UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Nurbani Somani, MRes Vision Research / MSc Biology of Vision

"UCL’s innovative history, ground-breaking academic reputation addressing current global issues good facilities, and central London location, made it ... the best place for me to study."

Nurbani Somani, MRes Vision Research / MSc Biology of Vision

Nurbani Somani is studying a MRes Vision Research / MSc Biology of Vision at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.  

1. What are your motivations for pursuing a graduate-level qualification?

It will provide me with a platform to progress in my desired career in the field of ophthalmology, as well as putting me in a more informed position, by offering the skills required to pursue a research degree, as well as contribute to novel findings. Moreover, it gives access to cutting-edge facilitates and educational resources in order to gain great scientific experience that will ensure a strong foundation for a successful career in the future.

2.  Why did you apply to UCL for graduate study?

The structure of the master's programme at UCL was a good fit for my area of interest. At UCL you are always surrounded by world-leading experts in the field, as well as being fortunate to have weekly optional seminars presented by distinguished visiting academics and guest speakers. Additionally, UCL has excellent networking events which provide you with the opportunity to make valuable contacts and experience to work on projects, which have had a positive impact on society.

UCL’s innovative history, ground-breaking academic reputation addressing current global issues good facilities, and central London location, made it a certainty that UCL would be the best place for me to study.

3. What is the best thing about your course?

All the lectures on my course have been presented by world-leading experts in all topics, on the taught modules. Although some guest lecturers and speakers are not always from UCL, they are still easily approachable and will provide further help and answer questions outside of lecture times.

4. What are your career plans once you’ve completed your current programme of study at UCL?

I intend to continue my research studies by applying for a research assistant post, in order to learn more and consolidate my choice of taking on a research degree. I am planning to attend training sessions on statistical programmes such as Matlab so when I start my research work I am able to fulfil tasks independently.

The Faculty of Brain Sciences hosts many careers workshops throughout the academic year such as CV, application and interview help, as well as workshops about applying for a PhD.

5. Do you think studying at UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences is a good investment?

Definitely. The Brain Sciences Faculty at UCL has a diverse range of world-leading academics. You are in an advantageous position in comparison to the students studying elsewhere, as you will get your questions answered by academics at the highest level in their field. Also, help is always given to those in need of it, in order to be successful in their desired programme. Moreover, by studying at UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences you certainly will gain the required knowledge and critical thinking skills you need to become a leader in your field. This is shown through the Faculty’s strengths based on interdisciplinary research, teaching, collaborations, and partnerships.

6. What is it like studying in London and how do you think it has benefited your studies?

UCL’s prime location in London makes everything easily accessible. All campuses are at a reasonable distance to each other by using Transport for London. There is a range of accommodation options available, including: UCL student accommodation, intercollegiate halls, and private housing, so you can apply for halls or a house closer to where the majority of your classes are held. With the Bloomsbury campus being at the heart of the city, you will always have new places to visit and explore, along with the wide range of multi-ethnic cuisines at your fingertips.

7. Has there been an element of your degree programme that has impressed you or been particularly valuable?

Completing a compulsory research skills module has made me more aware about the importance of good clinical practices when working with patients in the hospital, during laboratory sessions or when conducting research. This essential module covers the regulatory framework overseen by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, focussing on Good Laboratory Practices and Good Clinical Practice. As well as building on the skills to critically appraise papers and systematic evaluation of published research. It also covers medical statistics which are deemed useful when writing our final thesis.

8. Is there anything else you would like to say about your time at the Faculty of Brain Sciences?

The supportive staff are always readily available to help students that require an extra boost. Along with regular one-to-ones, your personal tutor and research project supervisor will ensure that you are confident with the content and never falling behind. The Faculty of Brain Sciences, and in particular the Institute of Ophthalmology, is a phenomenal place to be a student as you are always stimulated by a truly unique research environment, where students are able to share ideas and work along some of the best academics in the field during our research project.