International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Hera's Profile

Hera Shams Khan

Ambassador for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

Course: Biomedical Engineering

Year of study: Second

Favourite school subjects: Physics and Biology

Why she chose Biomedical Engineering: Passionate about healthcare, especially making it easier and more accessible for everyone. Wants to help reduce the pain patients have to go through during diagnosis and treatment.

Favourite parts of her course: The diversity of modules - including Electrical, Mechanical and Control modules as well as modules on human biology.

Favourite part of the university: The union, where hundreds of events are held every year. Hera was involved in the International Language Festival where she taught Urdu, met new people and made friends, calling it a remarkable experience.

Advice to future students: It is crucial to research extensively and then to think about the subject that you think you can work on all your life.

Keep an eye out for Hera representing the University of Sheffield at The 3rd International Exhibition & Conference on Higher Education in the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The exhibition is held during the period 17 - 20 April 2012.

If you have any questions for Hera, please leave them in a comment below. Thanks!


  1. Zareena Qureshi19 April 2012 at 14:58

    umaid is interested in doing mba email address

  2. my name is firdous.i have done my engineering luking for a gud masters course. my no. is 07525157037

    1. Hello Firdous!
      If you have graduated from a Saudi university then you will need a GPA of 3 out of a 4 point scale or 3.5 out of a 5 point scale. Also, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or above to apply.

      Further information can be found on

  3. Rana Saad Tahir21 April 2012 at 19:28

    How much does it cost per year, tuition plus living? (engineering)

    1. Hi Rana!
      The tuition fee for an engineering student is around 15000 pounds and the cost of living depends on your standard of living. In your first year I would recommend University accommodation and the rents range from £3,924.90 to £7,090.02 (per annum), depending on the kind of accommodation on offer. The rooms with a shared bathroom tend to be cheaper while studio rooms are the more expensive ones.
      If you would like to know more about grocery, cinema, etc, please do let me know!

      Further information regarding accommodation costs can be found on

    2. Rana Saad Tahir27 April 2012 at 08:11

      thank u very much, it was really very helpful :)

      another question please.i failed to understand the complete idea of ' The Offer ' uni. makes to students who fail to get the required grade, please can you elaborate that part, What is ' the offer ' uni. makes, and how long does this offer stay open???

    3. Well as far as the offer is concerned, the offer is to study at our University thats all, nothing more! Let me give you a step-by-step guide:

      1) Get your AS grades
      2) Write a personal statement
      3) Apply with your AS grades and the personal statement through UCAS
      4) Get a conditional offer ( get the required grades in A levels)
      5) Choose a 'Firm' and 'Insurance' (You will need to choose 5 universities in your initial UCAS application and from the conditional offers you get from them, you will have to decide which one you would want to go -Firm and which one you will have to go to if you do not meet the grade requirements- Insurance)
      6) Do your A-level exams
      7) Get the A-level grades
      8) If you get the required grades- u will go to your 'Firm' choice
      If you dont get the required grades - you will go to your 'Insurance' choice
      9) Once you get accepted you will receive a CAS number which you will have to use to apply for a visa

      (I got my visa in a week, however, they do say that they take longer- about 15 days, University doesn't begin until late September, so it is alright)

      The UKBA uses a local agent to process visa applications from Saudi. This is the one I had to go to in Riyadh:

    4. You might also find this helpful :
      It'll help you decide which course to take and there is also a timeline telling you what to do in your last years in school. I do realise some of the things in the timeline aren't quite relevant to you as you are an International student (like me =D) but it'll just give you a general idea!

    5. Rana Saad Tahir27 April 2012 at 11:38

      WOWWWWW...!!! thank you so much,
      much to think about now ;)
      keep up the great work :D

    6. Rana Saad Tahir27 April 2012 at 19:53

      discussing the points: 1st point, what are the preferred grades???
      4th point, '( get the required grades in A levels)' meaning u cn't get an admission on AS grades alone, u re supposed to do A2 also??? same question in point 6 n 7. :)

    7. The required grades depend on your area of study, really. For MEng which is the four year programme you are looking at getting AAA-AAB but for BEng which is the three year programme the grades required would be from AAA to BBB even for some courses.

      I would advise if for example, you get ABB in AS you should still apply and try to improve your grades in A-Levels. Your application also depends on your personal statement so during the smmer before your A2 starts, it'll be a good idea to read about the area of study you are interested in and write a little about it in the personal statement. Any relevant work experience would also strengthen your application. I can tell you about my work experience in Riyadh if you would like to know about it.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. Grade requirements for all degrees can be found on

    10. And yes, the offer you will get based on your AS grades would only be conditional and for a permanent offer you would need to do the full A-levels.

