I have always had an interest in science, particularly biology and human anatomy. When I was 16 years old I was involved in a horrific car accident that left me in a coma for five days.  I suffered a traumatic brain injury and only had a 10% chance of living, according to the doctors who were caring for me. When I awoke from the coma everyone was amazed.


I made a full recovery in a matter of weeks. Afterwards, I was regarded as ‘Miracle Matt’, even the neurosurgeon couldn’t believe it, He claimed that he had been studying the brain for thirty years and after my case will never understand it.  I am forever grateful of the medical care I received. When I had fully recovered and got back into high school, I began to picture the roles of all the healthcare workers involved in my recovery.  It occurred to me that the diagnostic radiographers were at the front line of my recovery.  Without the images they produced I could have been helpless. With the interest I have in anatomy, as well as knowing first hand how important medical imaging is, it was clear that diagnostic radiography is the perfect career for me.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I was studying an access course in science in Northern Ireland and was also working as a joiner. One summer my father and I came to Edinburgh to shopfit a Pandora Jewellery Shop in the town centre. At this stage in my access course I was trying to decide where I would like to go to university.  The job lasted for three weeks and I got a great impression of Edinburgh. I loved the atmosphere and found everyone friendly. Shortly afterwards I searched for a university offering a diagnostic radiography course in Edinburgh and found Queen Margaret University.  I spoke with a lecturer from my access course and she highly recommended this university.  From this point, my heart was set on Edinburgh.  The day that I was accepted into Queen Margaret was brilliant. I will always remember it.

Living Away from Home

Where did you live whilst studying? If you were living in halls what’s was the best part?

Well, to be honest, it hasn’t been particularly easy for me. I have moved seven times since I moved to Edinburgh. Looking back on it, I have enjoyed all the parts of Edinburgh I’ve lived in.  I had the chance to see a lot of the city and meet a lot of people.   At one point I was as far away as Galashiels, in the Borders. At least I can say I have seen a good deal of the city since my course started.

Life in Edinburgh – what was the best experience you had in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?

The best experience I had in Edinburgh was meeting new people. I have worked a lot of different jobs in the city, and have met a lot of different people that have I become good friends with. The Grassmarket is a brilliant place in Edinburgh, either during the day or at night.  In addition, the fireworks in the city centre on New Year’s Eve are brilliant. I had a front row seat last year and was amazed.

"Do it! Diagnostic radiography is continuously evolving and is an interesting course to take part in. Medical imaging is the forefront of healthcare. It is amazing what you can learn over the four years and I highly recommend Queen Margaret University."
Matthew Rowland

The Course

Did you attend an Open Day? If so, was there any aspect of the University which made up your mind for you?

Yes, I have attended an open day. At this point, I was excited to because it had taken me seven years to get back into university (after living in the United States).  What I liked the most was it was a small campus.  I went to high school in New York City, so as you can imagine, the classes were massive.  I also went to university in Pennsylvania for three months which had a huge student population.  For example, my biology class seated over 100 people, so I felt as if I couldn’t make a connection with the lecturer, and ask questions on things that I was concerned about. I knew I would benefit from a small campus, plus it was only a few minutes away from the city centre.   

What was the most interesting part of the course? Either something you learned or a particular activity.

Well, I don’t have a definite answer for this question - I have enjoyed the entire course. I suppose one particular lecture we had on brain injury imaging really caught my attention.  For the entire two hour lecture I sat on the edge of my seat.  It was intriguing because I learned about things that had happened to me.  As you can imagine, I had a lot of questions and they were all answered.  Some of my course mates said that it was quite obvious how much I enjoyed that topic. I suppose I found it interesting because it was the reason I had chosen diagnostic radiography in the first place.  

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

Do it! Diagnostic radiography is continuously evolving and is an interesting course to take part in. Medical imaging is the forefront of healthcare. It is amazing what you can learn over the four years and I highly recommend Queen Margaret University.  You’ll get all the help you need and the lecturers are extremely dedicated. They help you understand everything and will answer any question you may have.

After Graduation

I will be working in Ninewells Hospital in Dundee as an MRI radiographer with an additional role in general radiography. I will be rotating between Ninewells, Perth Royal Infirmary and Stracathro Hospital.  I am planning to further study MRI to work in research in the future.  Having worked in Brain Research Imaging Centre, Edinburgh as a student I have an ambition to pursue a career in MRI research.  Things couldn’t have gone better and I am so pleased with my experience at Queen Margaret University.  


Story published 2016-2017

Health Professions

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