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Queen mary (QMUL) biologist graduate- ask me anything (AMA) Watch

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    Hey everyone, I just graduated from QMUL with a first in biology. I remember before I went to uni how these forums helped answer some of my questions about university and different courses. Therefore I decided to now make a forum for anyone who has any questions about studying in london, at QMUL, or a degree in biology, to hopefully help some of you out
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    Did you graduate last year?
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    (Original post by sn0per)
    Did you graduate last year?
    no this year (2017)
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    How is the course structured?
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    (Original post by Elite360)
    How is the course structured?
    hey so its 3 years with year one being 10%, year 2 30% and the final year being 60%.
    In year 1 you have 3 taught modules in semester A and 3 in semester B. These all have coursework like in class mcqs or essays etc. and each has an exam in May. Along side those you have weekly labs for the year where once a week you have a 3 hour session and learn the basic lab techniques and processes and each lab is assessed at the end of it (this sounds harder then it is- and its easy to get very high marks in this).

    Year 2 you have 8 modules, one being the required research methods one. Research methods involves statistics and math for biologists and teaches you the program R. The other 7 modules you are able to choose (and on the qmul website you can see he range of modules to choose from) and if you have any questions about any of the modules feel free to ask These all have coursework and an exam in may/ june (so your stuck with 8 exams in the end :/)

    year 3 you have 6 modules where one again is research methods (part 2) where you again learn more about the R programming language and learn more about the philosophy of science (ethics, publishing, logic, etc.) and then you can choose 5 more. You also need to do either a research project or project skills. I personally did research project which is wehre you either go to a lab, or work with a researcher to collect data on any topic you feel interested in and then write a 10,000 word dissertation (you need an average of a 2:1 in year 1 to do this option). Project skills you have more presentations and essays in, and you also write a smaller dissertation but on given data (it is a lot less work then a research project, but research projects look more impressive if you are thinking about doing a masters or phd )

    I hope this helps and is clear and if you have any more questions feel free to ask im happy to help
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    Hi, im in year 12 going into year 13 at the moment and am thinking that QMUL is my best bet considering my predicted grades. How would you say it was for someone studying biology (which is what I would like to do) in particular? I've heard its good for English, History and Law, but in terms of science, what was it like, was the work intense, did ur teachers/lecturers offer help or were they very distant? I know you've only just graduated but how do you think employers will react to having a degree from QMUL? Is it highly regarded among employers? Would you say a degree in a biology related subject would allow a way into a job in finance? Having been to open days, I've heard that biology, being broad, allows for lots of career paths.
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    I think its good for science. We have a pretty big department and QMUL offers a range of modules and research opportunities. The cool thing is that QMUL works with barts the medical campus which allows for even more research opportunities, especially for your third year research project. It is a russel group university which means that it is a respected uni and yes it may be better for law history etc than for science, but since it is still a russel group uni and a respected uni, it opens a lot of doors. QMUL goes up by ranking each year and I have a few friends who have qmul bachelors and now are doing masters at cambridge, oxford, imperial etc. I personally have also been accepted on competitive internship programs. So even though it may not be imperial or UCL, QMUL is still a good uni and opens up doors for your future . The lecturers are very friendly and are always happy to help if you come and see them, I have never had an experience where they refused to help. In terms of workload, biology has a lot of work, but that is not jsut at QMUL, science in general is a lot of work. Year one is not too bad, but year two and three can be stressful especially with a research project, but if you are organized and a hard worker I wouldnt worry . I mean biology does allow you to later do a masters in different fields, like i know some who did a bsc in biology and are now doing MBAs or other buisness masters. but if you are planning to go into finance why are you considering biology, because maybe you would enjoy a finance or buisness bachelors more?
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    Hi, very nice of you to offer yourself up for info!

    My son has just accepted QM's Biology BSc and he is quite excited really.

    I guess what I'd like to ask is
    1. Do many people go on to MSc - are you doing MSc? It seems to me that these days an MSc makes sense in science.
    2. Do you have any hot tips to make the most out of your first few weeks?
    3. Do you know what % get firsts - well done by the way.

    cheers
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    (Original post by LondonJohn)
    Hi, very nice of you to offer yourself up for info!

    My son has just accepted QM's Biology BSc and he is quite excited really.

