Chemistry at University of Surrey

Hi everyone! My name is Elena and I am a final year student at Surrey, studying Chemistry with Forensic Investigation 🧪🥼⚗️ 🧫🧬

Usually, when I tell people I am a chemistry student, the reaction I get looks something between an incredibly sorry and surprised face which always makes me giggle as I’ve enjoyed my time at Surrey so much!

One of our practicals in action during first year [Elena Melluzzo]

Day in the life

My usual day as a final year student is pretty much focused on my final year project. In previous years my timetable would have been more full (with up to 25h of lectures in a week) and a full day in labs.

The great structure of the course has taught me how to organise my time and how to have a great work life balance both in my placement year and in my final year.

As a matter of fact, I have been part of the Volleyball team for the whole of my degree and I am part of multiple societies. This has allowed me not only to make plenty of friends on top of my course mates but also to have a break from chemistry and come back to it refreshed and ready to focus.

Placement Year

In my second year I applied for a placement through SurreyPathfinder. After practicing interviews multiple times with the Careers team and sending my CV to my academics to get feedback, I was able to secure a placement for my third year.

The company I worked at focused on investigating cause of death on different coroner’s cases and developing clinical trial drugs.

During the year I was able to put into practice everything I had learnt in the previous two years as well as broaden my scientific knowledge. I got to expand my network of connections in the forensic field and attend nationwide events relevant to the research I was doing.

Top tips

  • Try different study/revision methods: Appreciate that every chemistry module requires different skills to be developed and each one is structured differently from other modules taught in the course.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Surrey has so much support in place, whether it’s a quick revision question or a review of the lecture content. The department has an open door policy so just knock at someone’s door during office hours (not that you’d want to be there after 5pm 😂) and ask away!
  • Make the most of your time: Don’t be afraid to experiment with yourself and your surroundings! Uni can be scary at times (especially in your first year) but you’ll never know if you like something if you don’t try!

Find out more

If you want to explore the chemistry world at Surrey, check out the video and link below: