Just graduated with a biochemistry degree from Imperial College. Ask me anything! Watch

kanra
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Hey everyone! Hope results went well today, and congratulations to everyone who managed to meet their Imperial College offer!

I just graduated with a first in biochemistry, so feel free to ask me anything about student life, workload, accommodation, whatever
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Firefly13
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Hello
I'm about to go into my final year doing Biology, which we share with Biochemistry (I assume it was the same for you!) and I was just wondering if the exams are any harder that first and second year? Also, if you know anyone who did it or did it yourself, was Epidemiology really as bad as I've heard?

Well done for getting a 1st!
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Shellywelly
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(Original post by kanra)
Hey everyone! Hope results went well today, and congratulations to everyone who managed to meet their Imperial College offer!

I just graduated with a first in biochemistry, so feel free to ask me anything about student life, workload, accommodation, whatever
Hi congratulations! Do you know if lectures are taped so we can watch them back? And also when do we find out what accommodation we have?

Thanks for your help
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kanra
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(Original post by Firefly13)
Hello
I'm about to go into my final year doing Biology, which we share with Biochemistry (I assume it was the same for you!) and I was just wondering if the exams are any harder that first and second year? Also, if you know anyone who did it or did it yourself, was Epidemiology really as bad as I've heard?

Well done for getting a 1st!
The exam style is quite similar to second year - usually 4 essays out of a choice of 8, or 3 out of 6. There's no MCQ in third year exams, which can be a good or bad thing depending on who you are, but it does make studying easier (I know someone who didn't bother learning half of the course and got a first anyway because you only have to answer half the questions). The questions tend to be very open and designed so that you can potentially go on writing forever, so it's important to prioritise the important points rather than just trying to write down everything you know. The difference is mostly in the expectations - so in third year the general rule is that you need evidence of extra reading, or synergy (i.e. pulling relevant information in from other modules) to get above 70 in an exam essay.

And I'm afraid Epidermology is a biology-only course, so I can't tell you anything about it.

(Original post by Shellywelly)
Hi congratulations! Do you know if lectures are taped so we can watch them back? And also when do we find out what accommodation we have?

Thanks for your help
Some lectures are, but not all of them. It really depends on the lecturer. My advice would be to get yourself a recording device - I got one in second year, and it honestly made life so much easier.

As for accommodation, I found out during the first week of September.
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Firefly13
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(Original post by kanra)
The exam style is quite similar to second year - usually 4 essays out of a choice of 8, or 3 out of 6. There's no MCQ in third year exams, which can be a good or bad thing depending on who you are, but it does make studying easier (I know someone who didn't bother learning half of the course and got a first anyway because you only have to answer half the questions). The questions tend to be very open and designed so that you can potentially go on writing forever, so it's important to prioritise the important points rather than just trying to write down everything you know. The difference is mostly in the expectations - so in third year the general rule is that you need evidence of extra reading, or synergy (i.e. pulling relevant information in from other modules) to get above 70 in an exam essay.

And I'm afraid Epidermology is a biology-only course, so I can't tell you anything about it.
Thank you! I'm not too worried about getting a 1st so I just wanted to check I could still get 2:1's without having to do anything hugely different

Sorry, I forgot Epidemiology was Biology-only last year
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Shellywelly
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(Original post by kanra)
The exam style is quite similar to second year - usually 4 essays out of a choice of 8, or 3 out of 6. There's no MCQ in third year exams, which can be a good or bad thing depending on who you are, but it does make studying easier (I know someone who didn't bother learning half of the course and got a first anyway because you only have to answer half the questions). The questions tend to be very open and designed so that you can potentially go on writing forever, so it's important to prioritise the important points rather than just trying to write down everything you know. The difference is mostly in the expectations - so in third year the general rule is that you need evidence of extra reading, or synergy (i.e. pulling relevant information in from other modules) to get above 70 in an exam essay.

