Having the (module) choice

Author: Rachel

Throughout secondary school, whilst the list of compulsory subjects slowly dwindles, your CV slowly grows with goal-orientated extra-curricular activities targeted at boosting your chances of getting into that one course that seems most ‘right’. It may seem daunting to leave behind all the ‘next best choices’ to pursue one subject, dedicating 3 or more years delving into the depths of each available cavern that was left unexplored by basic secondary school curriculum. However, to a certain extent, I have discovered that I was still able to have a choice to continue exploring my options whilst completing my course here at King’s.

For my course in particular, Medicine, students are offered a chance tspanish bookso primarily focus on a certain topic that may lie in the fringes between different disciplines, known as Student Selected Components (SSC). Under the guidance of leading researchers in their respective field, we are given an opportunity to explore a topic that particularly interests us.

In regards to science, I had been able to get to know more about the literature that exists regarding growing brain tissue from stem cells. Whilst working alongside fellow students to gain a better understanding of both the topic, how to write a review paper and create a scientific poster, it had been an eye-opening journey to the vast potential of scientific advancements, with specific regards to the topic of stem cells. My second year project had centered around an extensive research paper on Phantom Limb Pain, a topic that lies between the border of neurology, psychology, and medicine. With guidance from a knowledgeable supervisor, my journey exploring the science that underlies the ghostly phenomenon of feeling pain in the amputated limb.

In addition to subject-based modules unique to  each degree, King’s also offers language course for students of all years and abilities. After a secondary school education worth of Spanish lessons, this two-hour-per-week module seemed to be my perfect match. We take 2 hours out of each Wednesday to interact with students from different departments, learning, practicing, and sharing Spanish. This option is also supported by an extensive collection of books media and resources available at the Modern Language Centre, and individual language practice opportunities with native speakers. The course encourages students to not only complete the course with textbooks and exams, but it pushes us to explore and discover resources that provide both knowledge and cultural understanding of the language. The workload is manageable on top of usual coursework and brings a bit of diversity to a weekly schedule. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be able to say that they read one of their childhood novels in more than one language? For me, I can check ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ off my list!

 

Health-related Advancements at King’s

Author: LeeAnn

Transitioning from undergraduate studies to a postgraduate program can be very stressful if you’re not sure what to expect. As a current master’s student in the Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Research (BMSR) MSc program at King’s, I hope to provide you with some information to make the transition a little less taxing.

In the BMSR program, the yearlong course is divided into two parts: three months of courses and nine months of labs/dissertation writing. I found first part of the program to be quite similar to undergraduate studies because I was given a schedule for my modules, regular assignments, and an exam timetable. Of course, the workload burden will be different for everyone depending on what you are used to, but I found it very doable and not overly stressful.

However, the labsecond portion of the program is much different. As someone who never worked in a lab full-time before, I found it to be very different than attending regularly scheduled classes. I was required to spend each day in the lab from 9am until about 6pm, including some weekends, to carry out experiments and read relevant papers in my area of research. I am specifically focusing on Synthetic Lethality studies using CRISPR editing in cancer cell lines. I find this work to be very interesting, and while stressful at times, rewarding. Transitioning to this sort of daily work is much easier if you enjoy what you are working on, so make sure to find a lab that best suits your interests and skills.

King’s is an amazing place to do research because there are health-related st thomas hospitaladvancements happening all the time. Furthermore, many of the labs are designed in such a way that you can easily collaborate with other researchers from outside of your lab group. I have found this helpful when I have a question about something that another individual has more experience working on. This type of environment allows for the progression of ideas and increases the desire for teamwork in the lab.

I cannot speak for any other division, but the researchers in the cancer division are friendly and flexible people who want to see their peers succeed. The lab group that I am a part of does amazing work using new techniques to target cancer cells. These are the types of advancements that are made a King’s. Since we are part of the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, we have the opportunity to attend a number of talks given by talented individuals. I have found these seminars very interesting and I see them as a good way to stay up to date on what’s currently happening in the field. It’s truly wonderful to be part of this community where I feel like my work really does matter.

shard hospital

KCL Societies

Author: Azura (Liberal Arts, Singapore)

As I write this, I’ve just left a handover meeting from my outgoing King’s Opera committee to next year’s incoming committee, and it’s a bittersweet feeling to be leaving – I’ve been involved with King’s Opera for all three years of university and have held a committee position for the last two years, so it’s been a huge part of my King’s experience. No matter what society you choose to get involved with in your time at King’s, it can make a huge difference in your university life if you want it to!

