I am grateful for the impeccable support from my supervisor and the Department of Chemistry

Student Kavya enjoying a snowy walk
Kavya Gopakumar
Masters student
MSc Drug Discovery Science
Kavya decided to study MSc Drug Discovery at Sheffield because she wanted to specialise in medicinal chemistry and pursue a career in this field.
Student Kavya enjoying a snowy walk

We met Kavya and discussed why she chose MSc Drug Discovery and how she's found living in Sheffield as an international student: 

Why did you choose Drug Discovery & Sheffield? 

The project I completed during my studies in India gave me a lot of valuable experience in medicinal chemistry. It was this experience that opened my eyes to the potential of this field and sparked my desire to pursue a career in it. I was pretty specific about my interests and wanted to explore research opportunities in drug discovery. I applied to three universities in the UK that offer courses in pharmaceutical chemistry and drug discovery, one of which was the University of Sheffield. I decided to choose the University of Sheffield because they had a broad range of module options to choose from, which was important to me. The core modules are a great blend of chemistry and biology, which provides an equal opportunity to gain advanced knowledge in both fields. Also, I was intrigued by computational studies and bioinformatics, which made me realise that I could gain exposure to both the chemical and biological routes of drug discovery.

Additionally, I did some research and found that Sheffield is a great city to live in. Not only does it offer a perfect balance between the energy of the city and the serenity of the village, but it also has lower crime rates.

What have been your favourite things about the course? 

The most important one is computer-aided drug design. It delves into the details of computer-based modelling and is undeniably essential in the field of modern drug discovery. Its vast applications are incredibly valuable. The course also gave me a newfound understanding of the pharmacological, pharmaceutical and toxicological aspects of chemistry. In addition to exploring the complexities of computer-aided drug design, I also had the opportunity to gain some basic knowledge of the biotechnological and genomic aspects of drug discovery. As someone relatively new to this subject matter, I find these concepts to be particularly fascinating.

How have you found the research project?

I am currently working on the synthesis of piperidine moieties as active pharmaceutical ingredients. I have to say, it's a truly informative and fascinating experience.  I am grateful for the impeccable support from my supervisor and the Department of Chemistry. My supervisor is always available during lab time and has been a blessing in clarifying any doubts I may have had.

As an international student, how did you find the transition to the UK and to the University of Sheffield? 

It was definitely a big change going from my familiar surroundings to a completely different time zone, climate and diverse culture. However, the people and community in Sheffield have been so welcoming that I've found my comfort zones in people and places. It's been wonderful to have friends from all over the world and my class is also diverse and inclusive. We often have socials outside of the university and it's been a great experience overall.

What do you hope you do after you graduate? 

I'm currently exploring different options for internships and jobs related to this field, and I'm also considering the possibility of pursuing a PhD in medicinal chemistry. It's important to me to continue my education and keep learning as much as I can.

Have you had any other experiences / opportunities whilst studying here that you’d like to share? 

I had the chance to attend the European Peptide Synthesis Conference 2023 in Leeds - it was an incredible experience that equipped me with the skills needed to properly present scientific research in a conference setting and prepare a poster presentation. I also had the opportunity to volunteer as a teaching assistant at a school, where I introduced younger minds to the fascinating world of chemistry. Also, I got the privilege of attending GSK Revealed 2023, which was an incredible opportunity for me to connect with professionals and colleagues in the industry.

There's also many beneficial sessions organized by the university's Career Connect program that provided me with valuable skills and insights to excel in job interviews. 

Thanks so much to Kavya for sharing her experiences with us. 

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.