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Zulaikha, University of Bradford student, stood outside.


Foundation in Clinical Sciences/Medicine

A different route

"I didn’t intend to go to university but at a job interview on A level results day, I was encouraged to continue my studies. I spoke to the Clinical Sciences team at Bradford the same day and arranged an interview for the following day. I got my offer pretty swiftly after that, so it all happened quite quickly!

"I’m Bradford born and bred so I knew about the University but I wasn’t aware of the Clinical Sciences Foundation route to studying medicine. The Foundation Year allows you to apply to study medicine at other universities after one or two years. Bradford now has a formal partnership with the University of Sheffield for Foundation Year students who want to study medicine, but during my studies students went to a variety of medical schools including the University of Leeds.

"I made it to the interview stage in my first and second years to move on to study medicine but ultimately stayed to complete my BSc (Hons) Clinical Sciences. I’ve always kept an open mind about my future career and I think the breadth of career opportunities for a Clinical Sciences graduate is one of the strengths of the course. Although I am now going on to study medicine, I also considered joining the NHS Scientist Training Programme to study a work based Master's degree."

Developing my skills

"Looking back I don’t think my interview skills were strong enough earlier in my studies, but the University gave me lots of opportunities which helped me grow in confidence. I became a student ambassador and also took part in a summer research project looking at Dementia.

"Clinical Science students don’t get as much lab time as some students, so the summer internship was a fantastic opportunity to get hands on. My supervisor encouraged me to apply for a Summer Vacation Studentship from the Biochemical Society. This meant that I had the funding to work with him for two months and I had my research report published by the society which was a fantastic addition to my CV.

"The student ambassador role had a huge impact on my communication skills. It increased my confidence as a speaker and my ability to understand the needs of individuals. As well as supporting open days, I got involved in calling applicants. They were based all around the world and I had to answer any questions they might have about studying at the University.

"When you go to an interview for medical school you need to be able to adjust your communication for different audiences and this really helped me develop the ability to do that."

Zulaikha Yasir, Foundation in Clinical Sciences/Medicine
"There’s loads of nice restaurants and fast food places near campus. They are really good value so we did eat out quite a lot when we had some downtime. Bradford is a pretty compact city which makes it great for shopping."

Support for me

"I had to develop a personal statement in years one and two when applying to medical schools and the careers service were a huge help with developing this. They checked it over and offered advice on how it could be improved. They have helped thousands of students who had been in my position in the past and so it was great to get their input. They also did mock interviews and put me under quite a bit of pressure, in a good way!

"They made me think about what I was lacking in terms of skills and how I was presenting my answers under time pressure. Having experts providing that honest feedback had a big impact on me. I’ve always felt supported at Bradford and like how diverse the University is.

"My course had around 200 students and there was a great mix of people all with a real passion for the subject. There were mature students looking to make a career change alongside people who just missed the grades to go straight into medical school. I was quite reserved when I first started so it was great to mix with people who were more outgoing. That helped my confidence grow. All working to our common goal made for a really supportive community."

This is where

...I built a foundation

"I took part in quite a few clubs and societies. The Islamic Society is very active and I enjoyed attending their lectures. It was a great source of friendships away from my course. I also enjoyed playing football with some of my friends. Being outside exercising was a great stress reliever.

"I was also studying Islam in the evenings and had a part-time job so my student life was very busy and I had to be super organised. I’ve certainly developed a strong work ethic which should come in useful as a medic.

"Now that I've graduated I’m heading south to study Medicine. My course has put me in a great position as we have already studied some of the key components of my next course, such as anatomy and dissection. In second year, we made use of the anatomage table which allowed us to visualise how joints work and view all the different systems within the body.

"I’m excited to be continuing my studies but I’m already thinking about returning to Bradford. After three years I can study for my Master's and building on my summer internship experience in Dementia research, I’d love to come back home and study back at the University of Bradford."

Zulaikha Yasir, Foundation in Clinical Sciences/Medicine