hornlemo
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Hi I've applied to do a biology/biological sciences degree and i was just wondering how difficult the first year is and what the workload is like? I'm always doubting my ability so I don't want to choose to go to university to find that i'm struggling to understand everything and end up dropping out. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks
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gumball
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To be honest, the first year often doesn't count for anything (if it does, it's something like 5 or 10% of your degree grade) so... you just need to pass (40%+).

I fell asleep in all but 2 of my lectures I think first year, passed and carried on with the degree.

From what I remember of the content, it's a lot like A level. People have done all sorts of courses, from all over the world so there is foundation work to get people in roughly the same area.
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cptbigt
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(Original post by hornlemo)
Hi I've applied to do a biology/biological sciences degree and i was just wondering how difficult the first year is and what the workload is like? I'm always doubting my ability so I don't want to choose to go to university to find that i'm struggling to understand everything and end up dropping out. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks
It is not particularly difficult at all, and it does not count for anything in the majority of degree's however that does not mean you should not work hard or not bother - you are there to learn, you are not there to work for a number on a page that at the end of the day, means very little. I worked hard throughout my first year and went way beyond the level of the lectures at the time. It paid off - it was easy for me to get into summer placements, which led to getting grants and higher placements in the future including my PhD and at various companies. In addition, the level I learnt at, meant that when I got to year 2 it was essentially revision, and while everyone else was panicking, I had quite an easy time and ended up with an average of 99%.
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hornlemo
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(Original post by cptbigt)
It is not particularly difficult at all, and it does not count for anything in the majority of degree's however that does not mean you should not work hard or not bother - you are there to learn, you are not there to work for a number on a page that at the end of the day, means very little. I worked hard throughout my first year and went way beyond the level of the lectures at the time. It paid off - it was easy for me to get into summer placements, which led to getting grants and higher placements in the future including my PhD and at various companies. In addition, the level I learnt at, meant that when I got to year 2 it was essentially revision, and while everyone else was panicking, I had quite an easy time and ended up with an average of 99%.
ah thank you, that's really good to know. and well done what sort of work was set for you outside of the lectures?
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cptbigt
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(Original post by hornlemo)
ah thank you, that's really good to know. and well done what sort of work was set for you outside of the lectures?
We'd have lab reports to do twice a week or so to be handed in the following week. We'd also have tutorial questions to deal with, papers to read and seminars to prepare for. However the bulk of the work is mostly studying and that's on your own initiative rather then being set or directed by anyone
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aloneinkyoto
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(Original post by cptbigt)
It is not particularly difficult at all, and it does not count for anything in the majority of degree's however that does not mean you should not work hard or not bother - you are there to learn, you are not there to work for a number on a page that at the end of the day, means very little. I worked hard throughout my first year and went way beyond the level of the lectures at the time. It paid off - it was easy for me to get into summer placements, which led to getting grants and higher placements in the future including my PhD and at various companies. In addition, the level I learnt at, meant that when I got to year 2 it was essentially revision, and while everyone else was panicking, I had quite an easy time and ended up with an average of 99%.
Major props for getting 99%, that's quite amazing.

I regret not doing biological sciences now, I went for chemistry. Overall for science courses I would say the first year isn't too difficult, so long as you at least study.
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cptbigt
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(Original post by aloneinkyoto)
Major props for getting 99%, that's quite amazing.

