Your degree will have added value by spending a year studying in a university abroad.
The 'Year in Continental Europe' option is available with our Biological Sciences and Biochemistry programmes. The programme is supported by the EU Erasmus programme - see the EU Erasmus programme website.
Add value to your degree through a unique experience and qualification
Gain a solid command of a foreign language
Live and study a year in France, Spain or Germany
Gain a new perspective on your subject area
Experience a different culture and develop a network of friends across Europe
You study biology or biochemistry at one of the universities with which we have links in France, Spain or Germany. In many of the universities you also have the opportunity to carry out a project in a research laboratory if you prefer.
Basirat Agboola (spent a year in Lyon) "Studying in a foreign language was both challenging and rewarding, I particularly found it to be a great opportunity to diversify my study habits and prepare myself for my final year of university"
Is prior knowledge of a foreign language necessary?
Yes, as a minimum you will need a GCSE grade B in either French, German or Spanish. If you have pursued AS or A level so much the better.
Will I have the opportunity to improve my language skills before I take my year abroad?
Yes, you will continue to study your chosen language during your first 2 years. The language education caters for different levels of ability at the beginning, and you can rest assured that you will be adequately prepared when you head to your foreign university. If you are a native or bilingual speaker of the language of the country that you wish to visit see below.
What will I do in my year abroad?
The year abroad is intercalated between your second and final year of the Biochemistry or Biological Sciences programme. The Erasmus tutor at the partner university will assist you in choosing a suitable set of modules or classes. You may find that studying biology or biochemistry in France or Germany is quite different to what you have experienced at Birmingham until that point. In many of the universities you also have the opportunity to carry out a project in a research laboratory if you prefer. Information on the foreign universities is available from a range of sources. You might find it particularly valuable to talk to those students who have returned from their year abroad, and last not least, to the foreign students from our partner universities who currently study at Birmingham.
Matthew Kerton (spent a year in Madrid) "Aside from the studying, the social scene was enormous fun and I met some wonderful friends and was able to travel around the country"
Can I combine "Year in Continental Europe" with specialist degree titles?
While you cannot obtain the "Year in Continental Europe" degree label in combination with other detailed titles, such as Biological Sciences (Genetics) or Medical Biochemistry, you will enjoy the same choices among optional courses as students with these degree titles. Your transcript will reflect these choices and a future employer will be able to easily discern the areas you have specialised in.
Is the course suitable for native or bilingual speakers of the language of the country that they wish to visit?
No it is not suitable for native or bilingual speakers as one of the main learning outcomes for the year in Europe is that your language improves. We suggest that students in this position who would like to spend part of their education in their native country consider the Professional Placement programme. This programme would allow you to apply for work experience in your chosen country.
These are the same as for the three year degree programmes, however remember that you will need at least GCSE grade B in your chosen language
For more detailed information on the " ... With a Year in Europe" courses, contact the Programme Leader, Dr. Klaus Fütterer (Email: K.Futterer@bham.ac.uk )