    11. Rana Saad Tahir27 April 2012 at 22:13

      ahan, so full A-levels it is :)
      work experience,. does it necessarily ve to be related to the field ur gonna choose??? like if u plan to take Mechanical ENG. but u already ve done CCNA. will it help???
      n yes if u don't mind telling, what work experience did u ve???

    12. The work experience does not have to be related to your course it is just to exhibit your skills which can not be known through your academic qualifications. If you've done CCNA thats good, it shall definitely add to your application.

      I worked at King Fahd Medical City after my AS and basically all I did was observe the biomedical engineers at work, helping them in the most basic of things. Since unqualified people are not allowed to be actively involved in a clinical environment, my work was very limited. However, it gave me an insight of one of the ways biomedical engineers contribute to healthcare and it helped me a lot in my interview =)

    13. Rana Saad Tahir28 April 2012 at 20:59

      ahann King Fahd Medical City, that was 1 hell of a great start mashaAllah :D
      well thanks a TON for all ur help :)

    14. You're welcome! Please don't hesitate to ask any further questions!

  4. Well done Hera! You continue to give us reasons to be proud of Pakistan. And I'm also happy for fact that I was the one who took the Language Festival photo :-)

    1. That is very kind! Thank you!

  5. We made a promotional video for the Language Festival this year. It is entirely made by students and the purpose was just to show the diversity of the students at our University. If I told you about it at the Exhibition and if you are looking for it, this is the link to view it at:

  6. Great work here, unity in diversity :-) :-)

  7. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...


  8. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...


  9. Hey, I was thinking, what's the difference between BEng and MEng? Which one do we study first, what's the degree level, how many years it takes, and what comes next, all that sort of stuff.

    Thank you very much, your blog is immensely helpful, I've acquired a lot of information from all the questions and your answers. :)

    1. Hi Hira!

      After you do your A-levels you get admitted to MEng or BEng depending on your grades.
      For example in the link below for Bioengineering you can see if you achieve better grades you will be on the MEng route but if not then you will have to do BEng.

      MEng is a four year degree while BEng is 3 years long. Whatever course you are doing you will have to study the same modules regardless of BEng and MEng until your second year and then the modules slightly change if you are doing BEng in your third year.

      In other words you can directly be on the route to a Master's degree if you get better grades in A-levels. Although, I must mention some people see BEng as a faster way to graduation so they choose BEng even if they have good grades in A-levels. So it may sometimes be personal choice as well.

      Also, your progress in University might effect your degree. If you do not achieve a certain percentage in your second year then even if you are on the MEng route you will be transferred on to BEng.

      I hope this has answered your question! And you're welcome to ask more questions if you've got more =)

    2. Okay thank you, that was a wonderful answer, totally cleared my confusion. You're a great ambassador, now I know exactly who to ask whenever I've got any queries :)

  10. I have just been told about this blog from your father. I'ld like to say salam and ask u for your opinion is it best to do A levels and then hopefully study medicine in UK or go straight to college in sudan after IGCSE.

    1. Wa Alaikum Salam Hafs

      Please contact the Medical school for information regarding this matter and they will contact you shortly. Here is their e-mail address:

  11. Aoa! :)
    Hey baji i wanted to ask that here in Pakistan some schools(like mine) do not offer AS Level in the first year. We give AS level papers along with the A2 papers in the 2nd year.As we dont have our AS level result before,how can we apply?
    Just wanted to ask:)

    1. W/Salam

      In your case you would have to speak to your teachers and ask for predicted grades based on current progress and previous qualifications. You will put them on your UCAS application like AS level results. If your application is successful then you will receive a conditional offer but an unconditional offer would only be made once you receive your final A-level results.

      Best of luck!

  12. Asalamualaykum Hera,

    I met you at the exhibition in Riyadh last year if you rememeber, I'm looking into studying medicine, and would like to know what the cut-off for the University of Sheffield is this year.

    Thank you

    (Please try to reply early )

    1. As in the cut-off for the UKCAT score

    2. Hi!

      Please take a look at this website >>

      It appears you must sit the UKCAT by the 5th October 2012. There is lots of information on that website but feel free to ask us any questions and we'll do our best to answer them :) Good luck!