Amanda Benton

Amanda, from Forres in Scotland, studied Chemistry in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and is now taking her PhD.

Why did you choose Heriot-Watt?

The choice to come to Heriot-Watt was very simple for me. I came for an open day and was greeted by such friendly students and staff that were very helpful and answered all my questions about what it was like to study here as well as city life.  The fact that everything you need for your day-to-day studies (from the lecture theatre, to the library and the student shop) is all within a 15-minute walk on campus was great for me.

How was your experience studying Chemistry at Heriot-Watt?

Excellent! The chemistry department is smaller than most universities in the UK and this works to its benefit.  I found the tutorial classes of around 10 students to be a great experience for developing my confidence. Not only could I speak to my peers and the tutor about what I was struggling with, the fact that it was only a week or so after the lecture was given meant that I could iron out any misunderstandings early on. The masters programme is integrated into the degree making it unique and this meant that I had 4 years of learning the theory and one full year to apply it in the lab.

How has your degree helped you in your career?

Currently I am doing my PhD within the group that I completed my masters project with. The structure of the degree was key to helping with my chemistry career as I had the opportunity to go to the Australian National University for the full of 3rd year. There I was exposed to research labs and was heavily involved in projects. After I returned to Edinburgh I could use this experience for summer placements that further enhanced my skills for applying my knowledge and problem solving. I believe it was this opportunity within my degree that allowed me to now work within a leading research lab in its field in a top university in the UK.