Aston University Pharmacy Personal Statement

Overview

Aston University is lively, welcoming and cosmopolitan campus based university situated in the centre of Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK. It was founded in 1895 and in 1966, received the Royal Charter to be a University from Queen Elizabeth II. The campus is home to five schools (Business, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Languages and Social Sciences Life and Health Sciences and the Medical school) which offer foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research programmes. The University currently has a student population of over 14,000 (10,000 undergraduate and over 3,700 postgraduate) enrolled from 135 countries around the world.

Aston consistently ranks high in various league tables. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 78% of research submitted was evaluated as 'world leading' or 'internationally recognised'. It is currently ranked 12th in the UK and in the top 80 in the world in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2016. For the 4th consecutive year in a row the National Student Survey ranked Aston amongst the top 30 universities in the UK for overall student satisfaction. The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016 ranked Aston 26th out of all UK universities for graduate level employment success and Aston is one of the top 25 UK universities targeted by major graduate recruiters such as Accenture, BT, Glaxo Smith Kline, IBM and Jaguar Land Rover.

This success is partly due to Aston’s strong reputation with employers and the fact that around 70% of students take Sandwich or Year Abroad Programmes giving them valuable (and usually paid) experience integrated into their degrees. Currently 78.8% of Aston graduates find a graduate-level job or further study within six months of graduation, compared to a national average of less than 70%. This places Aston inside the top 25 institutions in the UK (Complete University Guide 2017).

Whatever undergraduate course you are studying, you can choose to study French, German, Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic whilst you are at Aston, either as an optional module within your degree programme or on an extra-curricular basis. The University offers over 30 Joint Honours degrees that allow you to study two separate subjects to Honours level but in a way which integrates the two academic areas.

For international students flying into the city, Birmingham Airport is 20 minutes train journey from Birmingham New Street Station, and London is a 90 minute journey by rail or two hours' drive. Our multi-cultural campus is no more than 20-30 minutes walking distance from the city’s main shopping and entertainment centres. Mercer Quality of Living Report 2015 ranked Birmingham City as having the highest quality of life of any other city in the UK outside of the capital. Aston University was ranked first for student quality of life in 2010, while FHM and Virgin Student ranked it amongst the friendliest universities in the country.

Services for International Students

An International Orientation Programme runs at the beginning of each year to provide information and support to new international students. Student volunteers or ‘Aston Aunties’ help to meet-and-greet students as they arrive at Birmingham Airport at specified times in the beginning of each academic year and help them adapt to the new culture and experiences awaiting them.

A team of International Student Advisers and Welfare staff who specialise in visas and immigration are available throughout the year, while students are also allocated a personal tutor to guide them through any academic issues during their study.

Ranking

  • 46th in the Times University Guide 2018
  • 51st in the Guardian University Guide 2018
  • 5 Star Rating for excellence in teaching, employability, innovation, facilities, inclusiveness and internationalization (QS, 2016-17)
  • 11th in UK for Student Experience (The Times and Sunday Times University Guide, 2016)
  • 14th in the UK for graduate earnings (Telegraph, 2015)
  • 27th in the world and 3rd in the UK for Partnership with Employers (QS, 2015/6 Graduate Employability)

In the most recent subject rankings, Aston ranked well in the following:

  • Chemical Engineering – 20th (Guardian, 2016)
  • Computer Science – 28th in the UK (Times, 2016)
  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering – 18th in the UK (Guardian, 2016)
  • Politics – 13th in the UK (Times, 2017)
  • Sociology – 21st  in the UK (Guardian, 2016)
  • Pharmacy – 5th in the UK (Times, 2016)
  • Biological Sciences – 28th in the UK (Times, 2016)
  • Psychology – 25th (Times, 2016)
  • MSc in Investment Analysis  - 15th in the UK and 53rd in the world and (Financial Times Masters in Finance, 2016)
  • MSc International Business – 15th in the UK and 85th in the world (Financial Times Global Matters in Management, 2016)
  • Business, Management and related subjects - 28th in the UK (The Times 2016), Top 100 (QS World Ranking, 2015)

Aston Business School is one of just 75 business schools in the world and one of 22 business schools in the UK to hold the "triple crown" accreditation from the most sought-after international accreditations (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS) and the school ranks consistently highly in both the Financial Times and the Economist’s rankings. The Professional Development Programme (PDP) is an integrated module which runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School and focuses on professional development and employability this module gives students the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. Students have the choice of two options to complete the Professional Development Programme either on a 12 month route or the 18 month route.

The School of Pharmacy was awarded a prestigious Regius Professorship by HM The Queen. Aston is one of just twelve institutions to receive a Regius Professorship to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. A Regius Professorship is a rare and privileged award with only fourteen created since the reign of Queen Victoria. 

