plshelpmelol
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I'm in year 12 and I'm doing biology, chemistry, maths and psychology at a-level and I'm sooo unsure about what I want to do at uni. My favourite subject is chemistry and I honestly love it so much but idk the degrees that are offered which have the largest scope and possibility of being "successful" (getting a good job at the end of it). I looked at chemistry degrees and lots of people said that the majority of students who do it end up being technicians or teachers. I was also looking at chemical engineering but apparently that's a lot of physics (rather than chem) and I don't do physics and I'm not sure if universities would overlook me because I don't do physics or further maths.
If i could imagine the environment I would be working in, it would probably be a lab.

ughh I'm so stuck..

If anyone has any ideas for chemistry based degrees or anything to add about a chemistry degree or chemical engineering please help (I could with a lot of help rn)

Thanks a lot!
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by plshelpmelol)
I'm in year 12 and I'm doing biology, chemistry, maths and psychology at a-level and I'm sooo unsure about what I want to do at uni. My favourite subject is chemistry and I honestly love it so much but idk the degrees that are offered which have the largest scope and possibility of being "successful" (getting a good job at the end of it). I looked at chemistry degrees and lots of people said that the majority of students who do it end up being technicians or teachers. I was also looking at chemical engineering but apparently that's a lot of physics (rather than chem) and I don't do physics and I'm not sure if universities would overlook me because I don't do physics or further maths.
If i could imagine the environment I would be working in, it would probably be a lab.

ughh I'm so stuck..

If anyone has any ideas for chemistry based degrees or anything to add about a chemistry degree or chemical engineering please help (I could with a lot of help rn)

Thanks a lot!
Technicians or teachers? Are you sure that’s true, I did a chemistry degree and that certainly wasn’t the outcome of the majority of my cohort. And if people go into those jobs it’s because they want to, not because that’s the only thing open to them with such a degree. A chemistry degree gives you skills that are useful and desired in many fields and loads of graduates will go on to be consultants, analysts, lawyers, bankers and so on. Out of my entire cohort I can only think of one person who became a chemistry teacher and no one who became a technician. And within actual chemistry you can go on to become a postdoc, an academic or you can avoid academia altogether and go straight into industry and become a formulation chemist, process chemist, analytical chemist, pharmaceuticals and so on.
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Sinnoh
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You're not forced to do a job specifically related to your uni degree. A lot of graduate jobs aren't that specific in what course they want applicants to have done. If you don't want to be a teacher or a technician, don't apply to be one. Sounds like chemistry is the subject you'd most want to spend 3-4 years of your life studying.
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McGinger
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Drug Discovery / Pharmacology :https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...drug-discovery
Forensic and Analytical Chemistry https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/und...icalchemistry/
Chemical Science : https://www.mmu.ac.uk/study/undergra...mical-science/
Chemical Engineering :https://courses.leeds.ac.uk/f463/che...ring-meng-beng
Chemistry with Industrial Experience : https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/u...al-experience/
Chemistry and Management https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/under...lacement-year/
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by plshelpmelol)
I'm in year 12 and I'm doing biology, chemistry, maths and psychology at a-level and I'm sooo unsure about what I want to do at uni. My favourite subject is chemistry and I honestly love it so much but idk the degrees that are offered which have the largest scope and possibility of being "successful" (getting a good job at the end of it). I looked at chemistry degrees and lots of people said that the majority of students who do it end up being technicians or teachers. I was also looking at chemical engineering but apparently that's a lot of physics (rather than chem) and I don't do physics and I'm not sure if universities would overlook me because I don't do physics or further maths.
If i could imagine the environment I would be working in, it would probably be a lab.

ughh I'm so stuck..

If anyone has any ideas for chemistry based degrees or anything to add about a chemistry degree or chemical engineering please help (I could with a lot of help rn)

Thanks a lot!
Hi!

I've seen a lot of people on here worried about getting a job after a chemistry degree and it's really shocked me! In my experience, a chemistry degree opens soooo many doors with chemistry graduates being highly sought after. During a chemistry degree you learn valuable professional skills (i.e. communication, planning, team work, presentation skills etc.) useful in lots of different industries alongside chemistry based skills. If you want to work in a lab then I think a chemistry degree is probably the best way to get there, but I am probably a little bias as I am a chemistry graduate

When I graduated I was spoilt for choice with what job I wanted to go into, I was interested in working for DSTL in porton down so I applied for a job there. I was lucky enough to get the job offer as well as an offer to do a PhD, in the end I chose the PhD! I was interested in working in scientific research and doing a PhD seemed to be the best way to get there. After the PhD I'm not sure whether I'll stay in academia or go into industry but I know for sure I won't struggle to find a good career!