I’ve been involved with a variety of student societies at King’s, from performing arts to sports and others, and there’s a huge variety of groups to take part in! To help you find out which groups you might be interested in, all the student societies set up stalls at Fresher’s Fair at the start of each year for you to find out more about them. To get an idea of just how many student societies King’s has, you can check out this and this.

King’s Opera has been the society I’ve been most involved in throughout my time at King’s – but I almost didn’t find out that it first productionexisted! I happened to come across their stall at Fresher’s Fair and found out they were holding auditions for their upcoming production. I got a part in the chorus, and enjoyed it so much that I ran for the role of vice-president at the end of my first year, and the rest is history. I’ve also had the chance to perform solo roles and participate in masterclasses. While rehearsal schedules have kept me busy for many evenings and weekends over the last three years, it’s been absolutely worth it.

The great thing about most peClassis dept playrformance societies is you can choose to get involved in different ways, whether it’s performance, production (e.g. being a producer, costume designer or lighting operator for a specific production) or being on the committee – and of course, you can often do all three at some point!

 

In my second year, I decided to join the Karate club – I’d done karate as a child but hadn’t done any sports in years, so I was essentially starting again as a beginner. It was a great decision: I made a whole new group of friends, rebuilt my martial arts skills, and got stronger and fitter. I even represented our club at an international competition (I didn’t win anything, but it was exciting)!

karate grading

I’ve also been a more casual member of other societies, such as the Liberal Arts cast and crewSociety. Most academic departments also have a society which organises talks and social events, and attending film screenings and open mic nights by the Liberal Arts Society has really helped me to get to know my course mates better. I’ve also attended events by the Intersectional Feminist Society and the LGBT+ Society, which have brought me in touch with a great community of fellow students and taught me a lot about liberation issues and current affairs.

Finally, there are cultural societies which are of interest to many international students: I’ve been a member of the Singapore Society, and King’s might just have a society for your home country too. It’s a great way to be in contact with other students from your home country, especially at the start of your course when you’re settling into life in London.

Of course, this just scratches the surface of the kind of student societies you can join at King’s – and if there’s a society you’d like to join that doesn’t exist at King’s yet, you can always start one!

Food in London

“Being fed”

Author: Rachel

Living in London is sometimes considered a costly ordeal, however, with King’s being at the heart of such a multicultural and vibrant city, we learn to take advantage of all the deals and discounts this city has to offer.

On the way along southbank

When considering the basic necessities of living, my mind goes to two things, food and travel. One must be fed to go see the world, and one must see the world to be fed, with different cuisines and flavours. If you don’t know already, King’s has three main campuses: Guy’s, Waterloo, and Strand. With all three campuses situated no more than 10 minutes walk away from the Thames’ riverbank, there is an abundant amount of choices of places to go to visit and to enjoy a meal.

 Guy’sBorough Market campus is located right next to London bridge, with Borough Market on one side, and Hay’s Galleria on the other, there is a wide variety to choose from. Walking along Southbank may lead you straight to Waterloo campus, making it one of my favourite walks in between classes that take no more than 20 minutes. This walk takes you by the Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, and a row of restaurants (including Pizza Express, Zizzi’s, the Real Greek, Eat) that have weekday discounts all available from their websites.

By the time you reach Waterlspain food festoo, the quick and fast selection from Waterloo station supplemented with the more well-known, group dinner places down the road, there is never a shortage of places to eat. In addition, the regular pop-up food festivals along Southbank provide even more diverse flavour choices and cuisines. Just crossing Waterloo Bridge to reach the Strand Campus, brings a whole new range of restaurants along the Strand, or evemaceronsn in Covent Garden.

The wealth of choices is definitely not a problem, but part of the excitement is the journey. So take the time to explore your options, find your favourite, and never forget to shamelessly ask ‘Do you have a student discount?’