t quite mastered the skill however as a novice the people in the society helped me out and were very welcoming. Second year, I joined women’s football, something I had lost interest in before joining the university. This society helped me enjoy football again due to the friendly atmosphere and just the girls, in general, being so helpful and nice.

Science-based sports degree

Leeds offers a science-based degree which is linked to the sport science course being in the Faculty of Biological Sciences. This means once I graduate, I can go into a variety of different areas from teaching, physiotherapy and clinical work. The course is very varied in what you get taught with it consisting of a mix of physiology, anatomy, maths, psychology, biomechanics, motor control plus a discovery or optional module. This means that the degree allows you to have a strong knowledge base in the full field as it is very holistic.

Employability support for my future career

After I graduate, I want to do my PGCE, so I can become a teacher. The career centre at Leeds helped me get the relevant experience to do this as I was given the opportunity to volunteer through a scheme the University of Leeds help fund called Into University. I also got my part-time job through the university as I got the advertisement through an email. I now work with a young boy with muscular dystrophy who is currently competing for Team GB in Boccia. This job is very unique and fits perfectly as relevant experience for my job, but I would not have known about it without the university.