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Sasha Crawford

Donegal, Ireland

MPharm Pharmacy

Sasha Crawford chose to study Pharmacy at the University of Sunderland after thoroughly researching universities and discovering the international recognition of the University and the MPharm course. She moved from her hometown of Donegal, Ireland to pursue her dream of becoming a pharmacist. After completing an internship in London, she has landed a pre-registration position in the renowned St. George’s Hospital in London which she will commence later this year.

Whilst in my final year of secondary education and researching prospective universities, I had a very specific criteria I wished to satisfy. The international recognition of the university, the quality of education provided and the university lifestyle were all important factors to me and the University of Sunderland stood out to me as ticking all these boxes. My experience here has only solidified and verified this belief.

I always knew I wanted to pursue higher education and I have a passion for healthcare and helping others, so I decided to pursue a career in pharmacy. Making this decision started my interest in attending the University of Sunderland because of its reputation and the international recognition it holds, particularly in my home country. My guidance counsellor recommended looking into the University as it has ranked in the top universities for pre-registration examination results for multiple years running – reflecting the high level of training delivered. From looking further into the University and the City of Sunderland itself, Sunderland seemed to be a perfect choice – especially with an international airport a short journey away, which meant travelling home was also made simple.

For me, the most attractive aspect of the MPharm course is the personalised style of education the course provides; the approach to small group work and 1-2-1 reviews gives a more enhanced and individual educational experience. Consistent feedback from tutors means you develop a close professional relationship with them which enables you to always be reflective about your level of progression, while ongoing assessment provides you with a strong benchmark of your development within the field. The hands-on sessions in the mock hospital wards and working with the Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) participants means we are well equipped to dealing with patients and situations better when going into practice.

I would advise prospective students to thoroughly research the many new aspects of university life, from deciding which course you want to study to the best accommodation to suit you, as the knowledge and preparation will make the process of adjusting to university life simpler and less stressful. Take advantage of the support services the University provides and join clubs and societies to make friends. The Sunderland Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (SPSA) helped me greatly to settle into university life and I met lots of new friends with similar interests and hobbies. It is difficult for any young student to move away to university, in particular an international student. However, my experience at the University of Sunderland has been entirely positive! I would highly recommend the University to all prospective students, but in particular international students. The University of Sunderland is a warm, welcoming community and is now my home away from home!

My career has developed rapidly in my final year of study. I have completed an internship in London for the summer and developed and enhanced both my academic and practical skills through working in a busy hospital setting. From this I was lucky enough to achieve a pre-registration position in the renowned St. George’s Hospital, London which I will commence later this year. I am extremely proud that my education at the University of Sunderland has enabled me to achieve my lifelong dream of becoming a Pharmacist in such a crucial environment.

My experience at the University of Sunderland has been a whirlwind of change and personal development. I moved to a different country at the age of seventeen and since then have grown both academically and personally to become a mature, responsible individual who will be representing the University in my practice for years to come. The opportunities I have had are some of which I would never have thought possible. I will always be proud to have received such a high standard of education and have developed close friendships here that will last a lifetime. I will look back on my decision to move away to study at the University of Sunderland as the best decision I could have made.”

Published 4 May 2020

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