Get to know me

Hello, my name is Jasmine and I’m a first-year undergraduate biochemistry student, here at the University of Bath. I am on the 5-year degree programme meaning I am doing an integrated masters along with a placement year in my third year. I chose the 5-year programme as I believe I will have better prospects on graduating having had experience working as a biochemist (hopefully!) and by graduating with a masters degree.

I come from a small industrial town in South Wales and I am fluent in Welsh! At A level I studied Biology, Chemistry, History and the Welsh Baccalaureate, achieving A*AAA (eventually!) During sixth form, I went on a summer school and Pathway to Bath and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. 

Why I signed up for Pathway to Bath (PTB)?

Pathway to Bath is mostly an online programme that allows students to develop their academic skills through a series of tasks and eventually a week-long residential where you continue to gain valuable hands-on experience. After the residential, there is a project to complete over the summer. I completed the Biology course for PTB as I knew that I was mostly interested in the biosciences field. However, PTB offers more than just science as language courses, engineering and health and social sciences courses are also available. 

I signed up for PTB as I was very interested in coming to Bath to study my degree, and so the opportunity to be offered an Alternative Offer (this lowers the entry requirements for some courses, usually by one grade), if I were to achieve a B or higher at the end of the programme. I narrowly missed an A in my project by one mark and so, when the time came for universities to make offers to potential students, I was offered an alternative offer (yay!).

Also, I signed up to PTB because it seemed like a good way to gain hands-on experience in university labs, conducting undergraduate level experiments in time for actually attending university. PTB also allowed me to enrich my personal statement as I had experience not only in a lab but also of writing practical reports to a high standard.

My experience on the programme

Applying for PTB was simple and did not take me a very long time. All I had to do was say why I was interested in completing the programme (and provide proof of different things etc). I was so excited when I received my acceptance letter and I was really excited to begin the programme. 

The biology course was to study cancer cells and the different hallmarks of cancer cells. To begin with the programme, we had to complete a revision timetable and pick which hallmark of cancer cells we would be studying specifically (I chose immortality). Then we completed an essay on the different types of cancer treatments and if they were effective against the hallmark we had chosen. My favourite part of the programme was of course the residential. 

Five student, four females and one male positn for a head and shoulders photo

Me and my friends standing by the lake before we had to go home!

During the residential, we began the experiments which we would be writing our final reports on. We got to use HeLa cells and that was very exciting as I had only heard of them, but never had a chance to use them in an experiment, until now. We were also attending seminars on how to write effective personal statements and what student finance is like.

The residential wasn’t all work however, I had a chance to swim in the pool (and as a competitive swimmer that was a fantastic experience), I played ultimate frisbee, went on a run with one of the Student Ambassadors and a group of others on the programme and a lot more! I made some great friends during PTB, who I am still in contact with now!

Me and my friends standing by the lake before we had to go home!

In December, we were invited to a celebration event for completing Pathway, and me and my family were able to explore the Christmas market in Bath which was so beautiful!

Christmas Market by the Abbey

What I gained from PTB                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PTB for me showed me how much I loved the University of Bath and how much I knew this university was for me. I gained valuable experience not only from learning how to write practical reports (that I am currently beginning to do), but I also used equipment in the lab that I now use on a regular basis during my lab sessions. Thus PTB was a very helpful and enjoyable experience. 

PTB gave me the confidence to go to university, as I already had experience of what life was like on campus and I felt like I knew what to somewhat expect from university life here at Bath. 

My advice to you! 

Life at the moment is quite different and so my advice would be to power through and make the most of a weird situation. Grab every opportunity you are presented with, with two hands and don’t look back. This includes any programmes, residentials, projects or otherwise with your preferred universities or even work experience! Get yourself out of your comfort zones and try new things as this is what university will also be like! 

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