Find a course.

Lives Online homepage

Subscribe to Lives Online

Archive for July, 2014

Natasha Kam

BSc (Hons) Psychology

History of University of Sunderland & Pharmacy Course

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014



So I have been searching for information regarding the history of UoS and found out that Sunderland has been an important centre for education since 674 AD!! Among its early students was a 7 year old boy who became known to history as The Venerable Bede, a renowned scholar and teacher. And the river bank surrounding the St. Peter’s church is now the setting for the award-winning Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter’s.

On top of that, the first stained glass ever made in England was created for St Peter’s Church, and so it is appropriate that the National Glass Centre, home to the University’s teaching and research in glass and ceramics, should be based at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s.

St Peter’s Church where I am currently attending my Sunday services, was the site of the greatest scriptorium north of the Alps, and has been described as the Oxford of its day. The oldest existing Latin version of the Bible – the Codex Amiatinus – was written at St Peter’s Church, close to the University’s £9m state-of-the-art Media Centre, launched in 2004.

In 1921-22, the Pharmacy Department began as a single bench in the Chemistry Department, but soon grew to become the largest in the country. This was thanks to the vision of Miss Hope Constance Monica Winch, a remarkable scientist and pioneer of the Pharmacy Department who was appointed in 2921 as the 1st full-time Pharmacy lecturer. The Hope Winch Society is the largest UoS Alumni group where members can take part in a number of dedicated events including networking sessions, and Annual lecture and the Annual Reunion Dinner. The Society began in 1984, following a very successful reunion dinner for ex-pharmacy students.

Hope Winch Annual Dinner 2010


In 1930 the quality of Pharmacy Department was reflected by an affiliation to Durham University. The London University Pharmacy BSc was introduced in the same year, and Sunderland was recognised by London University as a centre for its BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) degree in 1934. So during the Second World War, Sunderland ran special courses for the armed forces and the Ministry of Labour. By 1946 the College had 59 full-time staff, 175 part-time assistants, 840 full and part-time students and 1,485 evening class students.

After that, new courses were developed and had further expansions in 1950s. Sunderland was the first educational centre in the region to install a digital computer. This hi-tech innovation required a crane to haul it through the roof of the building in which it was housed – a far cry from today’s laptops and netbooks. In 1959, an ambitious building programme began, culminating in the opening of a new complex of buildings on Chester Road by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1964. These developments meant that there will be residential accommodation for both full and part- time students studying in Sunderland. 

In 1992, Her Majesty The Queen granted Sunderland city status to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne. In 1993, HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited the City of Sunderland the University of Sunderland. Her Majesty met University staff and students and saw plans for the flagship St Peter’s Campus development, which has since made a significant contribution to the regeneration of the city.

Prince Philip [image]

In 2002, St Peter’s Campus was renamed the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. The event marked the 80th birthday of Sir Tom Cowie, esteemed Sunderland businessman and one of the University’s most loyal supporters. The £50m Sir Tom Cowie Campus is now home to about half of 17,000 students. The School of Business, Law and Psychology opened on the campus in 1994, and the spectacular David Goldman Informatics Centre followed 2 years later.

In 1998, the Oscar-winning film producer Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE became the University’s first Chancellor. Lord Puttnam was succeeded by former Olympic athlete Steve Cram MBE, who has held the position of Chancellor of the University of Sunderland since 2008. In 1999 Professor Peter Fidler left Oxford Brookes University to become Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at the University of Sunderland. As well as leading efforts to enhance our reputation for high quality teaching and research, Professor Fidler contributes to regional regeneration as a member of several North-East development bodies.


In 2006 a new £3.5m Gateway development opened at City Campus, housing a wide range of university services and academic support. This development was followed in 2009 by the £12m CitySpace sports facility featuring a six-badminton sports hall, 70-station fitness suite and indoor climbing wall. In 2011, the new Sciences Complex – a £8.5m development for healthcare sciences was built. 2012 was a busy year, with the establishment of the new University of Sunderland London Campus, and refurbishments of Priestman Building and National Glass Centre. Pristman building is now a centre for Fine Art and Culture, and National Glass Centre is firmly established as one of the UK’s premiere tourist destinations and the heart of glass research in the UK.

WOW! For over a century, UoS and all its former iterations has set the pace in higher education, and are looking forward to continuing this trend into the next century. Way to go Sundie!

