Freya Hawker - Current Nutrition and Exercise as Medicine Student

Q: Why did you choose to study at Salford

Although I had applied to other Universities, Salford was always at the top of my list and I didn’t give much thought or time to the others. This is because the course was exactly what I was looking for and after visiting the open day it was clear in my mind that Salford was the right University for me. Upon the open day, everything was very clear, well signposted and you knew what was going on at what time, so you didn’t miss out on anything. I got to meet some of the lecturers on the open day and got a good idea of what the course and the Uni had to offer. One thing that stood out to me on this day was on the train on the way back home, one of the lecturers remembered me and asked how found it and if I had any more questions, this really showcases the support you get when you’re on the course as well.

Q: What made you want to study your chosen course?

My passion for health and fitness really sparked when studying for my GCSEs. The gym was my escape and therapy during this stressful time. As well as this, I wanted to fuel myself properly not only for my gym sessions but also for the long hours of studying I was doing so I got invested in the nutrition side of things as well.

From experiencing the vast number of benefits prioritizing my health has given me, I was curious to know more and learn how I could also help others feel similar benefits to me.

Q: Tell us a bit about your course and the modules you have already studied

Our course covers diverse topics within the health, fitness, and nutrition world, some of which I never thought about until joining NEM but are really useful to learn. For example, the psychological side of health behaviors as well as research being such a driving force in every piece of work you do. I would say the course is mainly focused on the exercise side of health. Covering topics like exercise physiology and qualifying as a Level 2 and 3 gym instructor by the end of the second year is a great qualification to have as it allows the opportunity to gain further experience within the industry whilst earning money.

My favourite module so far has been the nutrition model, Applied Nutrition and Dietary Analysis, as you unpick foods on their nutritional value and what benefits they offer the body. As well as this, you learn how to eat the right amount and balance of foods for your or a client’s body to maintain a healthy weight.

Q: Have you undertaken a placement? If so, tell us a bit more about your placement

In the final year, you get the opportunity to do work experience. I have just started a remote placement at HRS Communications, this is a medical communications company that specialises in nutrition and creates credible, evidence-based nutrition content and strategies for businesses. This is a role I never would have thought of without the help and support of one of my lecturers. I enjoy the creative side of writing and producing content as well as researching and analysing nutrition so this experience really offers me the best of both worlds and feels very much tailored towards me.

Q: What support is on hand for your studies? What are the teaching staff like?

Due to the size of the course, for my year anyway, you have the opportunity for personal, one-to-one support as it is quite a small group. The lecturers are always more than happy to help and answer any queries or worries you may have. I have never had an issue with waiting on a reply or response and they are always very understanding.

Q: What do you want to do once you’ve graduated and how does Salford/ your course help with this?

Once I have graduated, I would like to do a masters degree in the area of nutrition. I haven’t looked too much into this yet as I would like to do a gap year beforehand, however, as mentioned, my lecturers are very supportive, and I am sure if I reach to them or the University they would be happy to support me.

Q: What would you say to someone thinking about studying NEM at Salford?

I would say, go to an open day if you can, this will give you a great idea of what the University and the course has to offer, ask lots of questions and get a real sense for the place. Also go to the University site, on the ‘Chat to our Students’ page and you can talk to current students studying the course you are interested in. I am on there and am more than happy to answer any queries or worries you may have @freyahawker.

Lastly, have a passion for what you are studying, the course can get hard and sometimes overwhelming, but it is so much easier when you love what you do.

Freya - Current Nutrition and Exercise as Medicine Student