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Shona McDonald

Shona McDonald from Aberdeen is studying Medicine.

Why did you choose to study at Dundee?

I applied and was accepted into a few universities in Scotland but Dundee stood out to me as the place I wanted to live and study. On the open days I was really taken with the campus - everything you need is all in the one place: the gym, library, union, shop and tennis courts are all within a five-minute walk from each other. The University accomodation here is the best that I have seen in any of the unversities I have visited, both in Scotland and in England, and the Union is officially Scotland's favourite!

As for my course, I preferred the way Dundee taught the course compared with my other choices, and the teaching facilities here are great too - the library has seen a facelift over the last few years and there are ongoing works going on at the Clinical Skills centre in Ninewells for the medics. As for Dundee as a city, it has a reputation for being the sunniest city in Scotland - for good reason! The campus is a 10 minute walk from the city centre and 15 minutes from the train station. And for when the campus shop just won't suffice, there is a Tesco superstore 20 minutes walk away.

What is the best thing about your course and why?

Photo of Shona

The best thing about my course, Medicine, is the varied way in which you are taught and the fact that the staff value your feedback. Each year the course is updated and improved based on comments from previous students. Dundee employs a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, PBL, small group work and dissection practicals.     

What information do applicants need to know before starting this course?

You should know that the course is not an easy one - there's a reason we're here for 5 years: there's a lot to learn! The work is manageable so long as you attend all the classes and stay on top of your lectures and assignments. The course content is fascinating and there is loads of help about in case you start to struggle. Studying medicine is a great experience and you should make the most of it!      

What has been your best learning experience to date and why?

My best learning experience is definitely the time spent in the dissection room. It is something exclusive to Dundee University and is invaluable when it comes to learning anatomy. At first it may seem a little strange and surreal, but you will find yourself adjusting to it sooner than you would think.     

What has been your best university experience to date and why?

My best university experience was definitely making new friends. It is so important to make the most of Freshers' Week and meet as many people as possible. Remember, everyone is in the same boat and are looking to meet new people too. Don't be afraid to approach people and start talking to them, this is how you will make your friends! It is a good idea, for the first few weeks of your course at least, to try and sit next to a new face in each of your lectures. This is a great way to get to know your class. Joining clubs and societies is a particularly good way of meeting people from all years and courses.     

What sports activities or clubs/societies are you involved with?

I have joined the gym - the Institute of Sport and Exercise (ise) and the tennis club. Through the tennis club I made some great friends and met older students and students from other courses that I might not have otherwise.     

What was your experience of settling into life in Dundee when you first arrived?

Moving into halls was a very exciting time for me - it really helps the settling in process if you start off on good terms with your flatmates! You will be living with them for a year, so it is good to 'gel' early on as a flat. Getting out there and making friends is the best way to help with any feelings of loneliness or homesickness which you may find you have till you find your feet. Freshers' Week was a very exciting time, and was over before I knew it! I really loved it once I got stuck into my course, and I feel that I have settled in quicker than I thought I would.