Graduation 18.07.24

Biomedical Science student graduates with first and wins prestigious IBMS president’s prize

An award-winning Biomedical Science student has graduated with a First-Class degree after returning to university to develop her career.

As well as her degree, Rachel Gowrie was awarded the IBMS Presidents prize as the highest scoring candidate of the year. The IBMS are the accrediting body for the programme and the Biomedical Science profession, so this is a highly prestigious achievement.

Rachel began her studies at the University of Salford age 28, launching herself into the Biomedical Science degree on a part-time basis, following the 3-year Healthcare Science Practitioner apprenticeship program, whilst working as a trainee in Microbiology at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust.

Rachel’s work was independently reviewed by the IBMS assessor, who said: “It is absolutely outstanding piece of work evidencing the candidate loved her discipline, you can’t achieve that standard without that.”

Rachel was working for the trust before starting her journey at Salford and has gained valuable skills and knowledge throughout the degree to advance her career. Rachel is now a Registered Biomedical Scientist working with a variety of microbiology specimens, further developing her understanding within her professional field.

Without the degree, Rachel would not have been able to progress her career or complete her IBMS Specialist portfolio in Medical Microbiology which she aims to start in the near future and fulfil her role as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist.

At first, Rachel was apprehensive about beginning university at a later stage in her life. She said “When I actually started my degree, I had been out of education for 10 years and I thought that I couldn’t do it. Although the course has been challenging and full on at times, I put 100% into each piece of work and I soon realised that if I put my mind to it, I could do it!

“I was determined to prove my self-doubts wrong and do something about developing my career and when I found out I got a first, I was really proud of my achievements. I can’t thank the lecturers and tutors enough for their support and expert knowledge which has helped me on my path to success.”

Dr Lucy Smyth, who led the Biomedical Science Apprentice programme, said: “Rachel has shown an exemplary attitude to her studies and her employer regularly praised her for her diligence and hard work in the NHS pathology lab.   

“Rachel served for 2 years as student rep and was instrumental in working with apprentice programme staff to improve and shape the course and as programme lead I can say, Rachel has been a pleasure and privilege to work.  Among all of this, Rachel found time to get married, congratulations! 

“She was a dedicated and conscientious student and fully deserves her award and recognition.”