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Undergraduate to postgraduate: Amelia-Rose McKenzie


In this blog we spoke to Zoology graduate Amelia-Rose McKenzie. Amelia joined Queen Mary in 2015, taking a BSc in Zoology before going on to do her Masters’ degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with us. She discusses her experience of Queen Mary University of London from undergraduate to postgraduate level and her plans for the future.

How was your undergraduate experience at Queen Mary?

I really enjoyed the Zoology course. It is hard work and challenging at times but you learn so much. The Zoology programme has a relatively small group of students so I built close friendships with the other people on my course. Most of all, the field trips were amazing and very worthwhile. I was able to go on five field trips  Somerset, Scotland*, Croatia, Canada* and South Africa.

A lot of students choose courses like the Zoology programme because they’ve considered a future in ecological surveys or consultancy, things that are practical-based. Although lectures and the theory are important, you also need the practical side such as field and lab work. For example, in South Africa we did camera trapping, a useful method in ecological surveying. If I decide to go into this area in the future, I will be able to apply what I learned directly from my undergraduate degree.

*Please note the trips to Canada and Scotland are no longer running. 

Why did you decide to stay at Queen Mary for your Master's degree?

I liked the lecturers and atmosphere of the University and the campus. As a Master's is only one year, it also felt unnecessary to start all over again in a new environment. Certainly havin galready been here, knowing where everything is, such as the library, meant I did not have that added distraction of having to get used to a completely new university with different processes and systems – it’s was really easy to get started and allowed me to focus completely on my course.

By the end of my Zoology degree, I knew I liked ecology and evolutionary biology, so a Master's degree that encompassed both of these was a really great fit for me. The MSc Ecology and Evolutionary Biology programme also has some practical fieldwork, which takes place in Borneo.

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