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Why Choose Queen’s

Why Queen’s for Postgraduate Study - Bisma Arshad, MSc Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics

“The combination of academic prowess, international recognition, and outstanding research facilities made Queen's University a non-negotiable choice for me.”

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Wellcome Wolfson Building

What do you think are the benefits of a postgraduate degree?

A postgraduate degree offers specialised knowledge and advanced research skills, fostering professional growth. It provides valuable networking opportunities and an interdisciplinary approach. For example, my postgraduate degree is helping me align with my goal to integrate artificial intelligence into my skill set.

Why did you decide to pursue PG study?

I chose to pursue postgraduate study to deepen my understanding and acquire specialised knowledge in my field of interest. The programme, MSc Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics, aligns with my career aspirations by providing advanced research skills in molecular biology, bioinformatics, and computational genomics.

Find out more about Bisma's course!

This educational journey not only facilitates professional growth as a bioinformatician but also offers networking opportunities with experts in the field. Additionally, the interdisciplinary nature of the programme ensures a comprehensive and future-oriented education.

Overall, pursuing a postgraduate degree is a strategic step towards achieving excellence and contributing meaningfully to the scientific and technological advancements in my chosen field.

What made Queen’s stand out from other universities during your initial research?

During my initial research, Queen's University emerged as my dream university for several compelling reasons. The MSc Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics programme perfectly aligned with my academic and career interests, offering a unique blend of specialised courses in molecular biology and computational genomics.

Wellcome Wolfson Building evening shot

The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine

What set Queen's apart was not only its academic excellence but also its prestigious ranking, international reputation, and membership in the esteemed Russell Group of universities. The university's commitment to leading-edge research was evident through its top-notch facilities, with the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine (where I am currently pursuing my research) ranking 4th in the entire UK.

This combination of academic prowess, international recognition, and outstanding research facilities made Queen's University a non-negotiable choice for me. Additionally, the allure of Belfast added to the appeal, making Queen's University the clear and coveted destination for my postgraduate studies.

Why did you ultimately decide to move to Belfast and study at Queen’s?

I chose to move to Belfast and study at Queen's University for many reasons. Belfast, with its low crime rate, exudes a peaceful, serene, and calm atmosphere, surrounded by picturesque mountains and beaches. The city's affordability, boasting the lowest cost of living, made it a practical and sensible choice for my academic journey.

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The welcoming and friendly people of Belfast, coupled with the city's reputation for safety and tranquillity, further solidified my decision.

Additionally, Queen's University, the best in the region, provided the academic excellence and research opportunities I sought in my field. The combination of Belfast's unique qualities and Queen's academic prestige made it the ideal destination for a fulfilling and enriching educational experience.

How has the Queen’s Graduate School supported your postgraduate journey?

Queen's Graduate School has been fantastic in supporting my postgraduate journey. It's not just about academia – the school provides a cool space for socialising and expanding my network. They've helped me develop practical skills like leadership, crafting a CV, and nailing interviews, all crucial for my future career.

International students in the Graduate School

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What I love most is the focus on social activities; it's not all about the books. These activities make being a postgraduate student way more enjoyable and help build a sense of community.

How will your course at Queen’s help with your future career aspirations?

My course at Queen's plays a pivotal role in shaping my future career by providing a robust foundation in bioinformatics and computational genomics. The specialised knowledge and advanced research skills acquired are directly applicable to the demands of the field, making me well-equipped to contribute to scientific advancements.

The emphasis on practical applications, including proficiency in programming languages like Python and R, enhances my ability to tackle real-world challenges. The integration of artificial intelligence into bioinformatics aligns with the evolving landscape of the industry, ensuring that I stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

Students at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine

Inside the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute

Additionally, the networking opportunities and exposure to cutting-edge research facilities, such as the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine, further strengthen my professional connections and expertise. Ultimately, my course at Queen's is preparing me to excel in my future career as a bioinformatician.

What skills have you developed as a result of your course?

Through my course at Queen's, I have cultivated a diverse set of skills essential for success in the field of bioinformatics and computational genomics. Specifically, I have developed advanced research skills, enabling me to effectively analyse biological data and contribute to scientific advancements.

Proficiency in scientific programming languages, particularly Python and R, has become second nature, empowering me to handle complex computational tasks and statistical analyses. The integration of machine learning techniques into my skill set enhances my ability to derive meaningful insights from data.

Bioinformatics staff discuss data analysis

Bisma's course has enabled her to effectively analyse biological data

Additionally, I have improved my problem-solving skills through practical applications, ensuring I can navigate real-world challenges in bioinformatics. Beyond technical expertise, my course has also fostered effective communication and collaboration skills, vital for engaging in interdisciplinary research and working within a team.

Overall, the comprehensive nature of my course at Queen's has equipped me with a well-rounded skill set, positioning me as a capable and adaptable professional in the field of bioinformatics and computational genomics.

Have you utilised any of the careers and employability services offered by Queen’s? If so, how have they helped to get you ‘future-ready’ following the completion of your degree?

Yes, I've actively engaged with the careers and employability services at Queen's, which helped me develop my CV and polished my interview skills. Recently, I enrolled in the Presentation Skills course designed for students whose first language is not English. This initiative is specifically geared towards enhancing presentation skills, and I anticipate significant benefits from it. Not only will it improve my ability to communicate effectively, but it also aligns with my commitment to continuous improvement.

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As a bonus, successful completion of the course will earn me a Future-Ready award, symbolising my readiness for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead after completing my degree.

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