Youseuf: MSc Microbiology and Infection

MSc Microbiology and Infection

Youseuf, an MSc Microbiology and Infection student, describes his experiences of the course and of life in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham.


My name’s Youseuf Suliman and I'm doing Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham.

So what's special about Microbiology and Infection? Well the Institute of Microbiology and Infection is right here in Birmingham, and you get to walk around the people who are world leading researchers within that field, and you really get that sense of these aren't just your lecturers or professors, these are your colleagues that hopefully you'll be with this venture in science for the rest of your career.

So it’s a mix between seminars and lectures. We have about eight to ten lectures a week ranging from different modules in host pathogen interactions or some core concepts, and we have a mix between those some practical activities. We do have some group work now and then involving presentations or lab work.

Favourite thing about being a postgrad? Compared to undergrad I’d say it’s – you’re not really looking – you're lecturers aren't teaching you as if you're kids anymore. They really see you as your peers and you're really almost on the same level as them. Obviously on understanding you're nowhere near, but they really try and bring you up to that level of the forefront.

For the postgrad it’s got a really big postgraduate community, and I love the redbrick campus – it’s got a real sense of lasting and knowledge that’s really gone throughout the ages. You feel like you can maybe adopt some of that hopefully.

So the main difference in postgrad and undergrad is you kind of finish your undergrad feeling as if you know everything, and as soon as you step into the Masters you realise you don’t really know anything. The level of detail you're taught here is such exponentially different from undergrad, and you're really pushing the boundaries between like current knowledge.

After I graduate, hopefully, if I get some funding, to be a PhD would be nice and the life of a perpetual student.

There's a great postgraduate community. We have a specialist room called the Masters room, so you really get to talk in amongst your postgraduate colleagues and pupils, not just within your disciplines. You really get to throw ideas with each other and get like a broader sense of the field of the biosciences.

Top tip? Definitely make sure you have a passion for it. Don’t do it if you don’t really know what you're doing. Try and really get a grasp of where you want to go and what you enjoy, and just pursue it and completely immerse yourself when you're here as well.