Biomedical Sciences

Student Blog: Liza

Liza shared with us why she chose to study Pharmacology at the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences.

Profile picture of Liza Larionova

Hi! My name is Liza and I’m an international student, specialising in Pharmacology and also representing the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences in 2023/2024. I chose Pharmacology straight at the beginning of my undergraduate journey because I could deeply relate to the subject and the main theme of learning the science behind medications, their mechanism of action, and discovery. My initial interest at the University of Edinburgh has been sparked by my student advisors who recognized its quality of teaching and encouraged me to look into available programmes. Consequently, my background in biology and chemistry has led me to Pharmacology. One of the most exciting parts of the city that I discovered later has been the cultural variety that exists in Edinburgh with a deep consideration of Scottish history.

What I enjoyed the most about my programme

What I enjoyed the most about my programme has been the material that I acquired throughout my studies through lectures and individual work. Knowledge of my discipline has been and is still growing exponentially, which is a key component of an undergraduate degree. My favourite course has been Biomedical Sciences 3, where we were introduced to basic programming techniques in biological contexts whilst still exploring many scientific concepts. I believe that these skills will be of great value to me in the future! Working with other students has provided me with alternative views on questions, which is very helpful when developing critical thinking but also building connections. Teaching staff also continuously tries their best to assist and educate their students, being very friendly and approachable at all times. Connecting with your professors could feel challenging, considering the number of students in the classroom, but they never stop attempting to get to know you better and have fun where appropriate. There is no doubt that students’ favourite facilities include study spaces, which can be found all across the campus, including the library. I enjoy spending time in the Old Medical School’s common room but prefer the library and Hugh Robson computer laboratory during the exam periods for preparation in peace and quiet.

Course Support

Throughout my studies, I felt fairly supported within the Deanery but especially in my final year, once the personal tutors model was overturned to student advisors. I got a chance to meet with my advisor, David, several times and left motivated and full of resources every time. In my spare time, I have participated in a variety of societies and voluntary activities, starting from Teddy Bear Hospital, and Global Health Society, and ending with a TEDx Conference planning. I have truly expanded my worldview and got to know many incredible individuals, including the University’s staff. Perhaps, many of these opportunities encouraged me for other positions I have held throughout my studies, such as Resident Assistant and Deanery Representative. Finally, my classes were helpful when exploring my career aspirations at one of the universities’ laboratories at the Institute of Genetics & Cancer. My experience has been beneficial for the decision-making about my future and participating in drug discovery myself!