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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Student Spotlight - Ugne, BSc Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics

We spoke to Ugne, from Lithuania to find out how she finds studying Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics at Queen Mary


Ugne, Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary over other universities?

For me, there were a few important aspects when choosing the university, I wanted to study at. The easiest to accomplish was finding a university that was outside of the country where I grew up in, and I have always wanted to live in London for some part of my life. The second was finding an engaging subject. This was a harder part of picking a university, as I was struggling with narrowing down what I wanted to do. Queen Mary, being one of the top research universities, simply seemed like the right fit for that.

Why did you pick this course?

I originally started my university journey back home, where I studied medicine for a year. However, to me that degree path did not seem engaging at all. We weren’t actually learning and aiming to understand the materials, we were simply memorizing them. Hence, I knew that when reapplying for university it was important to me that there would be aspects of independent learning, research and engaging with the subject that you are studying. Additionally, the career prospects were important to me, when picking my degree, which there are plenty of with a pharmacology degree.

How have you found the teaching, research, lecturers, course content?

I love that this is a small course, compared to others. In my year there are around 40 students. Which makes for quite individual learning, as there will always be time in a lecture or a seminar for you to ask questions if there is anything that you are unsure about. It is also so useful as a student to have professors/lecturers who are not just academics, however, also do research in the subject that they are teaching. This makes the content much more engaging, as the professors are teaching us something that they themselves are passionate about in their careers.

There is also a wide variety of professors/lecturers that you are going to meet as a student. Each module has multiple guest lecturers, which makes the teaching more diverse.

How have you found the support services and the facilities?

In my last university, the students were just kind of left to fight for themselves, there was no one person of contact (like an academic advisor) to whom we could turn to if we faced difficulties with our studies, our lecturers, etc. Hence, coming to Queen Mary and having an academic advisor has made the whole transition into university so much easier and has made it a very pleasurable experience throughout my university journey. I think that I got very lucky with my advisor, who is always willing to help and truly cares about their advisees.

What do you think of the campus/es?

I have mostly gotten to experience the Whitechapel and Charterhouse square campuses. I think these are the quieter (but equally well-equipped) campuses, as compared to the main Mile End campus, as they are primarily for students studying at The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Have you used the Careers and Enterprise service? How has it benefited you?

Yes, I am currently in the Student Consultancy Project, which is led by the Careers and Enterprise team. So far this has been a very interesting project, where we have been divided into groups consisting of students from different academic disciplines and different year of study to solve a problem presented by a real company. Additionally, as students we frequently get emails from the Careers and Enterprise team containing the current available opportunities to students and postgraduates. I find this very helpful as we are provided a list of open opportunities in various companies and settings (in the industry, in research, teaching, etc.) to which we can apply to.

What has been your favorite thing about studying at Queen Mary?

It has been a dream come true living in London and my favorite thing about Queen Mary has been how welcoming it has been and how easily I was able to integrate into the university.

What do you enjoy about your course and what has been your biggest highlight?

My favorite thing has perhaps been the professors/lecturers on the course. As these lecturers come from a variety of academic backgrounds, this has made the course content very diverse.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering your course and Queen Mary?

When choosing your university, I think it is important to have the criteria by which you are going to judge each university. For me this was the location, it was the course (which had to be engaging) and it was the future prospects. Having these criteria, it was then important to me to find a university that fits them the most. This university for me happened to be Queen Mary, which now looking back has been a great choice to make.

Are you a member of any societies, volunteering, or hold any part-time jobs, how have you found them?

Throughout all three years of university I have held various full-time jobs, have volunteered all years as much as I could, and was in a few societies in my first year. I think that in terms of volunteering (as I have done this the most through Queen Mary) there are a lot of opportunities, which are suitable for anyone. I have volunteered in multiple half-/full marathons, as well as in an event “Sleep Out – Centrepoint.” These volunteering events have been fun and engaging and I would recommend all students to participate.

What are your plans after finishing your course? / What do you want to do when you graduate?

As much as I have been enjoying a science degree, I think that I will be taking a break from science for a bit. For now, I am thinking about focusing on learning languages as well as transitioning into a tech related field (something that I already have experience in). Although this plan seems to be far from what I have been studying here at Queen Mary, I believe that having a science background has provided me with the right tools and the right mindset to accomplish this transition.

Sum up your experience at Queen Mary in just four words:

Valuable, engaging, challenging (in a good way), fun



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