And I'm afraid Epidermology is a biology-only course, so I can't tell you anything about it.



Some lectures are, but not all of them. It really depends on the lecturer. My advice would be to get yourself a recording device - I got one in second year, and it honestly made life so much easier.

As for accommodation, I found out during the first week of September.
Thanks. What recording device did you use and do you know if all lecturers allow you to record them or do you have to get permission from each? Also approx how many hours study did you need to do in the first year to keep up on top of things? Last question I promis do you know much about field trips for bio science like can everyone go on the one abroad I think it south Arica and are there other trips?
Thanks so much and sorry for bombarding you with question!
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kanra
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(Original post by Shellywelly)
Thanks. What recording device did you use and do you know if all lecturers allow you to record them or do you have to get permission from each? Also approx how many hours study did you need to do in the first year to keep up on top of things? Last question I promis do you know much about field trips for bio science like can everyone go on the one abroad I think it south Arica and are there other trips?
Thanks so much and sorry for bombarding you with question!
I'm using an Olympus VN-415PC voice recorder, but there are loads available that all do pretty much the same job. Some people just use their iPhones to record, so the sound quality is a bit lower, but it does the job well enough too. In biochem, it's pretty much assumed that some students will record, so there's no real need to ask for permission beforehand. A few lecturers do ask you specifically not to record though.

First year was super free to be honest. You can get a first even without any additional reading as long as you master the lecture material, so the only work I really did in first year was to make sure my notes were up to date, and then I would usually spend a few hours over the weekend just reviewing the material to make sure I understood everything. Some people spends hours and hours each day doing delving into books and papers though. How much you want to do is entirely up to you, and it will vary depending on how easily you take in new information, how interested you are in the particular topic being taught, your subject (actually I forgot to ask, are you doing biochemistry?)

As for field trips, there aren't any for biochemistry. I think biology. depending on the modules you pick in second year, can visit different countries for field work, but that's all I know I'm afraid. Hope that helps.
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AngryRedhead
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(Original post by kanra)
Hey everyone! Hope results went well today, and congratulations to everyone who managed to meet their Imperial College offer!

I just graduated with a first in biochemistry, so feel free to ask me anything about student life, workload, accommodation, whatever
Did you learn about the HMP shunt pathway?
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Shellywelly
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(Original post by kanra)
I'm using an Olympus VN-415PC voice recorder, but there are loads available that all do pretty much the same job. Some people just use their iPhones to record, so the sound quality is a bit lower, but it does the job well enough too. In biochem, it's pretty much assumed that some students will record, so there's no real need to ask for permission beforehand. A few lecturers do ask you specifically not to record though.

First year was super free to be honest. You can get a first even without any additional reading as long as you master the lecture material, so the only work I really did in first year was to make sure my notes were up to date, and then I would usually spend a few hours over the weekend just reviewing the material to make sure I understood everything. Some people spends hours and hours each day doing delving into books and papers though. How much you want to do is entirely up to you, and it will vary depending on how easily you take in new information, how interested you are in the particular topic being taught, your subject (actually I forgot to ask, are you doing biochemistry?)

As for field trips, there aren't any for biochemistry. I think biology. depending on the modules you pick in second year, can visit different countries for field work, but that's all I know I'm afraid. Hope that helps.
Thank you so much for all your help. Yes it's for biology
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Tsrsarahhhh
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What are you planning to do now that you've finished your degree?
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kanra
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(Original post by Tsrsarahhhh)
What are you planning to do now that you've finished your degree?
Hey! I'm going on to do an MSc at UCL
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HAnwar
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Congrats on your result!

Any tips on how to get a first?
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kanra
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(Original post by HAnwar)
Congrats on your result!

Any tips on how to get a first?
It largely depends on the year and which optional modules you're taking. Are you asking about a particular year? Or just in general?
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HAnwar
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(Original post by kanra)
It largely depends on the year and which optional modules you're taking. Are you asking about a particular year? Or just in general?
Going into second year now

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ArafatQ
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Hey!

