Student profile
James Willsmore

James Willsmore

"The Braithwaite scholarship greatly eased the pressure and allowed me to focus less on the financial burden of the degree and more on enjoying what I came to Surrey to do: to further my knowledge of the subject area I wanted to make my career in."

Entry year
2019

I chose to come to Surrey because it offered an MSc in Medical Physics accredited by IPEM (Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine). Also, friends who had studied here in the past recommended the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences as being friendly, approachable and well-informed in its specialist subject areas. Guildford is a well-connected city, which also appealed to me because it meant I could stay in contact with my support network of friends in London and family in the South and South West while studying.

I applied for the Braithwaite Scholarship (which covers the course tuition fees) having seen it advertised on the Surrey website. I was already working as a painter and decorator to raise funds for my MSc, so I saw it as a good way of funding my studies and avoiding taking out another student loan. The Braithwaite scholarship greatly eased the pressure and allowed me to focus less on the financial burden of the degree and more on enjoying what I came to Surrey to do: to further my knowledge of the subject area I wanted to make my career in.

"One of the aspects of the course I have most enjoyed are the trips to medical physics centres in the surrounding area and the visit to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). There are also had lots of opportunities to meet and talk to potential employers and understand the industrial side of medical physics through talks from organisations such as ELEKTA, Public Health England and the Royal Surrey Hospital."

All the staff on my course are extremely approachable and friendly, and I’ve never felt that I couldn’t approach them with an academic or course related question. The external lecturers have also been very responsive, despite having a professional career outside of the university. I feel this is because all the lecturers are extremely passionate about what they do and love the opportunity to share their knowledge.

The facilities at Surrey are impressive, particularly the radiation lab which offers capabilities to conduct a wide range of radiation physics experiments such as blood labelling, thermoluminescence dosimetry and gamma ray spectroscopy.

I would say the best thing about my life at Surrey has been getting to know my fellow course mates. Due to the small size of the course we have grown close and often support each other in our studies, meeting up outside of the course for drinks when we could.

I joined both the Garden and Sailing Societies during my time at Surrey and enjoyed both greatly. Having grown up on a farm in Somerset, gardening has always been a hobby of mine, and the Society has a large plot of land at the back of campus with facilities to grow pretty much whatever you want. It was good to be able to access green space while living in a flat on campus and the time I spent in this garden has been brilliant for supporting my mental health.

When I graduate, I’ll be taking up a place on the NHS STP for Medical Physics, which is a highly competitive three-year training programme aimed at providing academic and work-based training to produce the next generation of clinical scientists in the UK.

 

Find out more about the Braithwaite Scholarship.

Discover our courses in physics, including our MSc Medical Physics.

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