I grew up in the North of Scotland with an interest in science, health and technology. After leaving school I studied for a BSc in Medical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. This allowed me to pursue interests in anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, medical ethics. Having completed my undergraduate and gained work experience in medical imaging I chose to pursue a career in Diagnostic Radiography.

Why did you choose to study at QMU and what attracted you to the course?

QMU has a fantastic reputation for excellence in healthcare teaching and this programme is one of few postgraduate Diagnostic Radiography courses in the UK. I thoroughly enjoyed my pre-application visit and was attracted to study here over other UK institutions due to the personable team and small cohort size.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is a vibrant city with lots to offer. Having studied here before I was keen to move back for my postgraduate.

What have you most enjoyed about your course? What has been your highlight?

I really like the size of our cohort, the teaching style of our lecturers and the small but friendly core of teaching staff. My highlight has been the summer clinical placements, which have allowed me to develop my knowledge and skills in preparation for qualifying. It has given me a taster of all the different aspects of clinical practice that radiographers can become involved in.

Has there been a particular course activity you found especially interesting?

I found one of our assignments on the barriers and opportunities for effective communication with patients particularly interesting. It was a great opportunity for me to learn about the issues faced by transgender individuals in the radiology setting and communicate potential ways to overcome them and create more inclusive practice. With encouragement, I was able to publish this for wider readership in Imaging and Therapy Practice, a radiography journal.

How have your lecturers supported your learning?

I think the radiography team work very hard to support us both academically and on clinical placement. The lecturers always welcome questions and are happy to facilitate your learning through additional workshops and face to face meetings where possible.  Throughout the programme, I have received feedback which has been constructive and specific to my personal development.

What have been some of your challenges with the course and university life? How have you overcome them?

I went through all my previous education not knowing that I had a specific learning difficulty.  Within a short timeframe at QMU this was discussed and discovered. The implementation of an individual learning plan and continued support from my Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) have helped me to overcome my academic issues. This has greatly improved my performance on the course and in turn my confidence both personally and professionally. 

Did you take part in a placement as part of your course and if so, what was your experience?

We undertake placement over the summer for 17 weeks, which can be tough and tiring at times but also rewarding. I really enjoy the variety in our placement sites and the different specialties we experience. This has helped me to identify interests in interventional radiology and the emergency setting which I hope to pursue as part of my continued professional development.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

My advice for potential students would be to fully research the course and careers in Diagnostic Radiography before applying. Try to do some work experience and visit the campus for yourself.

Have you joined any schemes/initiatives to enhance your learning and development such as a mentoring scheme, volunteering scheme, etc.?

I participated in the Student-Staff Consultative Committee meetings as a class rep. Through this role I also became involved with the student experience committee and a small working group on feedforward culture. This was a valuable experience to see how the university works and implements change. 

Which University services have you used to support you through your student journey and how have they helped you?

I think student support at QMU is exemplary. The support staff are friendly, available and very knowledgeable. They give you the tools and encouragement to help you help yourself. This has been extremely beneficial for me both academically and personally.

Are you a member of a QMU club or society and how have you found it?

I played volleyball as a novice during my first year. It was a great opportunity to try a recreational sport, meet people from different degrees and participate in local leagues.  

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

Get involved. Do not be afraid to try something new and step outside your comfort zone every once in a while, however daunting it may be.  

What has been the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned at university?

Finding a balance can be tricky. Staying organised has helped me to manage my time and prioritise tasks.

What are you plans after graduation?

After graduation, I have plans to work in a Major Trauma Centre and Teaching Hospital. I hope to further my clinical skills and experience to become an autonomous, decision making professional who is part of a dynamic team. In the future, I aspire to contribute to teaching and pursue my interests in interventional radiography and clinical research.