Medical Sciences student Elsie Ledger

Elsie Ledger

Medical Sciences student Elsie published an article related to her project work and the use of screen time during the Covid-19 pandemic. We got in touch with her to find out more about her experience of studying at Leeds.

About the University

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I chose to study at the University of Leeds both due to its well established and respectable reputation and the fantastic student life that makes the heart of Leeds. The beautiful campus is a bonus – it is easy to find your way around while still being large enough to feel like its’ own small town.

What are the top three things you have experienced during your time at the University of Leeds?

Throughout my time at Leeds, my top three experiences have been meeting amazing friends, contributing to a fantastic course and overall becoming a much more confident individual.

What are your favourite three things about the city of Leeds? What are the best events you have been to/places you have visited in the city?

Some of my favourite aspects of the city of Leeds are being able to get in touch with nature – there are great walks you can go on such as through Woodhouse Ridge and Meanwood Trail, or you can venture further out to places such as Roundhay Park. In both the heart of the city and in Headingly there are endless brilliant bars and events; or you can visit the Kitty Café, the canal or even tropical world for a fun day out.

Your course

What have been your favourite modules on your course? What were the modules called and what did you learn?

One of my favourite modules was the second year module titled Cognitive Neuroscience – I thoroughly enjoyed learning the underlying mechanisms of the mind, consciousness, emotions and social cognition. I also enjoyed completing modules from different schools, such as Nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease, run by the Food Science department.

What have been your top three practical elements on your course?

A stand-out aspect of the practical elements on the course was being able to participate in dissections in the dissecting rooms – this enormously enhanced my understanding of anatomy, and is something that few universities across the world have access to.

What has been your favourite experiment or project you have worked?

My favourite project has to be my capstone project.

Can you tell us about your capstone project?

My favourite module had to be my capstone project, which was completed in final year as the dissertation. This project enabled me to choose something that interested me right from the start; from there we were given so much freedom in being able to run the project ourselves. I chose to do a team engagement project where we worked with a cohort of year 5 pupils at a local school. Despite lockdown, the weekly sessions with the children over Zoom were probably the most stand-out aspect of my degree and has instigated my interest in working on similar projects in the future. The project allowed me to research topics interesting to me – and meant that I didn’t have to spend 40 credits on something that I wasn’t completely engrossed in.

Your project work and article

Can you tell us more about your project about the use of screen time during the Covid-19 pandemic?

My project focused on the impact of sedentary behaviour and how this has increased throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns. I specifically chose to focus on the impact of screens as this is the main sedentary behaviour displayed in our modern society.

What inspired you to write an article about your project?

Throughout researching for my dissertation, I was surprised to read about the extensive consequences of screen time – something that is rarely talked about considering its’ integral part in our society. I wanted to share my newfound knowledge beyond my mentor and the school group I was working with, and to try and provide some of the tips that I have learned along the way.

How do you feel about being published?

It was unbelievable to see something that I had written published online – I couldn’t quite believe it at first. It was so enjoyable to write about something that interested me in a non-academic setting, and I would jump at the chance to do it again.

Would you like to work in sci comms in the future?

Definitely. The module Skills in communicating Research beyond the University – a fantastic module that is open across the university – first sparked my interest in science communication, and this interest has only escalated since.

What advice would you give to another student who wanted to write and publish an article about their work?

Put it out there – be confident in your abilities and try getting in touch with a few different places. If you have something interesting to write about, somebody will want to read it!