Well done on completing your degree!

I was looking to apply to Imperial to do Computer Science and was wondering about how student life is like for CompSci's and the like. Is the work manageable? How much free time do you get? etc.

Also, what's it like for accommodation - do you have any tips for choosing accommodation?

Lastly, how much do you interact with other people from different faculties? I personally would like to be able to talk to the finance students so I can broaden my horizon.

Cheers and well done on your results!
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WhisperingTide
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How is a Raven like a Writing Desk?
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bessy.eia
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This is quite a random question but do you take notes by writing on paper or typing on laptop?
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kanra
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(Original post by HAnwar)
Going into second year now

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I'd say second year content as a whole is harder to understand than first year stuff, though there isn't necessarily more of it. Keep on top of your notes, and ask questions when you don't understand something, so that when exams roll around you can just sit down with your premade notes and learn it. A lot of people left it until study leave to start tidying up notes, and while a lot of them do fine in the end, it's hideously stressful. Some lecturers, particularly the ones that teach essay based subjects, will ask for additional reading - this can be from textbooks, but papers is preferred. Do be reasonable about how much extra reading you're going to do though. There's no point making 5 pages of extra reading notes per lecture if you can't memorise it all for the exam.

(Original post by ArafatQ)
Hey!

Well done on completing your degree!

I was looking to apply to Imperial to do Computer Science and was wondering about how student life is like for CompSci's and the like. Is the work manageable? How much free time do you get? etc.

Also, what's it like for accommodation - do you have any tips for choosing accommodation?

Lastly, how much do you interact with other people from different faculties? I personally would like to be able to talk to the finance students so I can broaden my horizon.

Cheers and well done on your results!
Hey! Unfortunately I don't really know anyone on that course, so I can't say a lot about CompSci. I would say for accommodation definitely browse all the websites carefully before making your decision. In general, it's either super expensive, or quite far away, so decide what you priorities are (money/distance) and that should narrow down the options quite a lot. I will say a lot of people avoid the further away halls, but the travel really isn't that bad because everyone in those halls goes to the same place at around the same time, so there's always great company on the journey.

Be prepared to not get your first choice, or indeed any of your five choices, when you apply. London is packed, and single rooms are limited, so a lot of people who wanted singles will end up sharing. Unfortunately, that's just how it is, so go in with an open mind and make the most of what you're given.

There are tons of societies at Imperial, and the halls are always mixed subject, so you'll meet tons of people from other facilities. To be honest, I probably have more non-biochem friends than biochem friends.

(Original post by WhisperingTide)
How is a Raven like a Writing Desk?
Can you stand on your head?

(Original post by bessy.eia)
This is quite a random question but do you take notes by writing on paper or typing on laptop?
I used paper the first two years, and then switched to laptop for my final year. I think I preferred laptop in the end, because it's easier to make changes and neater, but a lot of people use paper as well. Just try both and see what works better for you.
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1010marina
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How do you find your workload? I'm going to be starting soon and all the bad press makes me a little worried tbh - is it as bad as they make out or is it manageable?

I'll be starting chemistry... Anything you can tell me would be helpful! Thanks
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kanra
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(Original post by 1010marina)
How do you find your workload? I'm going to be starting soon and all the bad press makes me a little worried tbh - is it as bad as they make out or is it manageable?

I'll be starting chemistry... Anything you can tell me would be helpful! Thanks
It's 100% manageable as long as you're sensible and manage your time well. If I'm being completely honest, I probably spent more of my first year waking hours not working than working. Second year for biochemistry is probably the hardest year, but even then I was still a regular at two societies and held a committee position. There are obviously going to be times, usually before a big deadline or exams, where you're super stressed and staying up in the library until late at night, but I promise you the experience as a whole is no where near as bad as the rumours. If you can get into this university, you can get through it
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