Poppy Owen Industrial Biotechnology graduate

Daniel Ransom Sport and Exercise Psychology graduate

Lauren Caddy and Katie McKeown Cosmetic Science graduates

Poppy Owen Industrial Biotechnology graduate

Daniel Ransom Sport and Exercise Psychology graduate

Lauren Caddy and Katie McKeown Cosmetic Science graduates

Industrial Biotechnology student Poppy Owen is living proof that determination can get you to where you want to be. The girl from Bangor broke her back in a car accident five years ago and is now studying for a Masters in a totally new subject area.

Industrial Biotechnology student Poppy Owen is living proof that determination can get you to where you want to be. The girl from Bangor broke her back in a car accident five years ago and is now studying for a Masters in a totally new subject area.

“Following my AS levels I decided to take a BTEC National Diploma level 3 in Applied Science (Forensic Science)”, recalls Poppy. “After four months at college, however, I was involved in a serious car accident and broke my back. I missed three months of college and had to fight tooth and nail to get back into college as my tutors felt that I had missed too much.”

Proving her tutors wrong, Poppy went on to pass her course with flying colours and started looking for a university place. “I loved the feel of LJMU,” she says. “There is a serious yet relaxed teaching style here, the people are incredibly nice and the academics are really helpful.”

Loving every minute of her undergraduate degree, Poppy decided to study for a Masters. “My accident made me realise I have to make the most of every opportunity,” she says. “I felt that a postgraduate qualification would give me better career opportunities and help me to progress faster in the workplace.”

Never one to make things easy for herself, Poppy decided not to follow the usual path to a Masters in Forensic Science but to try something new. “I started my undergrad wanting to focus on what happens when someone dies,” she recalls. “Recovering from my accident I realised the importance of helping those who are still alive and so I became interested in the Industrial Biotechnology course.”

“I felt that a postgraduate qualification would give me better career opportunities and help me to progress faster in the workplace. ”

Somewhat surprised to be allowed to move from a forensics specialism into her new subject area, Poppy was delighted to secure a place on the course. “I was nervous about my lack of direct experience but I like to push myself and wanted to make myself more interesting to employers,” she says. “I have actually found that a lot of the analytical skills I learned at undergraduate level have really helped me and, in some cases, given me an advantage over those who have moved on from Biomedical Science, Biology and Biochemistry.”

Poppy would eventually like to become a Senior Scientist in Pharmaceuticals. She wants to work in the production of life-saving and life-enhancing drugs. “When I had my accident I realised I could either give up or come out fighting - and I decided to fight,” she smiles. “I want to prove that you can do whatever you want to do so long as you are determined and work hard. Masters study is a big step up and pretty challenging at times but the lecturers couldn’t be more helpful. They want you to succeed and they push you to learn. With their help and my hard work I feel sure I can make it.”

Manchester United Academy Psychologist Daniel Ransom joined LJMU as an undergraduate and achieved his BSc and MSc Sport Psychology qualifications here before embarking on the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Manchester United Academy Psychologist Daniel Ransom joined LJMU as an undergraduate and achieved his BSc and MSc Sport Psychology qualifications here before embarking on the Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

“I stayed at LJMU because I have had a really good experience here,” he explains. “The staff are very supportive and have similar interests to me. In many ways it was the natural choice.”

The Professional Doctorate was ideal for Daniel as it offered the chance to combine Level 8 study with professional training. “From the outset expectations were very well explained to us,” he says. “There are relatively small numbers of students on the course and that means we really feel well supported. Staff always have the time for you.”

“The support of the staff at LJMU was instrumental in me securing my position with Manchester United.”

“Tutors at LJMU have real elite level experience of delivering psychology support in professional sport,” explains Daniel. “I have been exposed to a much broader range of theoretical approaches than I’ve seen elsewhere. This has allowed me to develop a strong theoretical understanding of the key concepts in sport psychology, and also an understanding of how this is applied in practice at the elite level. The support of the staff at LJMU was instrumental in me securing my position with Manchester United.”

When Lauren Caddy and Katie McKeown decided to progress from their Pharmaceutical Science degrees to a Masters in Cosmetic Science they had no doubt they would stick with LJMU.

When Lauren Caddy and Katie McKeown decided to progress from their Pharmaceutical Science degrees to a Masters in Cosmetic Science they had no doubt they would stick with LJMU.

“We both had a great undergraduate experience here,” explains Katie. “Moving somewhere else which may not be so supportive seemed pointless.”

“The thought of starting at a new university actually terrified me,” agrees Lauren. “We know the tutors here, we know how things work and we know our way around the uni. Masters study is often only a year and the idea of taking time out of that year to settle in somewhere else just didn’t make sense.”

The pair also found that the step up to Masters study was easily manageable having studied here previously. “We went into our Masters knowing what was expected of us so it felt like a gradual development from our undergraduate degree rather than a leap,” says Katie. “We were ready to work from day one so it was a really good transition.”

In terms of their course, the two best friends are loving every minute. “There is a real industry focus so we know what to expect when we enter the job market,” says Lauren. “We get to apply our theoretical learning on a weekly basis and we will even have the opportunity to apply for industry placements when we do our 12 week research project.”

As well as the support of tutors and departmental staff the girls are very appreciative of each other. “Progressing through your studies with a friend makes a huge difference,” says Katie. “We met on the first day of our foundation course five years ago and have been best friends ever since. We study together, revise together and we support each other if we are struggling at all. Everyone jokes that we will end up working together too but no matter what happens we will certainly be friends for life.”