Hello! I am Daniel and I am a third year student currently studying Physics with Theoretical Physics at the University of York. I was the first in my family to attend university and I’m from an area where not too many others were looking to do a degree. When I was looking into studying at York, I didn’t really understand a lot of the jargon and reasons why York was such a great place to study a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subject. I have now studied at York for three years and know exactly what makes it so great. In this blog post, I am going to explain why you should study STEM at York. I’m going to do this in a way I would have liked when looking to go to university.
On the bottom of the website, you will see that the University is part of the ‘Russell Group’. If you are looking into STEM-related degrees, you have probably heard this term but do you know what it means? I was never told who Russell is and why he groups together the best universities. Whilst I have never met Russell, I now know that the group is made up of 24 world-class universities, that conduct two-thirds of the UK’s world-leading research. These universities typically receive more money for research projects, which means students gain access to better labs and resources. York is one of the youngest members, so you will be taught by professors who are leading the nation’s research. If you choose to do Postgraduate study here, you could very well play a part in this important work too!
If you have made it this far in education, you know a specific subject will have about 100 different branches. Take for example Physics: this subject name covers Astrophysics, Theoretical Physics, Experimental Physics, Nanophysics, Particle Physics… The list goes on, however York allows you to select some modules so you spend time studying what interests you most.
My course began with a term of core modules. Everyone has to take these, to ensure that you know the fundamentals to study the topic further. By my third year, I could choose a variety of modules and get a clear picture of which elements of Physics I truly enjoy. But more than this, through these modules I can shape my degree to get what I want out of my time at York. I am interested in the computational Physics so by selecting Theoretical Physics, I was able to gain more coding and mathematical skills. In comparison, my friends who did an Astrophysics modules gain more Astronomy-based skills.
Different Ways To Learn
My favourite thing about studying STEM at York is the variety of ways that you study. Of course, I spend a lot of time in lectures with professors who do research in the subject rather than someone who just tells you facts from a textbook. We are also given the opportunity to put into practice everything we learn about in lectures. For example, I spend a lot of time the laboratory, doing experiments based on the modules I’m studying. You can also ask for help from the lab staff and professors, who are conducting industry-leading research.
I also have seminars and tutorials, where I answer practice questions in small groups and talk through topics with my professor. I find this really useful as I know if I don’t understand something, I can ask, you never feel lost. All of these different ways of learning have made me much more confident in my abilities as a scientist. Instead of repeating the theory, I have spent a lot of time using ideas in a practical setting and gaining skills I need for real-life work.
When selecting my university I didn’t want to think about the job I would be getting once I leave. There was so much else to think about, so thinking so far ahead felt slightly daunting. The University of York is intertwined with STEM companies which means I can take advantage of the extra opportunities.
I have asked for help when applying for summer placements (some of which were exclusive to York students) and I have attended careers fairs to meet employers. Having several career advisors with great links to employers, that I can always reach out to is invaluable. I was unsure of which graduate job I wanted but now, I am now confident in my career choice.
Read more blogs about why our students chose York.