For more information on Hope Winch, click here to see what Dr. Paul Carter, Chairman of the Hope Winch Society has to say:


*The information above was taken & can be found on the University of Sunderland website; Credits to Stuart Miller for the research*

North East Live Concert 2014

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014


Throwback to the North East Live Concert at Stadium of Light last month- My friends and I received FREE tickets from the University to watch Union J, Jessie J, Jason Derulo, The Saturdays, Rizzle Kicks, Katy B, The vamps and many more performing! The crowd was incredible, mostly teenagers and children but the parents enjoyed the music too especially when Jason Derulo took off his shirt to show off his abs during his performance.

IMG_1897 IMG_1898 IMG_1912 IMG_1923 IMG_1952 IMG_1954 IMG_1966 IMG_1902


Paris Trip (Day 2 & 3)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Day 2 at Paris was the highlight of our trip because we went to Disneyland! Few years back, my family and I visited Florida’s Disneyland and it was during winter. This time in Paris is during summer and I must say it was tormenting (hahaha- I really cannot stand the heat!)… I made sure I kept myself hydrated, applied tonnes of sunscreen lotion and used my umbrella whenever it’s possible. So the whole of Day 2 was in Disneyland until towards the evening when my boyfriend and I played on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride and I instantly felt sick because I just had lunch!! We were brought up into the air in a little elevator looking vehicle. A video to show you how is it like, it was really fun but because we just had our burger lunch and all, I was so sick I felt like throwing up. The video doesn’t look that scary but trust me, DO NOT eat before you go onto this ride. The velocity and acceleration was just intense..!


IMG_3725 IMG_3726 IMG_3727 IMG_3728 IMG_3749 IMG_3750 IMG_3752 IMG_3756 IMG_3758 IMG_3759 IMG_3762 IMG_3764 IMG_3765 IMG_3766 IMG_3768 IMG_3772 IMG_3776 IMG_3777 IMG_3778 IMG_3784 IMG_3786 IMG_3796 IMG_3804 IMG_3806 IMG_3808 IMG_3810 IMG_3811 IMG_3815 IMG_3820 IMG_3824 IMG_3833 IMG_3834 IMG_3836

BBQ Session with my Sundy Family

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

My boyfriend and I know a family from City Life Church for two years already and they always have us over to their place for dinner. This time, we had a BBQ session in their backyard with their pet rabbits (haha). Better go out there and enjoy the lovely sunny weather before winter comes and it’s going to be all cold and rainy. The last picture is a tea session with my course mates whom I will not be seeing after this anymore as most of us have applied to different parts of England for pre-reg and some have gone back home for good. Will be missing each and everyone of them!

IMG_2376 IMG_2389 IMG_2394 IMG_2404 IMG_2407 IMG_2444

Paris Trip (Day 1)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Good morning readers! Just last week, my boyfriend and I took a short lovely trip to Paris to celebrate me graduating and finally becoming a pre-reg pharmacist. This is only just the beginning of my journey to becoming a pharmacist and I am really excited to start my training!! So back to my Paris trip, we booked our hotel and flights via Thomas Cook & traveled within the city by RER (train) and metro. The French are really friendly especially when people like me (foreign) start trying to speak their language, they feel so proud and honoured that internationals would make an extra effort to learn their language. So this is when my French lessons with Madame Joelle from ULS (University Language Scheme) comes in handy. I have completed Stage 1 of French lessons last year with UoS and I can speak very basic French now.:) We got around easily as their transport system is relatively straight forward. First day when we arrived, we walked soo much we didn’t even check in to the hotel until late evening!



The journey was less than 2 hours by plane

Paris train (RER) and Metro Map

Paris train (RER) and Metro Map


All Day Passes for buses, trains and metro


First stop: Notre Dame Cathedral with such beautiful stained glass designs inside


Inside of Notre Dame


Boyfriend and I moving on to the Louvre!


Entering into Louvre museum


And we see it!


Tourists admiring the beautiful architecture of the buildings


The queue into the museum


Typical Louvre shot


Pretty scenery from inside out


The Louvre museum is one of the biggest in the world and it took us soo long to glance through everything- Mona Lisa is to be found here


Inside of the Louvre


We have gotten free access into the whole museum because we are students!


Resurrection of Jesus Christ carving


Ancient belongings


CHeck out the ceiling! I can’t imagine how much effort one’s put into it!