Accommodation

Aston University guarantees international non-EU students campus accommodation for the whole of their study. EU students are guaranteed university campus accommodation for the first year of their studies and can apply for campus accommodation in the subsequent years.

Aston’s campus is in the centre of Birmingham and contains 3,000 en-suite rooms. They are all five minutes’ walk from the main university buildings and the centre of Birmingham. Apartments are self-catering and house between 3 and 12 students. On-campus facilities include launderettes, satellite television lounges, 24-hour library and numerous cafes, pubs and restaurants. Residence tutors and wardens are available to support students.

Location

Aston University campus is located in the centre of Birmingham, ‘Britain’s Second City’. Birmingham is a lively and multicultural city, with a population of approximately 1.2 million people. It currently hosts the largest number of theatres outside London and has a vibrant art, music and literary scene. Birmingham also has a strong nightlife and many festivals from the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade outside Dublin to the UK’s biggest indoor Christmas Market.

Alumni

Politics

  • Keith Bradley, Baron Bradley (Labour politician and life peer)
  • Robert Walter (Conservative MP)
  • Simon D’Ujanga (State Minister for Energy, Uganda)
  • Anthony Cheung (Secretary for Transport and Housing, Hong Kong)

Business

  • Phil Popham (Global Operations Director, Jaguar Land Rover)
  • Angela Beesley Starling (Co-founder of Wikia)
  • Mark Wright (Executive Director, Jaguar Land Rover)
  • Ravi Kant (Vice Chairman of TATA Motors India)

Media

  • Laura Jones (BBC Journalist)
  • Ivan Noble (BBC Journalist)
  • Kate Walsh (Television Presenter)

Interested in this School?

The course of the medical world has been phenomenally changed by the discovery of Penicillin, one of the most effective life-saving drugs. Such advances intrigue me to learn about the formation of drugs, how they produce an effect in the body and their correct usage on people. As innovative medicines are being developed for emerging diseases, a pharmacist's role is crucial and at the forefront to provide medicines in a safe and effective way. Pharmacy appeals to me as it involves studying both health and chemical sciences, which I am passionate about, and it would enable me to help and work with patients which I would find very gratifying.

Attending the 'Science School Conference 2010' organized by the Royal College of Pathologists, enlightened me more on the practical side of healthcare. I found the talk about virology by Dr Mark Atkins enthralling, especially the fact that the outbreak of past viral epidemics has geared up scientists to devise new techniques to tackle the forthcoming attacks.

Ever since learning the fundamentals of Chemistry, I knew this was the pathway I would follow.Chemistry at A-Level has developed my understanding of the atomic structures, bonding and chemical mechanisms which I believe are elementary to study Pharmacy. It has also catalysed my grasp in learning biochemistry of biological molecules such as enzymes in Biology. I immensely enjoyed learning about the functions of antibiotics in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, although bacterial resistance, for example in 'superbugs' is proving to be a huge problem for treating bacterial infections. Laboratory experiments in both courses have greatly increased my practical and analytical skills.

Equally, Maths with statistics, has improved my logical thinking, problem solving and data handling skills. Through hard work, good essay writing, group discussion and presentation skills I was able to score the top marks in Law at AS. In addition, the subject made me more aware of the English Legal System and enhanced my understanding of the code of ethics and professionalism of pharmacists.

Furthermore, a work placement gave me an insight into the role of a community pharmacist therefore reinforcing my interest in a lifetime involvement in Pharmacy. There I carried out tasks such as pricing medicines, sorting prescriptions in order and finding the medicines for a prescription. I watched the pharmacist dispense medicines and advise clients. It was interesting to encounter recovering heroin addicts who were interacted with great calm and given the correct dose of a substitute drug known as Methadone. I was fascinated to acknowledge the large availability of either generic or prescription only drugs, that also made me realise the importance of the responsibility of a pharmacist as wrong dispensing of medicines can lead to fatal consequences.

As a Fundraising Assistant at the Sickle Cell Society I gained sound knowledge about charity work and improved my organisational skills by managing numerous tasks. Whilst volunteering at the Asian People Disability Alliance, I engaged with disabled adults in various activities, learnt more about their behaviour and used effective communication skills to understand and fulfill their needs.

By participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award I have developed teamwork skills and have demonstrated keen commitment as a responsible team player in order to survive the challenges. Due to my leadership qualities I was chosen to represent the Brent Girls Volleyball Team as a captain. Playing basketball and swimming regularly have given me a healthy lifestyle. I have enhanced my creativity and artistic skills through my favourite hobby of painting and drawing, for which I have won awards at various art competitions back in Nepal. With my determination, dedication and understanding of what a pharmacy career entails,I believe I make an ideal candidate for this course and look forward to meeting the challenges of university life.

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