“I was blown away when we toured the Biosciences building on the open day. It was (and still is!) absolutely vast and equipped with impressive lecture theatres and a multitude of state-of-the-art laboratories. It was the first time I thought ‘this place could make a scientist out of me’.”
Why I chose Birmingham
I knew UoB had a big scene in Biosciences. I was quite blown away on the offers holders open day when we toured the Biosciences building. It was (and still is!) absolutely vast equipped with hugely impressive lecture theatres and a multitude of state of the art laboratories. It was the first time I thought “this place could make a scientist out of me”. The bioscience courses offered fantastic flexibility enabling students to pursue pathways in every area from genetics to plant sciences or evolution to pathophysiology which was important to me at the time when I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. On a more holistic level though I loved UoB as a whole which I found quite important in the decision making. The campus was traditional and beautiful, the accommodation in an idyllic setting and the sporting / society opportunities seemingly endless. When I wrote all these things down it was a no-brainer as to where I was going.
Why my course stood out to me
All courses offer fantastic flexibility in module choices. Human biologists or biochemists can still take modules across the life-sciences disciplines. I found this attractive in itself but also enabled me to gradually figure out what academic path I wanted to go down as I found out which areas really interested me. I also loved the idea of “modules outside of the main discipline” which is where students can take a module in something completely different. I took modules in mathematics and medicine but you could be far more adventurous taking classes in subject areas as whacky as ancient history or logic if you so wished.
My personal highlight
I really can’t pick just one highlight. University life is about building a whole collection of weird and wonderful memories. It’s about building life-long friendships with people who live on the other side of the world, it’s about wearing the UoB colours in sporting events, it’s about slowly finding out exactly what you want to do and luckily I’ve been fortunate enough to do all of those things.
Living in Birmingham
Coming from a rural background myself I thought coming to the UK’s 2nd biggest city might be a bit of a shock to the system. In actual fact it’s the perfect compromise in life-style. A short train hop from the city centre with clubs, theatres and shops but when on campus you may as-well be in the countryside – it really is its own little world.
Clubs, societies or events I've been involved in
I wanted to throw myself at everything when I first came to UoB, University is the perfect opportunity to try new activities and I tried everything from Snooker to Ball-room dancing initially! Eventually I settled with Athletics and Cross-country and I’ve recently obtained the qualifying time to compete in the BUCS 10,000m final. Alongside my studies and sporting ventures I’ve also been a course rep for the past 3 years and was elected student chair of BioSciences earlier this year. In my final (master’s) year I’d like to take classes in sign language as that’s something I’ve always wanted to learn.
My aspirations for the future
I’m considering a range of options but am currently steering towards applying for PhD positions in the field of Neurosciences. I have my eye on a fantastic opportunity in the Institute of Child Health at UCL where students undertake projects in developmental neurosciences. It looks an incredibly rewarding career path and I’ve always wanted to wake up in the morning as a scientist one day knowing I’ve made a difference.
My top tip for prospective Birmingham students
Make sure you come to the open days and you’ll see (if nothing else) what a beautiful campus university UoB is as a whole and what incredible facilities we have. At the end of the day it’s your decision and I’d always argue in favour of instinct. I’ve had some of the best 3 years of my life and I can’t imagine doing my undergraduate anywhere else.