Rachel Wallice, MRes student, discusses the Biomedical Research In Vivo programme at University of Birmingham.
S1 Rachel Wallice, MRes Biomedical Research Student
Why did you choose this course?
S1 I decided to study this course because it was very unique, it’s one of the only ones in the country that gets done. It’s an intimate course, there’s only four of us on it. They cover a whole range of techniques applicable to biomedical research, especially the in-vivo surgical techniques are very important because in-vivo is a unique area of research and there’s only a few places that you can actually get these techniques. In additional it’s fully funded which means I received a stipend so I actually get money to do this course, which was quite an attractive feature.
S1 I chose Birmingham University because the course was excellent, the reputation of the Medical School was very highly spoken of and speaking to students they really enjoyed the atmosphere and I’m from Birmingham myself so location wise it was very convenient.
What do you enjoy most about the course?
S1 I’m enjoying this course very much. It’s very intensive so it’s very challenging and I get tested daily. It takes up a lot of my time but I don’t mind that because I really enjoy the course and there’s only four of us so it’s very intimate and we all get on very well and our supervisors are really great, it's a very open-door policy and I just really enjoy getting hands on with the techniques of in-vivo and learning the ethics behind what in-vivo means.
What’s a typical day on the course?
S1 I’m going to be honest, the workload of this course is very high and I was warned when I applied for this course that there’s a very high workload. On a Monday we have a seminar, a two hour seminar in the morning, and then we present on the Friday afternoon our feedback from that seminar, and that could be on anything. We get different researchers from the Medical School each Monday showing us their research and then we tend to work every day in – we have our own lab that we work in from usually around 9 to 6, just doing lab techniques and running protocols that we’ve designed ourselves. So it’s very long hours but you do get the evenings to yourself.
What are the lectures like?
S1 Our lectures and tutors are very very supportive. Because there are only four of us on the course it’s very one-to-one teaching and like I said, it is an open-door policy so if we ever get stuck on anything we can just go straight to them. But then they do expect us to do a lot of self-directed learning which I think is very useful because later on if I choose to do a PhD that would be very much self-directed learning and the idea is that we can use the techniques that we learn on this course and hit the ground running if we apply to a PhD.
What’s it like to live in Birmingham?
S1 Birmingham is a great place to live and study. It’s got every amenity that you could think of, a great night life if that’s what you enjoy, shopping, the Bullring and then the university itself is like a little village in its own right. It’s got the Student Union, it’s got shop, it’s a beautiful campus, green grass to sit out on in the summer and it’s got such an amazing history so it’s got everything you could really look for in a university.
How has this programme changed your career prospects?
S1 This course will set me up beautifully in my future career if I did want to do either work in industry, I could go straight in with this Masters, which at the moment with the recession is very important that you have something extra because there’s so many people competing for the same jobs but also the techniques I’ve been taught and the skills I’ve learnt on this course mean that I could apply for a PhD, I would be almost guaranteed to get it and I could hit the ground running from this course because the level of workload I’m already at, I will be able to go straight in.
End of recording