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14 September 2021
Jess landscape

Jess's story

Meet our Foundation Degree in Medical and Applied Science Graduate Jess Melarkey.

Jess said she hated Chemistry at school but developed a love for science at NWRC thanks to her lecturers Diane Smyth and Amanda Maginty.

Jess has always been interested in animals so the BSC in Zoology at Queen’s University was perfect for her. She’s just recently graduated.

During her time at NWRC she also began volunteering with Pet FBI and she’s still with them five years later.

Where are you from?

I'm from Derry, now living full time in Belfast.

Course studied at NWRC?

I studied the Foundation Degree in Medical and Applied Science at Strand Road Campus.

Previous Education before you came to NWRC?

Before I was at NWRC I was doing my A-Levels.

Why did you choose to study at NWRC?

I decided to study at NWRC, after originally applying for mental health nursing, when I didn't get the grades I wanted, I realised that I didn't actually want to do mental health nursing, so I went back to what I had always been interested in, animals, so looked about and looked at my options and saw that NWRC was offering the foundation degree which would give me an immense and brilliant ground knowledge to continue on in that field.

Tell us about your course.

With the course we covered all aspects to create a very strong base in biology and chemistry. With the excellence of my lecturers, Diane Smyth and Amanda Maginty mainly, they genuinely helped me discover a real passion for science (especially Amanda, I despised all forms of chemistry from 1st year in secondary school before meeting her.)

Did you take part in any work-based learning as part of your course?

We did complete a work-based learning module, I did mine with the rescue group, Pet FBI, which probably isn't the line of work that they expected from the course, but I was able to work with them and my lecturers to make it more related to the course. 5 years later and I'm still involved with Pet FBI, and honestly without them I wouldn't be where I am now. So, I also have NWRC to thank for that.

What did you do afterwards?

After the Foundation Degree, I continued to a Bsc Zoology, which I have just graduated from with a 2.1 this summer.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

100% would recommend, and I have done to anyone who’s asked me how I've gotten to where I have.

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After the Foundation Degree in Medical and Applied Science, I continued to a Bsc Zoology, and I have just graduated with a 2.1 this summer.

Jess Melarkey
NWRC graduate of the Foundation Degree in Medical and Applied Science and now a qualified Zoologist
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