3rd year student Laura talks about studying Biological Sciences.
Why choose Birmingham?
I’d decided that I wanted to come to the University of Birmingham quite a while before I actually applied. While I was at school, being a local student, we came to the University quite a few times on various school trips. Every time I came here, I really enjoyed the day. There always seemed to be a really warm and friendly atmosphere and it just looked like the students were having loads of fun.
When it came to coming on the applicant visit days, those feelings were completely reaffirmed. All the students I spoke to really enjoyed the University. All the staff seemed really friendly and it just seemed welcoming and it felt right.
It’s really varied learning at university. We have different things; lectures, practicals, tutorials and all sorts of things like that. The lectures are well taught, which I find really useful, and the practicals are always really interesting. You get to do what you hear about in the lectures, which is good.
There is also a chance to do online learning. We have a special website which is set up with all of our modules on, so we can do extra work there.
Clubs and societies
There are loads of different clubs and societies at the University and there are over 160 different societies, so there is something for everyone. There are also loads of different sports clubs.
I’m actually a member of the trampolining club and this year, I’m their captain. We train twice a week at the University, in the Munrow Sports Centre. We also do quite a few competitions, so we travel around other universities and compete there, which is a really good chance to get to meet people from other universities and have a look round their uni and see how it compares with ours.
It’s also really good because you get to broaden your social horizons. You get to go out with loads of like-minded people who are interested in the same sort of things. It’s a really good chance to make some really good friends.
Access to Birmingham Scheme
I applied through the Access to Birmingham Scheme, which is basically a scheme set up for local students who don’t have any family history in higher education; so, whose parents haven’t been to university.
Basically, during the scheme you have to do a student shadow experience, an online module and an essay. The student shadow experience was probably my favourite part. I really enjoyed it because you get to follow around a second- or third-year student for the day: go around the department and go to lectures. You get to find out a lot more about what it’s like to be a student on that course. It’s a good chance to have any questions answered and it made me feel really familiar with the University and the course before I came.
The online module and the essay were also quite useful, I felt, because it teaches you how to write a proper academic essay, which is quite different from the ones that you do at school. You need to learn how to reference properly and it taught me that. When I actually got to the University and had to write my first essay, I had a bit of a head start on everyone else because I already knew how to write the essay properly. I would definitely recommend the scheme to anyone who is eligible – it’s really beneficial.