I did a lot of research into which universities offered the course and every time I looked into it, Kent was always at the forefront. It is really well recognised as a place to take this degree, so it just seemed like the best fit for me. Also, it’s close to London, which is where I grew up, has good transport links and is a beautiful campus.
Obviously we have forensic and chemistry modules, but I really do enjoy the law side of the degree as well. We also have Forensic Evidence Collection assessments where we are given simulations of an incident: there’s a suspect, a weapon and a crime scene and we have to analyse it. Sometimes we have to put ourselves in the mind of the person we are trying to catch, such as a sniper. We had to write a ballistics essay from the perspective of getting away with killing someone, so there was a lot of research into ammunition and firearms.
We are very lucky to have a crime scene house where our crime scene evaluations are done. It’s an actual house about ten minutes away from central campus, fully furnished with a large garden. The labs in the School were renovated recently with new state-of-the-art equipment brought in. It’s fantastic; we have access to pretty much everything you would need as a forensic scientist.
Every student is assigned a personal tutor and we also have peer mentors, who are students from years above our own, who can give you help on pieces of course work. The lecturers are very approachable, more than happy to give you their time.
We have a wide variety of students. One of my closest friends on the course is from America. There are students from London, across the country and Europe, as well as Abu Dhabi, Canada and the USA. This adds to the enjoyment of the course because forensics across the world is handled differently, so you have a lot of different input.
I love its location. I love that it’s at the top of the hill; when it’s almost getting dark, the view of the city from campus really just looks beautiful. It’s very friendly and welcoming as well – I pretty much love everything about it!
I am part of the School of Physical Sciences outreach team; we go out and teach the wider community about sciences. We also go to schools with specific shows to highlight what we are doing. Discovery Planet, a local initiative, offers us volunteering opportunities, such as working in a pop-up shop where the public can come and learn about windmills or turbines or other scientific projects. I also spend time just socialising with my friends.
When I first came onto the course, I was thinking that I want to be in the field but, as I’ve gone through the degree, I’ve realised, actually, that’s not for me. I would like to work in lab analysis rather than at actual crime scenes.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t worry if you don’t make friends straight away. It may take a few weeks but when you find your friendship group, you’ll be friends the whole time. The University really is a wonderful place to be.