    I guess what I'd like to ask is
    1. Do many people go on to MSc - are you doing MSc? It seems to me that these days an MSc makes sense in science.
    2. Do you have any hot tips to make the most out of your first few weeks?
    3. Do you know what % get firsts - well done by the way.

    cheers
    aww congrats, I hope he will enjoy his time there

    1. Yes, i know in my year quite a few are doing a masters now in september (including at top unis like imperial, cambridge, UCL, etc.) while others are accepting internships and jobs too . I personally am doing a gap year where im doing an internship and will travel but am going to do a masters starting september 2018

    2. the biggest thing i would suggest is to enjoy your first year since it is the easiest of the 3. When your in your first year you often forget that its jsut year one and get really stressed out. What I suggest is to of course work and try your best but to also take time to join societies, do things with friends, and discover london In the other years the work load does increase and it gets more stressful so the biggest thing I would suggest is to stay organized and look at everything as one step at a time. All the deadlines and workloads can seem scary at the beginning of the semester, but if you have your support group and look at it one step/ assignment at a time, it will definately feel better and feel less overwheling

    3. I am not full sure about the exact percentage but I think I have heard somewhere around 12-15% of students (but I may be wrong). You may be able to ask the biology department at an open day or via email and I am sure they would be happy to answer that

    Hope that helps and let me know if you or your son have any more questions or concerns
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    Hi im starting this coming September and I was just wondering about course transfers? Is it possible to transfer between courses of the same department ie from biology to biochemistry ?
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    (Original post by el_kap)
    Hi im starting this coming September and I was just wondering about course transfers? Is it possible to transfer between courses of the same department ie from biology to biochemistry ?
    hi yes it is a possibility I know people who transfered between biology, zoology, genetics etc. the only thing you need to keep an eye on is the compulsorary modules because the different degrees have different required modules, so if you want to swap just make sure you do it before those modules come into play or just choose to do those modules too but it shouldnt be a problem
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    Which trips did you go on, and how much were your required to pay for them?
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    (Original post by stefjaie)
    Which trips did you go on, and how much were your required to pay for them?
    In year one the required trip you dont have to pay anything for because its only 2 hours away by bus. I also went to Croatia in year 2 for the ecological interactions trip, for that I only had to pay for my flights, everythign else on the trip is paid for by the uni (besides like souvenirs and personal snacks you buy). In year 2 I also went to scotland for the marine ecology/ biology trip. For this one I had to pay nothing, the uni paid for our train tickets up there and accomodation, food, etc was also all paid by the uni. In year three I went to South Africa on the tropical ecology trip where I had to pay 100 pound deposit which is used as part of the kruger park entrance fee and i paid for my flights. Besides that everythign else is again paid by the uni (including food). So overall you only really have to pay for flights if flights are involved in the trip, besides that the uni generally pays for everything else Which trips are you considering?
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    (Original post by sunny1111)
    In year one the required trip you dont have to pay anything for because its only 2 hours away by bus. I also went to Croatia in year 2 for the ecological interactions trip, for that I only had to pay for my flights, everythign else on the trip is paid for by the uni (besides like souvenirs and personal snacks you buy). In year 2 I also went to scotland for the marine ecology/ biology trip. For this one I had to pay nothing, the uni paid for our train tickets up there and accomodation, food, etc was also all paid by the uni. In year three I went to South Africa on the tropical ecology trip where I had to pay 100 pound deposit which is used as part of the kruger park entrance fee and i paid for my flights. Besides that everythign else is again paid by the uni (including food). So overall you only really have to pay for flights if flights are involved in the trip, besides that the uni generally pays for everything else Which trips are you considering?
    I was also considering the croatia trip and Kruger park trip. How were theu for you and did you feel like you gained many skills? Also, if you can remember, do you know what books I should buy to start year 1 of the course. Many thanks for the help, you have been very useful for me personally !
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    (Original post by stefjaie)
    I was also considering the croatia trip and Kruger park trip. How were theu for you and did you feel like you gained many skills? Also, if you can remember, do you know what books I should buy to start year 1 of the course. Many thanks for the help, you have been very useful for me personally !
    For both trips you learn a lot about how to do a proper scientific journal/ notebook, and learn skills in like field work. In both we have mini tasks and projects that involve animals and other wildlife there so you also learn how to properly collect data and what being an ecologist is like. So it is interesting to learn about especially in the field rather then just in a classroom. Plus the memories of kruger park are amazing, like my time there will deffo be something ill remember for a life time

