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Katie Bolam


Name: Katie Bolam

Year of study:


College/sixth form subjects
: Biology, Geography, Sociology

Why did you pick BSc Health and Medical Sciences?

The opportunity to study a wider range of topics and modules in a way that I hadn’t seen offered before. I enjoyed all of my studies at sixth form and so was excited by the prospect of being able to continue with aspects of all of them, from civil strife and displacement, inequalities in health and health systems and the pathophysiology and aetiology of disease. I wanted to keep my ‘options open’ as I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career, but knew what I enjoyed studying.

Why did you chose to study at Warwick?

When I attended a Warwick open day I was really impressed by how welcoming the HMS course team were and the idea of being within a smaller cohort with more contact with teaching staff presented a unique opportunity that a huge lecture hall of hundreds doesn’t offer.

I also thought that a campus university best suited what I wanted to get out of uni, the ability to go straight from a lecture to a society meeting or sports session, then back to accommodation to change before a night in the SU, without any public transport to contend with, seemed brilliant.

How have you found the course so far?

Really enjoyable! I’ve been able to discover the aspects that I enjoy and don’t enjoy of the subject and have been able to make an informed decision about the next steps and careers that I want to explore. There have been challenges and I don’t think exam season is fun for anyone but I love my course and am really glad that I chose it.

How have you found the change from sixth form to university?

Personally, I took a gap year and so found the return to education, note taking, revision and assignments a bit of a shock to the system! However, once I found my routine and structured my time, the workload became far more manageable.

The sense of freedom provided at university, particularly if you move away from home, does mean you need to be more disciplined with the way you work but ultimately means you get to try so many weird and wonderful things you would have never tried otherwise.

What have you enjoyed most about the course so far?

The Infections module. The module really assured for me that a career in public health is where I want to go and being lectured by people at the top of their field (and those involved in Covid decision making) was so interesting! The CBL (Case Based Learning) cases within this module particularly allowed me the opportunity to see what working as a public health professional may feel like.

Have you been involved in any extra curricular activities/societies?

Yes, while at the medical school I have undertaken both volunteer and paid opportunities. I’ve worked as a student ambassador, a data entry clerk and been on student panels and focus groups for the medical school. Since my first year I’ve been involved in a few societies - cocktail, yoga, canoe and pole dancing - which have all been really enjoyable and I’m sure I’ve gained some lifelong hobbies.

I’ve also been lucky enough to secure some field-related experience, I have completed an internship within the public health department at Birmingham City Council and have secured a summer research internship at Oxford University.

Do you have an idea of what you would like to do when you graduate?

Yes, I want to pursue a career in public health and have plans to complete public health consultancy training after gaining some experience in the field.

Do you have any advice for people applying for the course?

Try not to spend your days refreshing UCAS, the right offer will come and I don’t know anyone who went to their insurance or a university through clearing who have any regrets. HMS is a great course and you’ll love it.

Finally, what three words would you use to describe your experience of studying at WMS?

Opportunities, fulfilling, enriching