More of it..


The Lord’s Last supper


Walking around the museum


Next stop: The Eiffel Tower


Almost there


Closer to the tower


Walking right underneath the tower


Pont Neuf Bridge


Souvenir shops everywhere


After a long day of traveling and walking, we finally checked into our hotel and had a nice romantic French steak dinner




Banana split dessert

IMG_3647 IMG_3454 IMG_3487

Life Changing Video

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Please bear with me as I am not very good with impromptu speaking! However, I am still overwhelmed from graduation and parents visiting me and all. There’s still time for you to apply for the lives online blogging job so if you are a student from UoS, click onto this link to find out more. Good luck!

World Cup Finals 2014

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Last night was the FIFA World Cup Finals- Argentina versus Germany in Brazil. UoS’ Students’ Union organised a football event for the students at North Shore. Students were able to join in for games, football quizzes, ball dribbling and juggling. Everyone had so much fun as there were gifts for the winners and drinks at the bar. We sat down to watch that intensive live match together. There were German students amongst us and it was a great night for the Germans to gain victory of the World Cup! Both my father and brother are footballers- My brother especially was trained under a Brazilian coach since young so they both got the chance to win the dribbling and juggling games for the night. Click on the video below to watch my baby brother dribble. 😛

IMG_3316 IMG_3318 IMG_3320 IMG_3327 IMG_3328 IMG_3333 IMG_3334 IMG_3335 IMG_3336 IMG_3340 IMG_3341 IMG_3342

Daddy signing the football

Daddy signing the football

IMG_3348 IMG_3352


Faculty of Applied Sciences Graduation Ceremony 2014

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Goooooood Morning!

The past 2 weeks flew by so fast! My family came by to Sunderland to celebrate me graduating and we’ve had so much fun travelling around Scotland and England. I have soo much to share but let’s just start off with the graduation day!


11th of July, Friday was the last graduation day for UoS at Stadium of Light, Sunderland and mine was in the morning under the Faculty of Applied Sciences. Students graduated with Sports and Exercise sciences, biomedical sciences, philosophical studies, nursing, Master of Pharmacy etc. The first thing we had to do when we arrived at the stadium was to register and double check our names in the name list. Then, walk upstairs to get our mortar boards and gowns all ready – We had professionals helping us out with our attires making sure we are wearing them correctly. Next was to have us all seated according to our surnames and have the guests seated as well. The ceremony started off with the speech from the Vice Chancellor and very quickly to receive our certificate on the stage. The ceremony went by quite fast and we were served with some lunch buffet after that.


I was also called to be interviewed in the life-changing graduation ceremony video so I missed the group photo session with my Segi mates (sniff). However, right after the video was done, I rushed out to the stadium to get some photos taken with my family and close friends. 🙂 I am still so overwhelmed! 4 years of pharmacy drilling and all of the hard work has finally paid off! Can’t believe I’m no longer a student anymore… And I will be starting my pre-registration training in Avenue Pharmacy, Sunderland just opposite St. Peter’s campus in 2 weeks so you might still be able to bump into me in town so don’t hesitate to tap me on the shoulder or call me out when you see me like some of you have already done so! Cheers~!



My family and I


Me adjusting my gown


Roses and lilies from my lovely boyfriend

IMG_3854 IMG_3884 IMG_3843 IMG_3842 IMG_3847 IMG_3890 - Copy IMG_3879 - Copy IMG_3198 IMG_3217 IMG_3255 IMG_3259 IMG_3260 IMG_3265 IMG_3266  IMG_3880 IMG_3882 IMG_3886

Family in United Kingdom for 2 weeks!

Monday, July 14th, 2014

So my parents came by two weeks ago and just left for Amsterdam this morning. They will be home in Kuala Lumpur the next few days. I’m already missing them dearly but whether I like it or not, I chose to work in here in Sunderland and to stay put for another year. Saying goodbyes are the hardest but we all know that whatever it is, we know that our families will always be there for us no matter how far, how difficult the situation is or how different the time zones are. Most importantly, prayers keep me strong and going- Couldn’t have stood the homesickness without the Lord Jesus Christ my Saviour in my life. Pictures speak a thousand words, scroll down to see the fun we’ve had.:) I love you mummy, daddy, grandmamma and my baby brother! <3

PS: I’ve got tonnes of pictures so made some collages at the end of this post to sum up our family holiday together

