Currently studying a masters degree in Medical Statistics at the University of Leicester, because of my undergraduate project in medical statistics and the undergraduate medical statistics module I received a studentship. In September I start working as a graduate data scientist at NHS Digital in Leeds.
Why did you choose to study this course at Keele?
Because I had not studied Mathematics at A-Level my knowledge was limited and a foundation year was required to get on to the full course.
What where the strengths of the course and how did this course help prepare you for your undergraduate degree?
The strength of the course is the variation in the topics. By the time I had to choose my options in second and third year I knew that I wanted to choose the statistics topics because I enjoyed them during the foundation year. I also knew that I did not want to study any of the mechanics modules. You are also treated as a university student and the marking reflects that, so before you even start the undergraduate course your report writing and your answers reflect the standard of an undergraduate student.
What was the support like from staff within the Foundation Year?
Great, particularly from the Mathematics and Physics lecturers, I needed a lot of support considering my background. I can’t remember them explicitly saying but it did feel like an open door policy.
What further opportunities were you involved in outside of your course? (Career events/societies etc.)
At the end of my second year I worked at a school in Stoke as a Mathematics teaching assistant – an opportunity available to all Keele maths students. During my third year I also had the opportunity to talk to some foundation year students about what to expect from the course.
Did this course provide you with any skills that you use in your current employment?
Yes, in particular the statistics and programming. I used the statistics and programming I learned in the foundation year throughout the whole of my undergraduate degree. I use it now during my masters degree and will be using them in my role as a data scientist at the NHS in September. The foundation year also gives the opportunity to work on “soft skills” – group work and presenting in particular.
What is your advice to anybody considering studying a Foundation Year at Keele?
I only had 2 A-Levels in English and History when I started at Keele. I finished with a first-class maths degree. Don’t think your a-levels are reflective of how well you will do at university. If you have your heart set on going to university and a foundation year is the only way you can do the course that you want to do, you should do it.