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    I've received an offer to study biomedical science at Magdalen, but the main thing that I'm worried about is how intense/stressful the work is. If any biology/biomedical science students could give me their opinions that would be great!

    What is your most common sort of work? Are there lots of essays or is it more lab reports?

    How much time do you get for societies and other social activities?

    Do you find that you fall behind or not understand what's going on in a lecture/practical?

    And a general Oxford question - do you find it easy to make friends that are not in your college or not on your course?
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    Not sure how helpful this is but the website says:

    A first-year student would typically attend six to ten lectures, a Mathematics class and a three-hour practical class. Practical work undertaken in laboratories forms an integral part of this programme; students are required to complete practical work to a satisfactory standard in order to progress through the degree course. In addition, students prepare for weekly tutorials during which students and tutors discuss, through consideration of experimental studies, the significance and limitations of a given topic. Students’ remaining time is available for self-directed study and extra-curricular activities.

    I'm the parent of a Biological Sciences finalist, so my observations are second hand, but for what they are worth:

    For BioSci, the summary that Kvothe the Arcane posted sounds about right. My observation is that the first year is the most intense; the first term or two is when the contrast between school and Uni workload is most apparent, and you go from being the top of the class to being (or feeling) somewhere near the bottom! Having to produce a 2000 word essay and a lab write-up every week can be a strain sometimes.

    Year 2 is somewhat easier, as you get more responsibility and latitude for organising your own workload. The exception is having to learn R programming for statistical analysis. People seem almost universally unhappy about the way this is done at the moment, and a good prior understanding of stats and/or R is highly useful. I think Biomed is different in that the stats stuff comes in at the end of Year 1? And I don't know if it depends on learning R.

    Year 3 is still more self-directed, with only 3/4 lectures a week, plus tutes that you arrange yourself. And your project(s). And revising for finals. And collections.

    But overall, there is plenty of opportunity for extra-curriculars. Socially, your college will almost certainly be the centre of your life, and the fact that each college is only a few hundred strong means that you will get to know people quickly. Whether that is a good thing or not may depend on the sort of person you are! Hope that helps.

    Hi ConicalFlask. I am currently a finalist studying Biological Sciences at Oxford. It is very intense and there is always something that needs doing. First year was exhausting, but there was never a dull moment. Second year involves learning 96 lectures and sitting 30% of your degree in April. The rest of the term (April-June) is spent in a lab for 2 months carrying out research. While the research is rewarding, my hours were LONG. Final year is the most independent but involves writing up the research project from 2nd year (15%), performing an oral presentation (7.5%), writing an extended essay (7.5%) and sitting 40% worth of exams! We are also expected to have a tutorial every week. Somehow, you also have to find the time to apply for jobs/post-grad. There never seems to be enough time to cover everything but it always works out in the end. It is high pressure environment and it's not for the faint hearted!
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