Case studies

95.1% of Edinburgh Napier University's graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating, putting us in the top 15 in the UK (HESA 2014/15). School of Applied Sciences students and graduates share their experiences and pass on tips to help you succeed.

Kirsty Hooper

“I never thought I would go on to do my PhD after graduating and I didn’t imagine I would be awarded Top Biology Student in Scotland.”

Kirsty Hooper

Student, biological sciences

It was at the Open Day that I decided I wanted to be a student at Edinburgh Napier University. The lecturer was so enthusiastic and friendly and I got the impression that they really cared about students.

I did a placement with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, which was a clinical research placement. I also carried out a placement at Neogen, a food technology company, where I worked on immunological-based assays which test for allergens and toxins in food.

I am now doing my PhD at Edinburgh Napier and exploring Crohn’s Disease and the effectiveness of current drugs, so still in keeping with an immunology focus.”

Geraint Florida-James

We need to inspire the next generation as they’re the people that will be doing all the work. They are the ones with the energy, the new ideas, and a better grasp of new technology.

Professor Geraint Florida-James

Applied Sport Scientist at Edinburgh Napier University

A sponsored rider in the Enduro World Series, Geraint Florida-James sees Edinburgh Napier as a key player in the global mountain biking industry and that means great opportunities for students.

“We need to inspire the next generation as they’re the people that will be doing all the work. They are the ones with the energy, the new ideas, and a better grasp of new technology.

Scotland is a recognised world leader in mountain biking – a “global superstar” is what the International Mountain Biking Association has called us. That’s why we’ve built the Mountain Biking Centre for Scotland down at Glentress in the Scottish Borders. This centre is just going to get bigger, which in turn creates opportunities for our undergraduates.

The thing that sets Edinburgh Napier apart at undergraduate level is that it is applied. All the equipment and kit we use for research and commercially, our students can use for their projects. You can go down into our lab now and there will be undergraduate students using equipment worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. There is a strong theory basis to the course but you must be able to practically apply those theories.”

Asier Carrasco

The lecturers are here because they believe in what they are teaching and they want to get people excited about biology and conservation, which are important things right now in the world.

Asier Carrasco

Student, MSc Wildlife Biology and Conservation

Having completed an undergraduate degree in Animal Biology at Edinburgh Napier, Asier from Vitoria in Spain had no doubts about studying his MSc here.

“The lecturers are here because they believe in what they are teaching and they want to get people excited about biology and conservation, which are important things right now in the world.

I knew the quality of the teaching would be good and that you count as a person and not just as a number or a face. The science facilities here are also good – the labs are amazing."

Dr Tony Westbury

Students spend a lot of time in the lab learning how to do useful stuff....They’re experiencing the day-to-day realities of what it’s like to work with professional athletes.

Dr Tony Westbury

Lecturer, MSc Sport Performance Enhancement

Tony Westbury has been at the heart of the MSc Sport Performance Enhancement programme since it started, and the key to its success is hands-on, day-to-day practice with top athletes.

“We have a very, very hands-on ethos. Students spend a lot of time in the lab learning how to do useful stuff. They’re not reading about it, they’re actually doing it. They’re experiencing the day-to-day realities of what it’s like to work with professional athletes.

Particularly in physiology and biomechanics, this is so critical because it’s not just the collecting of data, it’s having a feel for the data so you can explain it to the layperson. You need to be a good scientist but you also need to be a good communicator so that you’re in a position to make a difference with your client.”