Jack – Biomedical Sciences
What do you like best about your course?
The choice within Biomedical Sciences is probably the best thing. After gaining a brief overview of the subject in first year, you can pick which options you’d like to study for the rest of your degree, giving you the opportunity to explore your own interests – so it never gets boring.
How is your subject taught at Oxford?
A typical first-year day would probably have two or three lectures in the morning, with the afternoon and evenings generally free for preparing for tutorials, further reading or extra-curricular activities. One day a week there would probably be a lab between about 2:00pm and 5:00pm, and two afternoons a week would probably have a one-hour tutorial. Each tutorial generally has an essay associated with it, so as soon as one is finished you can start working on the next, but they’re fairly evenly spaced (especially in second year).
The timetable in the teaching portion of second year is a lot emptier so that you may fill it with more of your own studies. Depending on the options you pick, it’s typical to have one or two lectures every morning, followed by the rest of the day to pursue other activities or further study. On top of this, there would probably be an afternoon lab session in every two out of three weeks, plus a weekly tutorial. In the third term of second year, you start a research project, which you can carry over into third year.
What advice would you give potential applicants interested in studying your subject?
Bear in mind that the Biomedical Sciences degree eventually branches into two streams: Neuroscience, and Cell and Systems Biology. You’ll be studying for elements of both in at least your first year (and beyond if you so choose), so it would be ideal to have at least some interest in both areas.
What is life like as a student at St Edmund Hall?
The small physical size of the College means that by the end of your first term, you’ll probably know everyone in your year and have a great idea of what is going on and what activities you can get involved in. As well as this, we have a reputation for being one of the friendliest colleges – there’s never a dull day.