When I started my undergrad degree I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, for a while I considered being a patent lawyer before I realised research was what I was interested in. Then I thought about working in industry, pretty much every manufacturing company will have a scientific research aspect to them. Pharmaceutical companies need chemists for drug analysis and development, fuel companies need chemists for developing new fuel packages and biofuel, contact lens companies need chemists to develop new lens formulations, the list literally goes on and on and on... Pretty much every consumable you can see around you has been through some kind of scientific process!

And like Plantagenet Crown said, people who became teachers and lab techs would have done that because they wanted to! Often people who start as lab techs work their way up the company, in a lot of labs its necessary to have university trained scientists as lab techs due to the complexity of the job.

It's also really important to do a degree you're interested in, they are tough (especially STEM degrees in my experience) and long (3/4 years depending on the type of degree) so doing well has a lot to do with how engaged you are with the subject material.

Please let me know if you have any other questions (about the structure of a chemistry degree etc), I'm more than happy to help

Molly
MChem graduate
Chemistry PhD Student
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi!

I've seen a lot of people on here worried about getting a job after a chemistry degree and it's really shocked me! In my experience, a chemistry degree opens soooo many doors with chemistry graduates being highly sought after. During a chemistry degree you learn valuable professional skills (i.e. communication, planning, team work, presentation skills etc.) useful in lots of different industries alongside chemistry based skills. If you want to work in a lab then I think a chemistry degree is probably the best way to get there, but I am probably a little bias as I am a chemistry graduate

When I graduated I was spoilt for choice with what job I wanted to go into, I was interested in working for DSTL in porton down so I applied for a job there. I was lucky enough to get the job offer as well as an offer to do a PhD, in the end I chose the PhD! I was interested in working in scientific research and doing a PhD seemed to be the best way to get there. After the PhD I'm not sure whether I'll stay in academia or go into industry but I know for sure I won't struggle to find a good career!

When I started my undergrad degree I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, for a while I considered being a patent lawyer before I realised research was what I was interested in. Then I thought about working in industry, pretty much every manufacturing company will have a scientific research aspect to them. Pharmaceutical companies need chemists for drug analysis and development, fuel companies need chemists for developing new fuel packages and biofuel, contact lens companies need chemists to develop new lens formulations, the list literally goes on and on and on... Pretty much every consumable you can see around you has been through some kind of scientific process!

And like Plantagenet Crown said, people who became teachers and lab techs would have done that because they wanted to! Often people who start as lab techs work their way up the company, in a lot of labs its necessary to have university trained scientists as lab techs due to the complexity of the job.

It's also really important to do a degree you're interested in, they are tough (especially STEM degrees in my experience) and long (3/4 years depending on the type of degree) so doing well has a lot to do with how engaged you are with the subject material.

Please let me know if you have any other questions (about the structure of a chemistry degree etc), I'm more than happy to help

Molly
MChem graduate
Chemistry PhD Student
Wish I could rep this but it’s not letting me, what an amazing response! And like you I’m baffled at all the threads I’m seeing of people who worry about a chemistry degree’s job prospects. It’s quite worrying, where are they getting the idea that not much variety is available or that the jobs are low paid? It’s totally false of course and the breadth of careers chemistry graduates can go into is enormous. It’s nice to see another chemistry PhD about though, we’re not all that common! Well I have my PhD already and now work as a pharmaceutical process chemist which would be a great job for anyone who wants to work in a lab and contribute to drug discovery and development. OP, I’d be more than happy to answer questions on it but it seems like you’ve asked for advice and then disappeared...
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plshelpmelol
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
Wish I could rep this but it’s not letting me, what an amazing response! And like you I’m baffled at all the threads I’m seeing of people who worry about a chemistry degree’s job prospects. It’s quite worrying, where are they getting the idea that not much variety is available or that the jobs are low paid? It’s totally false of course and the breadth of careers chemistry graduates can go into is enormous. It’s nice to see another chemistry PhD about though, we’re not all that common! Well I have my PhD already and now work as a pharmaceutical process chemist which would be a great job for anyone who wants to work in a lab and contribute to drug discovery and development. OP, I’d be more than happy to answer questions on it but it seems like you’ve asked for advice and then disappeared...
Sorry about that! Thank you for all your responses and you've definitely reassured me. I was very wrong in assuming that students who do chemistry will end up as technicians or teachers and that's certainly not the case! I looked into it more and although it seems challenging, I feel like a chemistry degree suits me and my interests the best. Chemistry is what I'm leaning towards the most out of what I've been looking at however I was wondering if you've heard of a natural sciences degree (I think a few unis like durham and cambridge do it)? I've been trying to find more info on websites such as prospects.ac.uk and other uni websites but they have little info that tells me about things like student satisfaction and difficulty etc.
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plshelpmelol
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Thank you so much!!
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plshelpmelol
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi!

