Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Case Study

Francesca Cockell

Gateshead, UK

MBChB Medicine


Francesca Cockell knew she wanted to stay in the North East when choosing universities, and found Sunderland’s Open Day to be the best. Her favourite part of the course is the practical sessions, working with Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) participants and going out on placement. She is looking forward to progressing through the rest of the course and deciding what kind of doctor she’d like to be.

I have always loved the North East; when I began applying to universities I knew that I wanted to stay up here, so made sure to visit all of my local universities when making my choices. I was pleasantly surprised by Sunderland; their Open Day was by far the best! I was so impressed by, not only the staff who would be teaching the medicine course, but also the facilities, distance to the city centre and accommodation prices and locations. To me, Sunderland is a university that really cares about their students and their experiences, it’s somewhere I knew I’d be looked after and treated as more than just a candidate number.

I love the practical and clinical sessions we do on the MBChB Medicine course – they really remind me of why I chose to study medicine! Working with the PCPI participants, going on placements and practicing clinical skills early on are all what makes this course so special. On placement, which starts in January of first year, we take patient histories in pairs in real GP offices; it almost makes you feel like a real doctor. I love practical activities, and luckily Sunderland’s Medicine course is full of them.

My future career aim is to be a doctor – the tricky bit is deciding what kind of doctor I want to be! Every time I learn about a new topic, I decide it’s where I want my career to go; my mind changes three or four times a week.

I have loved every second of being a medical student at Sunderland so far, it has been a really, really positive experience. I know that there’ll be loads more excitement, growth and opportunities to come. I really would recommend the University to others, and have done already. It’s a great place to study, and feels like a real family. If I’m faced with any personal issues I know that I can trust staff to help me make the right decision, I have never felt unsafe or like I can’t express myself. There’s definitely a place for everyone at Sunderland.”

Published 7 May 2020

More case studies