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Hannah Sheridan

MSc Sport Nutrition

England

Why did you decide to study a postgraduate course?

I had completed the IOC Sports Nutrition postgraduate diploma with the aim of becoming an applied practitioner in elite sport. The next step from the PGDip was a Masters course which I wanted to complete at a prestigious university with highly regarded Sport Science/Nutrition researchers and good links with athletes/teams. The University of Stirling encompassed all of these and allowed me to do a 9 month research project leading on from my PGDip.

What attracted you to Stirling?

The campus was beautiful but above all, the people were welcoming and friendly. When moving so far away from home, I wanted to go somewhere where I still felt at home!

Again, the Sport and Exercise research department was full of staff and students who were/are doing great research.

What did you enjoy most about your time at the University of Stirling?

The people that I met! I enjoyed spending time both at home and ‘work’ simply because of the friends I had made in Stirling. This made the tough times of writing up a research project and early morning data collection, much more enjoyable.

In addition, the department were very supportive of my passion to go into the applied Sports Nutrition field. I was given the opportunity to carry out lab testing with high performance athletes and attend CPD events to ensure I continued my development in the applied field.

Which aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed gaining further laboratory experience and building on my physiology knowledge. Physiology and nutrition are very closely linked, so expanding my physiology knowledge really helped me improve my day to day work as a nutritionist.

Do you think the degree has made you more employable, or better prepared for further study? If yes, what are the key skills? What contacts/networks have you made in your time at Stirling?

I would definitely say the Msc at Stirling helped with employment success but also put me in a good position to continue further study, if I decide to go back into research.

My laboratory, writing and networking skills were all improved throughout my time at Stirling. My confidence in presenting excelled as I was encouraged to present my research both to the group at Stirling and at conferences. I was given the opportunity to complete some applied work with high level athletes and at the Scottish Institute of Sport which allowed me to practice translating my scientific knowledge into practical terms, something vital to the role of an applied sports nutritionist.

I have made contacts within research and applied settings such as the SIS and Scottish Rugby.

What advice would you give a student considering studying at Stirling?

Make the most of studying at a great university in an amazing location! Volunteer to get involved in a range of activities that you are interested in such as sports teams or research. This will open the door to many different career paths and give you a range of useful contacts that could help you in the future.

How would you summarise your time at Stirling?

Too short, highly enjoyable and a big development milestone in my career as a sports nutritionist.

If you have now graduated, what are you doing now?

I work full time as a Sports Nutritionist with elite athletes at the High Performance Centre, Birmingham.

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