I've seen a lot of people on here worried about getting a job after a chemistry degree and it's really shocked me! In my experience, a chemistry degree opens soooo many doors with chemistry graduates being highly sought after. During a chemistry degree you learn valuable professional skills (i.e. communication, planning, team work, presentation skills etc.) useful in lots of different industries alongside chemistry based skills. If you want to work in a lab then I think a chemistry degree is probably the best way to get there, but I am probably a little bias as I am a chemistry graduate

When I graduated I was spoilt for choice with what job I wanted to go into, I was interested in working for DSTL in porton down so I applied for a job there. I was lucky enough to get the job offer as well as an offer to do a PhD, in the end I chose the PhD! I was interested in working in scientific research and doing a PhD seemed to be the best way to get there. After the PhD I'm not sure whether I'll stay in academia or go into industry but I know for sure I won't struggle to find a good career!

When I started my undergrad degree I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, for a while I considered being a patent lawyer before I realised research was what I was interested in. Then I thought about working in industry, pretty much every manufacturing company will have a scientific research aspect to them. Pharmaceutical companies need chemists for drug analysis and development, fuel companies need chemists for developing new fuel packages and biofuel, contact lens companies need chemists to develop new lens formulations, the list literally goes on and on and on... Pretty much every consumable you can see around you has been through some kind of scientific process!

And like Plantagenet Crown said, people who became teachers and lab techs would have done that because they wanted to! Often people who start as lab techs work their way up the company, in a lot of labs its necessary to have university trained scientists as lab techs due to the complexity of the job.

It's also really important to do a degree you're interested in, they are tough (especially STEM degrees in my experience) and long (3/4 years depending on the type of degree) so doing well has a lot to do with how engaged you are with the subject material.

Please let me know if you have any other questions (about the structure of a chemistry degree etc), I'm more than happy to help

Molly
MChem graduate
Chemistry PhD Student
Thanks for this! How did you find each year at uni and how many years/months has it been since you've graduated? Also, do you know if you can study a language with chemistry, I really interested in german but I don't know whether it would be very useful or if doing both would be too overwhelming with the amount of content?
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EierVonSatan
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
Wish I could rep this but it’s not letting me, what an amazing response! And like you I’m baffled at all the threads I’m seeing of people who worry about a chemistry degree’s job prospects. It’s quite worrying, where are they getting the idea that not much variety is available or that the jobs are low paid? It’s totally false of course and the breadth of careers chemistry graduates can go into is enormous. It’s nice to see another chemistry PhD about though, we’re not all that common! Well I have my PhD already and now work as a pharmaceutical process chemist which would be a great job for anyone who wants to work in a lab and contribute to drug discovery and development. OP, I’d be more than happy to answer questions on it but it seems like you’ve asked for advice and then disappeared...
There have been so many threads on TSR over the years about poor job prospects following chemistry degrees I've become numb to it This might be reflected in attitudes more widely leading declining numbers of people choosing chemistry...makes us more valuable though :awesome:

