What is it like studying a pharmacy degree?
Hi, I’m Eva and I’m a third year Pharmacy MPharm student. Here is my experience of studying at University of Brighton – from lectures and work experience to getting support, my favourite places, social life, living in Brighton, and tips on making and saving money.
- How I found university different from college
- Getting work experience at uni
- The support I’ve had at uni
- My favourite places on campus
- My uni activities outside class
- What I love about living in Brighton
- My tips on earning and saving money at uni
How I found university different from college
I struggled with the jump from GCSE to A-level at college and got really stressed that the only form of assessment was one set of exams. Uni isn’t like that; there are multiple forms of assessment including exams, coursework, and OSCEs (live spoken exams, role play style), assessed at different points throughout the year. This takes some of the pressure off the end-of-year exams and gives me a better idea of how I’m doing academically throughout the year.
Getting work experience at uni
My advice to future pharmacy students is to get a part-time job in a pharmacy as soon as possible. The things you learn on the job about prescription management, dispensing, consultation skills, and over-the-counter medication, are all really valuable, and being in a work environment surrounded by medication means you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve learned at uni – it’s like getting paid to revise! Zero-hours contracts can be controversial, but I’ve found they’re great for students who just want a bit of part-time flexible income. Here’s my blog all about working while studying at Brighton.
The support I’ve had at uni
The Disability and Dyslexia Team were amazing in getting my Learning Support Plan set up. They were super non-judgemental and they listened to what I said I needed, not just what my diagnosis might suggest I need. I got this sorted in foundation year and it’s helped massively. I get extra time in exams and automatic extensions to deadlines, which helps ease my stress levels. My advice to anyone with a long-term (mental or physical) health condition is to speak to the D&D team as soon as possible.
Certain lecturers go out of their way to make sure students understand their content. They are available on email to answer questions, ask students about their opinions and ideas, and organise extra revision sessions. It really feels like these lecturers care about the students and go above and beyond to ensure we’re doing well.
My favourite places on campus
Although I study at Moulsecoomb campus, I often visit Falmer campus for sports. Despite being on the outskirts of town, there are regular buses or it’s 10 minutes on the train from Brighton. I used to live close to City campus so I used St Peter’s Library a lot. I love that it’s in an old converted building and has retained the vintage vibe.
Third year has brought a real bond between me and my course-mates. Every week I book a group study room in the Aldrich library and invite some friends to sit with me. It’s nice to have a space to get together quietly and bounce ideas off each other.
My uni activities outside class
I would highly recommend going to the Freshers’ Fair during your first week – there are clubs and societies that do things you’ve probably never even heard of, and they’re all beginner-friendly and willing to teach you. Next year, I’m planning on joining the Ski and Snowboard club on one of their skiing trips abroad!
Both going to the gym and doing yoga were also new to me, but being at uni and growing into my own person has encouraged me to start living a healthier life. If you’re interested in the gym but don’t know where to start, my best advice is to find a buddy who will go with you and keep you motivated. Yoga is great too. It’s very mindful and reflective, I always found meditation very difficult but yoga seems to be working better for me.
What I love about living in Brighton
My favourite thing about Brighton is that we have a unique location – a beautiful, inclusive, vibrant city, right on a beach, surrounded by acres of untouched nature in the South Downs. I get to experience all of this in one place – one day I’ll be in town hitting my favourite local bars; the next day I’ll be hiking up hills, walking along cliffs or wandering through a forest; the next day I’ll be watching the waves crash into the pebbles. Check out my blog on some of my favourite nature spots in Brighton.
I also love that the Brighton student community is made up of students from both Brighton and Sussex Universities – there’s an even bigger student presence in Brighton than there would be otherwise, so there are double the opportunities to make new friends and meet like-minded people.
My tips on earning and saving money at uni
Affording uni can be a struggle, but a lot of things about Brighton make it easy to save money. There are so many places to find a flexible part-time job – everyone knows there are so many students living here, so most employers will be flexible around hours and exam periods.
Here are a few of my food-themed money-saving tips:
- Invest in a slow cooker and an air fryer – these are cheap to run and the possibilities are endless! Air fryers are so much quicker than ovens and great for heating up leftovers and slow cookers are great for batch cooking and freezing, and they also save so much time – stick them on in the morning and have a tasty home-cooked meal ready by the time you’ve come home.
- Learn to cook with cheap ingredients – staples are dried rice, pasta, red lentils, tinned tomatoes, beans and chickpeas. Meat and cheese are expensive so I don’t eat them at every meal and I always look for the cheaper options – chicken wings/drumsticks, fresh mozzarella balls and minced beef.
- Look out for yellow sticker reduced items in the afternoon/evening at supermarkets – you can find some quality stuff at bargain prices.
- If you like going to the pub, download the Dusk app – there’s a bunch of pubs and bars in Brighton that offer a free drink a day in partnership with the Dusk app.
- Shop at Aldi!