Student Profile - Ben Cross

MSci Chemistry, School of Chemistry

ben-cross "I really like the subject, and learning about something that has a real-world application is important to me."  

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

I really enjoyed Chemistry at A Level, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do at university. I applied to read Chemistry at the University of Birmingham for two reasons; UoB’s league table standing, and student experience. For you to enjoy the time you spend at university you have to enjoy both sides of student life, and Birmingham has the perfect balance. It is in the top 20 in the country for Chemistry - as well as being a Russell Group University – and Birmingham itself is well known for being a great city to be a student in. When it came down to choosing my 5 universities Birmingham was a natural choice.

What do you think are the best points of your course?

The nature of the course; the mixture of labs and lectures, means you make really good friends within your subject. It’s a really good way to get to know everyone, and everyone knows you, it really feels like a community. If you’re a social person, Chemistry is for you.

I really like the subject, and learning about something that has a real-world application is important to me. As all of the lecturers here are also researchers, you get a real sense of the use of the chemistry, rather than just the seemingly meaningless bunch of mechanisms and equilibria that was A Level. I like knowing that once I have completed my degree I can go out into a job and do the same things that I’ve learnt here at Birmingham.

What’s the best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham?

It’s hard to pick just one thing, but if I had to, it would be the student experience. It’s the whole package that makes the university what it is; it’s the people, the city, the nightlife, the amazing campus, the sport, the clubs and societies, even where it is in the country! Everyone wants to go to a university that they enjoy, but Birmingham goes a step further, it is a university you would be proud to be at.

What advice would you give to students thinking about studying on the course?

If you enjoy chemistry, go for it! It’s a great degree with good career prospects, you get to use cool equipment and apparatus, it’s a fantastic university, and if all else fails, you’ll still walk away with well-stocked arsenal of chemistry puns!

Is there anything extra students thinking about studying on the course should know?

Be prepared to work hard! It’s not an easy degree, you’ll have to put a good few hours in, but you feel great after you get those exam marks back and you’ve got what you wanted and more!