A simple course search will tell people what the typical destinations of graduates from each degree course are - in chemistry, as with other sciences, a large proportion go onto further study straight after their first degree.
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by plshelpmelol)
Sorry about that! Thank you for all your responses and you've definitely reassured me. I was very wrong in assuming that students who do chemistry will end up as technicians or teachers and that's certainly not the case! I looked into it more and although it seems challenging, I feel like a chemistry degree suits me and my interests the best. Chemistry is what I'm leaning towards the most out of what I've been looking at however I was wondering if you've heard of a natural sciences degree (I think a few unis like durham and cambridge do it)? I've been trying to find more info on websites such as prospects.ac.uk and other uni websites but they have little info that tells me about things like student satisfaction and difficulty etc.
I have heard of a natural sciences degree and many more unis other than Durham and Cambridge offer it. My brother did that degree but how it pans it will vary much more from person to person than say a chemistry degree because there's a wider variety of modules to choose from. One person on natural sciences could end up specialising in physics and geology whereas another could end up in biology and chemistry. I believe such a degree is designed for people who enjoy the sciences but aren't sure which one they like best or maybe they enjoy all of them that they don't want to do a degree in a single one.
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plshelpmelol
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
I have heard of a natural sciences degree and many more unis other than Durham and Cambridge offer it. My brother did that degree but how it pans it will vary much more from person to person than say a chemistry degree because there's a wider variety of modules to choose from. One person on natural sciences could end up specialising in physics and geology whereas another could end up in biology and chemistry. I believe such a degree is designed for people who enjoy the sciences but aren't sure which one they like best or maybe they enjoy all of them that they don't want to do a degree in a single one.
Cool! Can I ask how your brother found doing this course? Like which sciences did he choose to focus on, which unis he applied to and how the content is like? (also what a-levels did he take?)

Thanks
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by plshelpmelol)
Cool! Can I ask how your brother found doing this course? Like which sciences did he choose to focus on, which unis he applied to and how the content is like? (also what a-levels did he take?)

Thanks
I'll PM.
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University of Bath
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(Original post by plshelpmelol)
I'm in year 12 and I'm doing biology, chemistry, maths and psychology at a-level and I'm sooo unsure about what I want to do at uni. My favourite subject is chemistry and I honestly love it so much but idk the degrees that are offered which have the largest scope and possibility of being "successful" (getting a good job at the end of it). I looked at chemistry degrees and lots of people said that the majority of students who do it end up being technicians or teachers. I was also looking at chemical engineering but apparently that's a lot of physics (rather than chem) and I don't do physics and I'm not sure if universities would overlook me because I don't do physics or further maths.
If i could imagine the environment I would be working in, it would probably be a lab.

ughh I'm so stuck..

If anyone has any ideas for chemistry based degrees or anything to add about a chemistry degree or chemical engineering please help (I could with a lot of help rn)

Thanks a lot!
Hi there,

Based on what you've said your interests are, and your A-Level subjects, then you may be interested in Natural Sciences degrees. The top unis that offer NatSci degrees are Bath, Durham, Cambridge, UCL, Exeter and Nottingham. The course structure and the subjects available varies at each university, but at Bath it acts like a joint honours whereby you choose a major and a minor subjects from Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science and Pharmacology. You also choose an auxiliary/optional module which could be another science module, psychology, management or education.

NatSci courses are great if you are interested in multiple sciences, but don't like certain parts of one single science. For example, I'm interested in biology and pharmacology, but I don't like plant biology and some pharmacology units. Instead of doing just biology, where I'd be required to study units I don't like, I chose NatSci as then I get to select my modules and mostly only do ones I like. They are also interdisciplinary degrees, so give you a few more options after university and also make you pretty attractive to employers as you have multidisciplinary knowledge. You can find more information about the Uni of Bath NatSci course on this thread. You could do a range of combinations, such as Chemistry and Biochemistry!

If you are dead set on chemistry and are interested in all areas of chemistry, then that may be a better fit. I definitely wouldn't say that most chemistry graduates just become teachers or technicians, so don't let that put you off. A lot of graduates go into research positions, drug development roles with pharmaceutical companies, forensic lab scientists or into postgrad education such as a PhD and continue with academic research.

I hope this has helped, and please let me know if you have any more questions
Jessica, a final year NatSci student
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plshelpmelol
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Thank you for this! How is it like studying at bath? would you recommend?
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by plshelpmelol)
Thanks for this! How did you find each year at uni and how many years/months has it been since you've graduated? Also, do you know if you can study a language with chemistry, I really interested in german but I don't know whether it would be very useful or if doing both would be too overwhelming with the amount of content?
No worries, happy I can help

So I graduated in July 2019, so just over a year and a half ago. Each year was quite different, I did a 4 year integrated master degree at the Uni of Southampton so my experience might be different to other unis. The first year isn't too bad, people always say "First year doesn't count so you don't have to try" (your first year doesn't count towards your final grade but in order to move onto second year you need a minimum of 40% overall to pass) so a lot of people don't pay a lot of attention. So first year can feel pretty laid back and you'll have plenty of time to socialise and go out, however I would recommend paying attention and studying hard! You need a lot of what you learn in first year in later years of the degree so it's really useful to get to grips with the content before 2nd year so you don't have to learn it alongside your other 2nd year modules... I'm speaking from experience lol

