Portrait of Harriet Standing

Harriet Standing

What made you want to apply to your course?

I’ve been in Leeds over the last five years studying Medicine. I applied for the Masters intercalation course primarily because it offered a chance to explore an area of my own interest in great depth, as well as a unique and challenging opportunity to achieve a Masters degree in a year.

What makes me most passionate about this subject is dealing with the most challenging moral dilemmas faced in healthcare, where people are commonly split in their views and it can be difficult to determine the best course of action.

How would you describe your experience of studying your course?

The kinds of issues we studied in the course are important and realistic dilemmas which are faced in healthcare but also in general life; I enjoy discussing such dilemmas with peers, considering other people’s views and having my own thoughts challenged too.

I particularly enjoyed the discussions that we had regarding controversial issues, such as beginning of life, death, and resource allocation. These kinds of discussions incorporated intuitive, religious, cultural, political and emotional aspects which were interesting and eye-opening, and I really enjoyed examining my own thoughts and beliefs on these subjects. 

The facilities at Leeds are great, there are several big libraries which are great for independent and group study, offering silent study areas, computers, comfortable seating and booths for group work. There are lots of places on campus, including the union, where questions can be answered and support given.

I have participated several student societies, including Cutting Edge, which is for students considering a career in surgery, and the Student Clinical Ethics Forum, through which I developed my interest in ethics. I have also joined the Women’s Hockey Society and the Tennis Society, which I enjoy very much.

I have two more years of my medical degree to complete before I graduate, and I think the skills I’ve gained from my intercalation degree will hugely benefit me when dealing with challenges in practice, particularly with regards to determining the best course of action and the justification for it.