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Emily Davison

BSc Clinical Sciences, 2016

Emily Davison
  • From Bradford
  • Received the ABB Scholarship
  • Work placements at Bradford Royal Infirmary and in schools

The University of Bradford wasn't Emily's first choice - she was hoping to study medicine in Manchester - but she says coming here turned out to be "the best thing for me", and she's now hoping to do a PhD here when she graduates.

"The course has been great, we've had lots of opportunities to go out into the community and speak to people, and improve our employability skills - communication and time management - the course really emphasises that through your portfolio which we do every year," Emily says.

"And we've had the chance to a dissection. A full human body dissection. The labs here are just amazing, and that's because of the amount of research that goes on here."

At the end of the first year of BSc Clinical Sciences, some students transferred to Leeds Medical School - and Emily hoped she'd be one of them. 

"Our year was like 'the best they've ever had', so I got a 74% average but I didn't make the cut for an interview.

"But I think it was the best thing for me, it's not something I'm looking into at all now and I don't want to go to medical school.

"I think university's taught me that it's a job at the end of the day, so you've got to be a grown up about it and looking into different options is a good thing."

Emily is now looking at going into teaching or staying at Bradford to do a PhD.

A-level results day

Emily, who went to North Halifax Grammar Shool, says results day was "a hectic day of phone calls". Her first choice university offered her an alternative course, which she wasn't sure about, but Clinical Sciences here at the University of Bradford was Emily's insurance course.

"Then the guy from Bradford rang me and he was so lovely.

"He completely understood my position like 'you've probably applied for medicine haven't you', 'yes', 'and you've not got in', 'no', 'so you're a bit stressed?', 'yeah', 'well let me tell you about all the things we can offer you...'"

One of those things was the AAB/ABB Scholarship, which is automatically given to students who do very well in their A-levels. 

"I didn't know about it before, I heard about it on results day and it was the ABB scholarship that made me come here.

"It allowed me to do a lot of things - in my first year it allowed me to go backpacking and it allowed me to take a year off work, so I could focus on my studies a bit more.

"The timing of it's perfect – the beginning of semester and at the end of the semester."

Beginning university studies

Emily says the transition from school to university was "insane".

"Your first lecture – they warn you it's hard, and I'm like 'I did chemistry A-level don't talk to me abut hard', but then they mention referencing and you're like 'referencing what? what am I doing?'

"But the support here is really good - the academic support as well as personal tutors.

"The leap is manageable but underestimated I'd say, especially for a course like mine – we seem to do more in our first year compared to other courses but I did it, it's not the end of the world – you get used to it very quickly as well."

Life in Bradford

"When I came here for my interview it had a really good feel about it, and as part of my interview there was an Applicant Experience Day, so I got to see the campus.

"I had low expectations but then when I got here I absolutely loved it, and I cannot talk about Bradford enough - I cannot big it up enough.

"In terms of facilities at the university in general, they're really good, and because it's sort of a hidden campus you wouldn't expect it either.

"The Students' Union and the student cinema is amazing, I love the student cinema.

"Things like the library as well and the fact you can borrow a laptop. For my dissertation I've been able to access programmes that would have cost me hundreds of pounds but I've been able to just get a disc from the library."

Despite living off-campus in Halifax with her partner, Emily says she feels very much a part of university life.

"I work on campus in the shops and as a student ambassador and I'm part of the Clinical Sciences Students' Union society.

"I'm always studying in the library, and hanging out with people from other courses that I've met, that I work with and went to my school, and FND and stuff, and you can always find someone to crash on the floor of!"

Work experience

As part of her course Emily gets to go into hospitals for clinics and work placements.

"We spent time talking to patients on the ward at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) to improve our communication skills.

"We had to ask about their treatments and how that affected their lives and things like that.

"We're always encouraged to take time out and go on work experience.

"We had a placement at the end of the first year in the BRI, and we went on all the wards. There're loads of opportunities to do whatever you want and you'll get loads of support from your course, your tutors or the careers service.

"This year I've been focussing on my teaching experience, so I've done three or four placements locally, and the careers service really helped me with that and I got a mentor as well."

Favourite Bradford memory

"The last ever FND of first year was amazing, it was like a Ministry of Sound thing, and last year's Varsity was good.

"It's the community feel you get from these events, and that's really strong in Bradford, especially as a lot of students live at home and commute in so you get this camaraderie."

Advice to people considering Bradford?

"Put all your pre-existing stereotypes about the University of Bradford away, and just dive in."