Second year was the hardest year in my opinion, things just really seemed to step up! There were more workshops alongside lectures and I was spending more time in the lab - one 9am-6pm day every week compared to one 1pm-6pm day every week in first year. All this meant there was more stuff to do outside of lectures like lab reports, workshop questions, tutorial questions (set of questions you answer before attending the workshop or tutorial) and revising lectures. Things just seem to get serious in seconds year, I think you're expected to take it more seriously and work hard! This didn't stop us from going to the pub after labs or going out on a Tuesday night however, it was work hard play hard!

I liked third year quite a bit. We had core inorganic, organic and physical lectures in the first semester and then we could choose 3 optional modules in the second semester so that was cool! In first and second year its 3 core modules and 1 optional module). Alongside the lectures in third year we also started a research project within the department. So you choose which research area you're interested in and you're allocated a research group, the group give you a project to work on which is often associated with a PhD student project. You conduct the research and produce your dissertation at the end of it!

In my fourth year I chose to do a 6 month placement in industry, this stared in the July before 4th year semester 1 started and finished in December. There's a lot of freedom around what kind of placement you do (some of my friends went to universities abroad for example), I wanted to experience what industry was like so I stayed in the UK. During my placement I conducted a research project and wrote my masters dissertation at the end of the placement, this was all sorted by January. So during the January exam season I had to submit my viva and do a synoptic exam, its basically an exam based on everything we learnt in first year and second year - it sounds much worse than it actually is! Then for my final semester I just did 4 optional modules which was really nice, much more chill than I was expecting! It was like being in first year again lol

So on the language front, yes you can totally study a language along side! As I mentioned you get a choice of one optional module per semester in your first two years and then more optional module choices in 3rd and 4th year, but this will probably vary from uni to uni and depend on how long you course is. I didn't take a language but I had a friend on my course who did a french module every semester

I hope this was helpful, let me know if you have any more questions!

Molly
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Manchester Metropolitan University
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(Original post by plshelpmelol)
I'm in year 12 and I'm doing biology, chemistry, maths and psychology at a-level and I'm sooo unsure about what I want to do at uni. My favourite subject is chemistry and I honestly love it so much but idk the degrees that are offered which have the largest scope and possibility of being "successful" (getting a good job at the end of it). I looked at chemistry degrees and lots of people said that the majority of students who do it end up being technicians or teachers. I was also looking at chemical engineering but apparently that's a lot of physics (rather than chem) and I don't do physics and I'm not sure if universities would overlook me because I don't do physics or further maths.
If i could imagine the environment I would be working in, it would probably be a lab.

ughh I'm so stuck..

If anyone has any ideas for chemistry based degrees or anything to add about a chemistry degree or chemical engineering please help (I could with a lot of help rn)

Thanks a lot!
Hi plshelpmelol

Here at Manchester Met we offer Bsc(Hons) Chemistry and Bsc (Hons) Chemical Science :yeah:

Bsc(Hons) Chemistry graduates may be employed in the chemical, pharmaceutical, materials, food and drink, utility, healthcare, environment, aerospace, automotive, information technology and telecommunications industries.
Your chemistry degree will also equip you with a wide variety of transferable skills that can be applied to non-subject specific career pathways such as local government, teaching, law, journalism, business, finance, IT and retail.

Bsc(Chemical Science) graduates may be employed in the chemical, pharmaceutical, materials, food and drink, utility, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, information technology and telecommunications industries. A chemical science degree will also equip you with a wide variety of transferable skills that can be applied to non-subject specific career pathways such as local government, teaching, law, journalism, business and finance.

Our Chemical Science degree has a strong professional and practical focus, designed to help you move into roles such as:

  • Scientific team leader
  • Technologist
  • Laboratory analyst
  • Laboratory manager
  • Senior scientist
  • Process operations manager

We are currently offering Undergraduate On Demand Open Days where you can view subject presentations, subject areas, virtual campus tour, FAQs from our teaching staff and our student Life Fair covering everything from how to apply, student life, student living, careers to student support and overseas study and exchange. If you are interested you can access the On Demand Open day here: https://www.mmu.ac.uk/study/open-day...mand-open-days

I hope this helps! Good luck with your search!!

Best wishes,
Carly
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