“In the third year you have the option of doing a laboratory research project where you work in a lab for most of the year. You are doing real research alongside PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, so you gain invaluable skills and learn in a much more personal setting.”
Why I chose Birmingham
I came to study here because I knew that I wanted to do a degree in Biology that was broad and would allow me to learn about different areas before I specialised gradually over the three years. This is a well-known research university and I wanted to be involved in important current research in the field of Biology.
Why my course stood out to me
The course allows you to follow different paths depending on your interests within Biology. Some of my friends are doing animal or human biology, whereas I have become specialised in Microbiology and Genetics. One great thing about the course is that in the third year you have the option of doing a laboratory research project where you work in a lab for most of the year undertaking a research project in a current area. You are doing real research alongside PhD students and Post-Doctoral Researchers and gain invaluable skills and learn in a much more personal setting. The practicals and lectures throughout the three years build up your skills and knowledge and you leave the university with the ability to make valid contributions in your chosen area.
My personal highlight
I was recently awarded the opportunity to be a part of the Vice Chancellor’s Seminar Series, where only 15 students across the university are chosen to present and debate current societal issues. This was a great experience and enabled me to work with students from across all disciplines as well as the Vice Chancellor. The session I led was on ‘The Threat of Antibiotic Resistance’ and led to a lively debate on the topic. The final of the 5 sessions will be followed by a dinner at the Vice Chancellor’s residence. It was great to be chosen for this as it rewarded academic performance and presentation abilities and it was a really enjoyable experience to have during my undergraduate study.
Living in Birmingham
Coming from London, it was great to move to another city and Birmingham has everything that you need as a student. The university campus is beautiful and it’s good that everything is very close together, meaning that you can integrate well into student life. The university is very easily accessible and it is easy to make a quick trip to the city centre, where there are countless shops, restaurants and recreational activities.
Clubs, societies or events I've been involved in
As part of a microbiology module undertaken in my final year, I was chosen to present at the annual Microbiology Society conference in Liverpool. During our practical sessions we looked to find new antibiotics as part of the Small World Initiative and I worked with my lecturers to make a poster of our results and present it at the conference.
My aspirations for the future
After undertaking both a funded summer research project and final year laboratory research project in Microbiology, I am confident that I would like to stay within this field. I would either like to go into the control of infectious disease in the public health sector or to work in a diagnostic microbiology laboratory analysing and working with patient samples in the field of medical microbiology. I am planning on doing a Master’s degree to gain further knowledge in my field, before doing a PhD in the future.
My top tip for prospective Birmingham students
If you are thinking about studying here, know that you will be immersed in university life from the moment you arrive and with all disciplines on one campus you will get to know a lot of new people. The academic standard of the university will encourage you to excel in your work, you will be exposed to a high calibre of teaching and great opportunities.