Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.
Name: Vino Suseetharan
Course: Chemistry MChem(Hons)
"Kingston University has been the best choice and the most amazing experience of my life. It gave me the chance to develop myself and getting involved in a lot of extracurricular activities which allowed me to develop myself as a person.
I have volunteered myself from the first day of university to become a course representative, whom deals with issues and suggestions raised within my class. Hence I have been nominated to become a senior course representative within the faculty. This was an incredible experience and boosted up my confidence to stand for the Union of Kingston Students' elections.
Kingston University offered a range of development programs that I had a chance to get involved in, including the leadership programme, SPRINT programme and the Inspiring Talent mentoring scheme. Besides my degree, these courses have taught me a lot and shaped me into the person I am today.
My lecturers have been absolutely amazing and supportive throughout my degree. They were always available and willing to help, giving extra revision classes as well as one to one sessions when needed.
I am very honoured and proud for receiving the Dean's prize, the Kingston Gold Award and for being nominated as the Top 5 Outstanding Achievers by KU Talent. I couldn't have done it without the love and support from Kingston University. Thank you very much!"
Name: Daniel Elford
Level: third year
"As someone who has always wanted to join a scientific profession, I knew from an early age that chemistry was what I wanted to study. Now as a third-year student, I can say with ease that Kingston was definitely the right choice; the labs and equipment accessible to you is great and with a teaching staff to match, you really can't go wrong!
Even though there are other universities in London that teach chemistry, Kingston University appealed to me the most because of the practical application of what you learn in the classroom. Whether you are looking to do MChem with an industrial placement or the BSc(Hons) degree, the hands-on experience will more than prepare you for industry.
The big question many people ask themselves is "what can I do with a chemistry degree?" Well the possibilities are endless. Britain's first woman prime minister and the first Briton in space both had chemistry degrees, so don't think it's all about lab work! The broad range of skills learnt on the course sets you up for many career paths outside of science.
Furthermore, Kingston as a town is a very nice place to live. Situated on the outskirts of London, it still has a lot to offer but is not so busy and 'in your face'. However, if venturing into central London is something that appeals to you, there are two train stations situated near the University. If not, there are many parks and facilities to go lose yourself in including bowling, shopping centres, a cinema, restaurants and much more.
For studying chemistry, you can't go wrong at Kingston University. With the broad range of theory taught and the large amount of hands on experience, a Kingston chemistry degree will set you up for a successful future."
Name: Edmund Burke
Course: Chemistry MChem
"I did A-levels at school, and then went straight to university to read chemistry. I was not prepared for the experience and lacked the emotional development required, and in addition to this I had big problems with my dyslexia. The uni in question was not very helpful, so I left and began working.
"After seven years working I decided to try university again this time I chose Kingston (the correct choice). [Kingston] had been my second choice when I went to uni the first time around. My cousin had since studied business here and loved it. When I came to the open days the staff were friendly and approachable and put up with my endless questions (I think I attended at least three or four open days all at Kingston).
"I have always been interested in science; I like the fact that chemistry is an in-between science (between physics and biology). I like the 'making' (synthesis) that is required in chemistry. I am fascinated by colour, and the interaction of matter and the reasons behind it all. The physical chemistry answers all sorts of questions and poses even more. The organic question is creative, and the inorganic chemistry sits nicely in the middle.
"The teaching is great. The class sizes are reasonably small with lots opportunities to ask questions and get help both in workshops and in staff office hours... and impromptu visits. The lectures are interesting, well organised, and the handouts are clear and useful. We get loads of access to the equipment, which from talking to students at some other uni's is not something that is universal.
"Professor Tyrrell organised an extracurricular summer studentship for me at the end of my second year. It was a great experience and I think I really benefited from it, as it massively increased my confidence in the lab and gave me an insight in to research. I think I really noticed the benefit during my project.
"As a mature student, I was very apprehensive, but the lecturers [Dr Mann, Dr Miller Tate, Dr Singer, Dr Williams, and Dr Banti] that lead the events in the first week were all really friendly and welcoming. When the lectures started I found that the friendly welcoming feel was replicated by the other staff and help was always available if needed.
"I would like to enter a career in research; this ambition has been fostered and nurtured by the staff here at Kingston. And they have given me the confidence to give it a go!
"Chemistry is a great subject and Kingston is a great place to study it!"
Edmund talks with The Independent about studying chemistry and what he has been up to since graduating from Kingston University. Read more.
Name: Vajiha Khan
Course: Medicinal Chemistry BSc(Hons)
Level: Year 2
Route to University: A-levels
Accommodation: Living at home
"I chose Kingston University because it was recommended by my college teachers and is close to my home. I decided to do this course because it's chemistry-based and I can get into medicine after finishing or go on to do a further MSc qualification.
"Overall I enjoyed my first year very much. The lectures are one of the best things about the course as they are so easy to understand. I also find the link between lectures and practicals really interesting as you see how everything falls together. Another thing I like is the way the year is divided into two, which makes it easier to pass exams.
"You have to be much more independent at university than at college. Everything is down to you, although help is there if you need it. Last year I struggled with the workload a bit – for example, because I had a lot of work-like assignments and revision for exams. I spoke to my personal tutor and he put me in touch with the student support officer. She helped and guided me through the year.
"After I graduate, I still want to go into medicine and to do an MBBS (a qualifying course to practice medicine), but this course has given me the opportunity to do MSc as well. I am not 100% sure which to choose yet so I'll just see how this year goes."
Name: Safia Zeghiche
Course: Medicinal Chemistry BSc(Hons) four-year sandwich course
Level: Year 2
Route to University: International student with A-levels
Accommodation: Halls of residence
"I am from France but decided to study in Britain, partly to improve my language skills, but also because I wanted to do a specialised degree straight away. In France you cannot specialise – everybody studies the same things until after they have been at university for four or five years.
I chose this course because I studied chemistry, but preferred biology. In France I would have to have continued in chemistry. Medicinal chemistry allows me to mix both biology and chemistry and, after graduating, maybe choose to study just biology.
I came to Kingston because a friend in France had been here and told me about the University. I like the town as it's near London, there are lots of shops – and it doesn't rain nearly as much as I expected!
On the course I have enjoyed learning about cells and tissue. It's very interesting. I really also like organic chemistry. Generally, I find it interesting to talk about the human system.
The teaching is very good. I like the workshops because we are close to the teacher so, if you don't understand something, you can ask questions. Also, if you need to, you can see the tutors in their offices to go through things.
I haven't had any problems settling in at the University, although the language can be difficult. I understand what I need to on the course, but one of the teachers is very funny and unfortunately I can't always understand his jokes!"
Our graduate Edmund Burke shares his experiences with The Independent of studying for his degree and explains why his passion for the subject has led on to a PhD. Read more.