I regret not doing biological sciences now, I went for chemistry. Overall for science courses I would say the first year isn't too difficult, so long as you at least study.
I originally came for chemistry, I got into the MChem 4-year program but left after a year Wasn't for me!
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BioSam
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(Original post by cptbigt)
It is not particularly difficult at all, and it does not count for anything in the majority of degree's however that does not mean you should not work hard or not bother - you are there to learn, you are not there to work for a number on a page that at the end of the day, means very little. I worked hard throughout my first year and went way beyond the level of the lectures at the time. It paid off - it was easy for me to get into summer placements, which led to getting grants and higher placements in the future including my PhD and at various companies. In addition, the level I learnt at, meant that when I got to year 2 it was essentially revision, and while everyone else was panicking, I had quite an easy time and ended up with an average of 99%.
An average of 99%? Jesus christ, even with all the extra reading in the world, how?
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gumball
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I think he's exaggerating for effect.
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Ophelie_m
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Quite easy really. I probably worked harder during my last year of A-levels. In second year you have to do much more reading outside of lectures but apparently the biggest jump is from 2nd to 3rd year.
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hornlemo
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(Original post by cptbigt)
We'd have lab reports to do twice a week or so to be handed in the following week. We'd also have tutorial questions to deal with, papers to read and seminars to prepare for. However the bulk of the work is mostly studying and that's on your own initiative rather then being set or directed by anyone
that really does sound like a lot of work! what university did you go to?
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hornlemo
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(Original post by Ophelie_m)
Quite easy really. I probably worked harder during my last year of A-levels. In second year you have to do much more reading outside of lectures but apparently the biggest jump is from 2nd to 3rd year.
oh right, so is the second year pretty much like the first year except it counts towards your degree?
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aloneinkyoto
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(Original post by cptbigt)
I originally came for chemistry, I got into the MChem 4-year program but left after a year Wasn't for me!
Which university did you go to? I left after the first year too.
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rockshow7
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It depends entirely on where you are thinking of going. I know some people "further down the league table" (whatever people may say, a fairly accurate indication of university quality) disagree, but work in the 'higher' universities is far more difficult. I don't go to Oxbridge or anything, but I go to a fairly decent university and know from experience talking to friends who take my course at a 'lesser' university that my first year knowledge dwarfed their second year knowledge.

If you're going to a higher university, then the workload will be painful, but worth it. If you go to a lower university, then the workload will be difficult, but probably less complicated. Neither will be a walk in the park, however.
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Livingtoday
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I'm thinking of doing biological sciences. I have a side business also, do you think I will be able to manage if I work hard. I'll be going to Greenwich the medway campus in Kent
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Ridinghigh95
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(Original post by cptbigt)
It is not particularly difficult at all, and it does not count for anything in the majority of degree's however that does not mean you should not work hard or not bother - you are there to learn, you are not there to work for a number on a page that at the end of the day, means very little. I worked hard throughout my first year and went way beyond the level of the lectures at the time. It paid off - it was easy for me to get into summer placements, which led to getting grants and higher placements in the future including my PhD and at various companies. In addition, the level I learnt at, meant that when I got to year 2 it was essentially revision, and while everyone else was panicking, I had quite an easy time and ended up with an average of 99%.
Hi I know this was hell of a long time ago but if your still here ....??? How do you mean you want above and beyond with the first year. This is what I want to do, as I’ve had 12 years out of school ( except for my course I’ve just done) and want to do the best I can but do feel in my head I’m not as good as everyone else ( true or not who knows ) which makes me want to try harder. But how exactly, do you do this? Just so I have an idea.
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Profham
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I was also out of education for 12 years, I went back to college when all my kids started school (4 kids) and done my GCSE’s, access course and have just finished a biological science degree! I got a 2.1. It’s very difficult with kids especially juggling school runs, after school activities, not to mention cooking, cleaning, bath times etc But with hard work and determination it is possible! I am proof of that! Good luck and don’t let anything come in the way of your dreams.
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Ridinghigh95
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(Original post by Profham)
I was also out of education for 12 years, I went back to college when all my kids started school (4 kids) and done my GCSE’s, access course and have just finished a biological science degree! I got a 2.1. It’s very difficult with kids especially juggling school runs, after school activities, not to mention cooking, cleaning, bath times etc But with hard work and determination it is possible! I am proof of that! Good luck and don’t let anything come in the way of your dreams.
Wow so you have done the same as me!!!! Except I don’t have kids so well done you! I’m hoping I can do well if I put my head down and try my best!
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Profham
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(Original post by Ridinghigh95)
Wow so you have done the same as me!!!! Except I don’t have kids so well done you! I’m hoping I can do well if I put my head down and try my best!
I’m sure you will do great!! Since my last message I have also just got my first job as a Laboratory analyst 🎉🎉 I really believe everyone can do it if they want it bad enough! Good luck
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Ridinghigh95
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(Original post by Profham)
I’m sure you will do great!! Since my last message I have also just got my first job as a Laboratory analyst 🎉🎉 I really believe everyone can do it if they want it bad enough! Good luck
Wow that’s amazing!!! Did you do a placement year? Did u find it ok finding a relatable job?
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