Charlotte - an undergraduate student in the School of Biosciences - describes her experiences of the BSc Biochemistry degree course and of her time at the University of Birmingham.
Title: BSc Biochemistry (follow for video)
Duration: 4.03 mins
Speaker Names (if given): S1 Charlotte Beresford - undergraduate
S1 My name's Charlotte Beresford and I'm studying Biochemistry with a year in an industrial placement. I came to study Biochemistry at Birmingham because after reading the course synopsis there was a lot of modules that were really appealing for me, some that were quite medically focussed. I was in a decision between two universities, but, after coming to visit Birmingham and seeing the campus, there was something that just felt so right about it. So I felt it was a decision I had to make.
The course at Birmingham is particularly relevant and exciting for me because there's a lot of medicine focus. So, a lot of symptoms and clinical diagnostics and that's the part that I'm particularly interested in because previously I didn't know whether I wanted to do medicine or not. But after reading the synopsis and seeing the strong preparation on the lectures and the enthusiasm of the lecturers it makes you really particularly enthusiastic about the subject. So I knew it was what I wanted to do.
As part of the course we have to do quite a lot of lab-based learning, learning skills and techniques which is really good because you're learning actually how the people have discovered what they have discovered and actually implementing those techniques. In first year we had a lot more lectures and in second years this steps down a bit so there's a lot more independent study but we're still got a lot of lectures compared to other courses. In an average week we probably have a couple of lab-based sessions, maybe a workshop, a data handling session and then quite a lot of lectures to back this up. So it's quite good, you've got quite a diverse range of things to do. So it's not just sat in a lecture theatre being talked at all the time - so it's really good because it's quite hands-on.
I'm undecided as of yet as to what future career I want to go into. As part of my course I'm doing a year in placement, so hopefully this will be a key stepping stone in the decision-making process. I'm not sure whether I want to go into further study, to do a masters or a PhD but I'll definitely consider Birmingham if I was to go into this. But I really am undecided at the moment, so I'm using these three years to give me a bit of guidance on where to go next. Before coming to university I always used to go to the gym and I was quite interested in fitness, but it took the Sports Fair to maybe focus my sporting into cycling, swimming and running and so I decided to join the Triathlon team, which has been particularly good. So we train about six times a week but you can go as little or as much as you want, it's really flexible. I also auditioned for the Birmingham dance squad, so there's 20 of us been picked for the dance squad and we do performances at Xplosion, which is the big American Football game at the start of the year and we do numerous competitions throughout the year. So there's quite a lot to look forward to.
Birmingham as a city, obviously the second biggest in the UK, is difficult to get an actual idea of the size of it because being on campus and living on the Vale or in Selly Oak you're in a little bubble, which is what I really like about it. But then you can still go into the city centre and gain a bit of an appreciation about the city as a whole. I've spent quite a lot of time on campus because, with my sporting commitments, I spend a lot of time going to the Munrow and back but there's quite a lot of cycle routes that I've discovered. A bit further out in Beeston and a bit further out of the city centre - but obviously the Bull Ring and things like that are really nice to go to every now and then for a bit of shopping.
Probably a personal highlight for me has been meeting the people that I've met. I've met some of the best friends that I've ever met here and so that's been a particular selling point for me but the course just in general I'm really, really enjoying and just getting involved in sport and just being involved in Birmingham University as a whole has been really, really good.
My top tip to all students coming to study at Birmingham would be just to get involved in everything because when you start obviously you don’t know anyone and it is quite daunting but you just need to throw yourself into everything. You can always quit a certain society or sports team a few months down the line if it's not for you. But, by getting involved in everything you've got the choice to make those decisions so I think that's particularly important.
END OF RECORDING