Journey: Rented a car and drove from Sunderland to Edinburgh, Scotland; Took a train from Sunderland to London and to Bath

IMG_3166 IMG_3302 IMG_2496 IMG_2497 IMG_2521 IMG_2545 IMG_2565 IMG_2602 IMG_2624 IMG_2632 IMG_2637 IMG_2659 IMG_2660 IMG_2669 IMG_2688 IMG_2691 IMG_2695 IMG_2698 IMG_2699 IMG_2707 IMG_2728 IMG_2749 IMG_2760 IMG_2782 IMG_2800 IMG_2804IMG_2979 IMG_2980 IMG_2981 IMG_2982 IMG_3138

Shout-out of the Month: Janning Lai

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Good day readers! As promised, I have scheduled an interview session with retail pharmacist, Janning Lai currently working in Malaysia. Read on to see how different it is being a Malaysian pharmacist.:)


1. How did you go about applying as a pharmacist in Malaysia?

After graduation, since I did a local degree, it’s easy and almost automatic. Just apply, go for interview, employed. Forensic exam will be during the 1 year PRP. After you pass the exam, you will serve another year as FRP. Then you’re free to leave the government/resign as you’ve served 1+1.


2. What experiences have you had in the pharmacy setting prior to your current job?

Working in hospitals and government clinics. I had the chance to experience everything – inpatient pharmacy, methadone dispensing, therapeutic drug monitoring, handling of dangerous drugs, screening of prescriptions, inpatient wards, outpatient pharmacy, asthma clinic, warfarin clinic, independent pharmacy, value added services (medications by post, by appointment, drive-thru), drug information centre, inpatient chemotherapy, sterile manufacturing, store pharmacy, MTAC, attend and present CME talks/forums, etc.


3. Why did you choose and what do you like about working in the hospital pharmacy?

Did not choose – government sends you to the hospital – compulsory. Haha. Good thing about it is you learn everything, and you learn the most in hospitals. Grab every opportunity to do as much work as possible, because that’s how you will learn.


4. What is your daily routine like?

In hospitals – working hours 8am-5pm. Usually got to stay back till about 6pm at most. Mon-Fri. Sometimes on calls on weekends too. On calls will include odd hours, midnight shifts, etc. Work will depend on which sector you are at at that moment.

In clinics – Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. On calls about once every 2 months to do Methadone, on weekends 8-10am (depends which clinic you are at). No other on calls. Basically just doing dispensing, counselling, ordering/store stuff and value added services. Limited medicine choices. Can’t really learn much in clinics. Very simple, easy, no-brainer job.

In retail – totally different. All sorts of medicines and non medicines available. Have to know how to diagnose, treat and recommend. Lots to learn. Have to play the role of a GP too. Not only medicines, but herbs, supplements etc. Working hours flexible – can choose. Usually 44 hours per week. Either 4, 5, or 6 day week. Extra hours you work will be paid extra under OT rate of Rm25-40 per hour.


5. What are the challenges working in the hospital pharmacy?

Have to know your stuff. Need lots of practice. Very busy, have to be quick, and can’t risk any mistakes as peoples’ lives in your hands. Learn up, study, and put into practice what you learn. Need to know every drug available, dosage, frequency, method of administration, indication, contraindication, precautions, mode of action, time of onset, etc. With these knowledge, advice, recommend and educate fellow healthcare colleagues including doctors. Need to learn PR skills. And how to correct/advice/recommend to doctors without offending them.


6. What are your future plans after this?

Retail in Malaysia


7. Advice for future pharmacists?

Knowledge very important. Know your stuff. Then you can give good advices, recommendations, services not only to patients, customers, but healthcare professionals too. We are, afterall, the drug expert. Be patient, compassionate, loving, kind, understanding, humble, noble, nice, polite and smile always to patients/customers. They need it and it makes a whole lot of difference. Most importantly, you need to have the passion to help.


8. What do you like most from being a student and what is it that you miss most?

Friends. They are the ones that will stay thoughout. Whom you will go through almost everything with. Treasure and cherish them. When you start working, it’s not easy to find true friends anymore.


Janning Lai

Janning Lai with her cute puppy

  • Name: Natasha Kam
  • Age: 23
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Ambitions: I would love to set up my own pharmaceutical company.

Find out more about the University of Sunderland:

Contact the Helpline: