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MPBE Student Voice



Reflections on my first year as a Medical Physics student

By Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, on 16 August 2023

girl standing outside wavingIt has certainly been an eventful academic year – one which has flown by far too quickly! Yet in the hustle and bustle of student life, perhaps now is as good a time as ever to take a step back and reflect on the year that has very much characterised the stepping-stone into adulthood.

As with anything, the transition from school to university is a uniquely personal experience. But what seems to ring true for us all is the fact that there will always be some things that feel smooth-sailing, and other things that feel like an entirely new world. Oftentimes we get hung up on the unfamiliar; navigating new lives and new homes and new people without any real indication of where to go. Yet at the very crux of the student experience lies the awkwardly-endearing friendships we form along the way; friendships which make that transition just that much easier.

Studying Medical Physics at UCL has been an incredibly fun rollercoaster of emotions. From ice cream breaks during lab sessions (in the middle of winter…) to the existential crises during exam season, my first year of this course has certainly been one to remember. Yet what has become abundantly clear over the past twelve months is that I feel content knowing that choosing to study Medical Physics here at UCL was indeed the right choice.

computer with coding a 'Be Real' picture of two girls with the UCL campus in the background

That’s not to say that it has been a walk in the park. The course content and academia is inevitably challenging – but it is by no means unattainable. Studying a subject as multi-faceted as this truly is remarkable; combining the wonders of Physics with Medicine, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering, this degree offers the flexibility for each student to select modules across these disciplines, allowing us to tailor our education in the way that fits us best.

Perhaps my favourite part of this year has been embarking on a research journey as part of the MPBE Summer Studentship programme. To have had the opportunity to learn about and contribute towards paediatric brain tumour radiotherapy research at such an early stage of my academic career reflects the abundance of opportunities available to us as students here within the MPBE Department – and may just be why so many students end up going on to do their PhD within the department that has always been so warm and welcoming.

This past year has been one of growth and laughter. And it has also been a year of setbacks and unfamiliarity. The good and the bad accompany one another; they both exist, simultaneously. Yet if quantum entanglement has taught us one thing, it is that it takes knowing one to know the other. We must know the bad before we can know the good, and vice versa. And I am beyond excited to continue this journey here at UCL – knowing that despite the challenges that are yet to come, there is always so much to celebrate throughout it all.

collage of pictures

This blog was written by Saarah, Medical Physics

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