UCL Changemakers


NatSci Careers Board

This case study explores a student-led initiative aimed at improving the careers information available to Natural Science students at UCL.

29 July 2021

Case study by Manuela Sadik

What was the aim of your project?

We wanted to provide students studying BSc Natural Sciences with easily accessible careers information. In our department, students are allowed to study any science-related module offered by UCL. This has created a large student body with a diverse and varying range of career ambitions. Our aim was to help these students with researching and acquiring jobs in their desired field/career.

What did you do?

To gather information and assess the needs of the students, we started by creating and distributing a questionnaire to all BSc Natural Science students. This questionnaire featured questions inquiring into their current career prospects, opinions on UCL’s career service and the type of help they desired. Following this, we created an online blog to publish and advertise student opportunities such as internships and research placements. To raise awareness about the blog, we engaged with the NatSci Facebook pages.

What were the main successes of the project?

Around a quarter of the students in our department responded to the questionnaire which was very encouraging and meant that we had a huge amount of data to work with. Furthermore, following our presentation of the project at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference, we received a lot of positive feedback. We hope that this develops into a strong working relationship through which we can attain useful contacts and ideas on how to better engage with students. 

What difficulties did you face during your project? What would you do differently?

A lack of time meant that we were unable to do everything that we had planned. For example, we had wanted to organise informal sessions where students and alumni could discuss their career-related experiences. So, if we were to run this project again, we would definitely start earlier in the academic year.

What impact has your project had? On whom?

Our project primarily impacted students. We successfully developed a platform that will benefit them careers-wise and created a solid foundation on which next year’s students can build. We hope that this project will continue to evolve and impact students. We have discussed the possibility of creating a more formal website featuring application advice and other useful information. We also hope to organise events at which alumni can visit and talk about their jobs and post-UCL experiences. Overall, our aim is to continue impacting students by finding better ways to help them in pursuing their career ambitions.