Caitlin Bellamy

Caitlin Bellamy

MSc Medical and Health Care Studies

I have graduated in BSc (hons) Applied Medical Sciences at Swansea University and now I am currently writing my thesis for my Masters By Research, which I did within SWIRL at Swansea University Medical School.

What are your top 3 favourite things about Swansea? 

The nightlife: The atmosphere is always good, especially on student night. Nights out in Cardiff and Bristol have nothing on a night out on Wind Street.

Beautiful scenery: the coast and beaches are stunning. Swansea is a short drive from both the Gower and the Brecon Beacons.

Events: There are often music events in the stadium. There is a good live music scene most weekends. There is no better atmosphere than when there is a gig in Singleton Park in the summer.

What is your favourite thing about your course?
Probably my supervisory team (SWIRL). They have been amazing throughout my postgraduate degree, especially when it came to making adjustments due to the pandemic. They have given me the tools to develop independent working skills and given me more responsibility in the lab, which is nice as you feel as though you are a colleague in the workplace and not just a student. They have really valued my work and have supported me in becoming the early career scientist I am today.

How have you found studying during the pandemic? 
It was difficult at first, as I was writing my third-year capstone project when we went into the first lockdown, so I couldn’t just pop into the office to have my supervisor check over my work. I think the silver lining to this was that I HAD to be more independent and really think for myself. I started my postgraduate degree during the pandemic, but again my supervisory team were brilliant in making the adjustments to enable me to work in the lab, so I didn’t miss out on any hands-on lab experience. I think, like most people working in the lab at this time, you just adapt to it and it does make you more independent and less reliant on the supervisory team. Although I wasn’t seeing the team on campus, we had weekly meetings and communicated nearly every day, so the support was no different to that if we had not been in a pandemic.

What are you planning/hoping to do after you graduate? 
I am currently writing up my thesis. I absolutely loved doing a Masters by Research and I am passionate about research; however, I really want a career in a more clinical setting, hopefully in pharmacy, or maybe even drug development. I am starting a job in histology in Singleton Hospital later this month, and I am really excited to be back in a lab environment! I am doing this with the view of gaining some valuable experience in a clinical setting and apply for the NHS scientist training programme next year. I am hoping to stay in touch with the team at Swansea Worm Integrative Research Lab (SWIRL), my time with them has been a massive part of my education and has had a huge impact on the scientist I am today. I can’t wait to see where their research takes them!

Would you recommend Swansea University to other students? Why? 
Yes. 100%. Swansea can be such a beautiful place, especially in the summer. The people here are friendly, and the staff are more than helpful.

Do you participate in a Swansea University sports team/club? 
During my undergraduate degree I was part of the women’s rugby team. I would highly recommend joining a sports team, it keeps you fit, your mind clear and you make friends.

Have you worked part-time during your degree? 
During my postgraduate degree I have worked for the university demonstrating in undergraduate practical classes. I have also had the opportunity to give two lectures, which was a brilliant experience. I also worked part-time in Wilkos in the centre of Swansea. There is a lot of part-time work in the city centre, especially in customer service and hospitality.