Asad Saib

Chemistry MChem

Within our first few weeks of being in the lab, we were able to use cutting-edge equipment.

Why did you choose Kent?

The way that Kent presented the subject and modules was different from other universities. Rather than laying it out in terms of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry Kent uses different names such as Chemical Reactions, Molecules, Matter and Energy, Fundamental Organic Chemistry. This approach gives you more of a sense of what chemistry is actually for. I liked that idea, it seems a little ‘friendlier’.

Also, I have friends who studied at Kent; they said the campus was great and that they really enjoyed their time here.

What do you think of the campus?

It’s a very open campus, you have lovely views and green spaces. Everything you need is close, within walking distance, whether you need to do a bit of shopping at Essentials [the campus shop] or want to go to the Library. The Library has just undergone a major extension and refurbishment – it’s massive!

Also, you are really close to Canterbury itself, easily walkable from campus. The town is lively, not too big, and has everything you need or could want.

Was it easy to settle in when you arrived?

Moving away from home was a real change; meeting new people and gaining some independence. But everyone was so friendly that it was quite easy to make friends. The Fresher’s Fair really helped me to meet new people as I signed up for societies and met people with similar interests. 

What are the facilities like for your course?

Everything is brand new, totally state-of-the-art. They have been renovating and upgrading and there are still plans for more. I didn’t realise how lucky we were to have these facilities until I spoke to students from other institutions. Literally within our first few weeks of being in the lab, we were able to use very expensive, cutting-edge equipment on a regular basis.

What about your lecturers?

The lecturers are really understanding. Even though we probably asked some very stupid questions during the first few weeks, they were very patient. Outside of lectures, if I had any questions, I’d just approach them and they would be able to help me.

What have you enjoyed most on your course?

I found the organic modules really interesting – starting from one molecule, you keep going until you make another and learn about the different conditions and mechanisms to get there. It also ties into a bit of what I am doing in terms of the synthetic Master’s project.
There were also some maths and physics parts to the programme that I enjoyed. I found it interesting how chemistry can also branch into physics, biology and maths. So, I wasn’t just learning one subject, there was a bit of others as well. I think this is really useful as having a wide variety of background is important.

Did you apply for the MChem from the start?

I actually applied for the BSc, which is three years. Then I realised that I really liked it here and wanted to take this further, but wasn’t sure about committing to a PhD. Halfway through my second year I saw the MChem opportunity (giving me a Master’s as well) and I signed up straight away. As this counts as one degree, student finance covers the whole four years.

Any advice for somebody thinking of coming to Kent?

Apply to Kent; it’s definitely worth it. The staff are great, you will make friends quickly and you’ll learn a lot. And you can express yourself in what you want to do as well.