James Woods – MChem Chemistry followed by PhD James Woods – MChem Chemistry followed by PhD

Why did you choose to study at UEA?

The reputation of the School of Chemistry was excellent, and the amount of leading research being conducted on the Norwich Research Park was encouraging. Also UEA's constant placement at the top of student satisfaction surveys assured me that I would be making a good choice from the student life perspective too.

It was a big step moving away from home for the first time, but I threw myself into lots of clubs and societies and made the effort to meet as many new people as possible. I quickly felt at home, once I had worked out how to use the washing machines on campus.

What do you like most about your course?

I found the undergraduate teaching labs to be particularly good. The experiments were engaging and interesting, and helped reinforce the ongoing lecture material.

What is accommodation on campus like?

I lived in the UEA Village for my first year, so I had the luxury of my own en-suite wash room. The facilities were excellent and well-maintained.

In second year, living with my mates was great, particularly midnight trips to Tesco for beer and nibbles.

What advice would you give to new students starting at UEA?

Go out and meet new people! Join lots of clubs! It's the best way to get the most out of UEA. I joined football, badminton, cricket, and UEA Alchemy Society. The sports clubs were great fun and kept me fit, and the Alchemy Society was excellent for meeting new people in the department.

Have you seen any bands at the LCR or The Waterfront since you've been a student?

I've seen Bowling for Soup, Tinie Tempah, Mindless Self Indulgence, ‘A', Fozzy, The Blanks…the list goes on. I've seen many bands at UEA and the Waterfront – I'm impressed by how eclectic the choice of music is here, and how the organisers manage to attract so many big names here.

What are you plans for the future?

I plan to successfully complete my PhD in Chemistry, and then pursue a career in chemical research; either in industry or academia. My long-term aim is to have my own research group one day.

Have you taken advantage of the careers service at UEA?

The careers service helped me to put a good CV together. It's free for all students to use, so I would recommend taking advantage of it.

Do you like living in Norwich?

Norwich is excellent for the variety of entertainment available. There is a big music scene, several cinemas, countless places to eat out depending on preference, bowling alleys and all the usual stuff. The football team is excellent, and Norfolk is a great place to explore too, with its beaches and countryside.