    To be honest for year one you dont need any textbooks. The outside reading is only necessary for the year 2 and 3 exams where there are essays in the exams and they expect you to include your own things outside of the lectures. Year one really doesnt need it- you just need to learn off of the powerpoints/ lecture notes, or if somethign doesnt make sense you can always borrow one they suggest from the library- but honestly dont worry about it in year one

    hope that makes sense and im glad it helps let me know if you have any other questions or so- im happy to help hehe
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    (Original post by sunny1111)
    Hey everyone, I just graduated from QMUL with a first in biology. I remember before I went to uni how these forums helped answer some of my questions about university and different courses. Therefore I decided to now make a forum for anyone who has any questions about studying in london, at QMUL, or a degree in biology, to hopefully help some of you out
    Hi, first of all, massive congrats on achieving a first! I'm going QMUL next month (nervous and scared but excited I guess?).

    I know the style of teaching is different A Level and GCSE etc. but my question is when it came to lectures..
    1. Did you take notes on everything?
    2. Did you write them by hand or on a laptop?
    3. Also you do have access to lecture powerpoint presentations right?

    I know first year doesn't count but I really want to do as best as I can so I don't find myself revisiting content from 1st year in my 2nd year because I left gaps in my knowledge (if that makes sense).

    Pretty random question,
    4. When I came in for their open day, I heard like vibrations and noises (it was like a train) every now and again when I was in a room listening to a talk or was I just hearing things?

    For the record, I'm not doing Biology (forgive me) but these are general questions I'd like to get an input from a student who achieved a first!
    (Sorry for the spam of questions)
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    (Original post by ManLike007)
    Hi, first of all, massive congrats on achieving a first! I'm going QMUL next month (nervous and scared but excited I guess?).

    I know the style of teaching is different A Level and GCSE etc. but my question is when it came to lectures..
    1. Did you take notes on everything?
    2. Did you write them by hand or on a laptop?
    3. Also you do have access to lecture powerpoint presentations right?

    I know first year doesn't count but I really want to do as best as I can so I don't find myself revisiting content from 1st year in my 2nd year because I left gaps in my knowledge (if that makes sense).

    Pretty random question,
    4. When I came in for their open day, I heard like vibrations and noises (it was like a train) every now and again when I was in a room listening to a talk or was I just hearing things?

    For the record, I'm not doing Biology (forgive me) but these are general questions I'd like to get an input from a student who achieved a first!
    (Sorry for the spam of questions)
    Are you going to study maths?
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    (Original post by Desmos)
    Are you going to study maths?
    Aerospace Engineering to be precise (but I understand why you'd think that lol)
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    (Original post by ManLike007)
    Hi, first of all, massive congrats on achieving a first! I'm going QMUL next month (nervous and scared but excited I guess?).

    I know the style of teaching is different A Level and GCSE etc. but my question is when it came to lectures..
    1. Did you take notes on everything?
    2. Did you write them by hand or on a laptop?
    3. Also you do have access to lecture powerpoint presentations right?

    I know first year doesn't count but I really want to do as best as I can so I don't find myself revisiting content from 1st year in my 2nd year because I left gaps in my knowledge (if that makes sense).

    Pretty random question,
    4. When I came in for their open day, I heard like vibrations and noises (it was like a train) every now and again when I was in a room listening to a talk or was I just hearing things?

    For the record, I'm not doing Biology (forgive me) but these are general questions I'd like to get an input from a student who achieved a first!
    (Sorry for the spam of questions)


    heyy congrats on getting in im sure you will have a lovely time there hehe
    to answer your questions:

    1/2. I did take notes in the classroom on all the things that was said, and later if I thought they were not relevant I deleted them. I personally used a laptop because I felt it was easier to type notes (was faster) and its easier to add to the notes if its on a computer rather then on paper, but I have friends who did their notes per hand too so its probably personal preference which you want to do.
    3. yes you have access to the class powerpoints. The lecturers always upload them either before or after the lecture so you can view them online

    yea I totally get it, but in some departments year one does count. In biology year one counted 10% and we needed atleast a 2.1 average in year one to be able to do a research project in year three. So i would still try your best, btu at the same time don't drive yourself crazy in year one because it isnt super hard

    4. haha yea that could be, in the old buildings you can hear the tube at times. This isnt really a QM problem, you hear it in quite a lot of buildings in london if they are old but this has never really caused a problem in lectures and the important things like exams and labs etc are usually not in buildings where you can hear the tube. but dont worry your not crazy haha

    I hope this helps and made sense and let me know if you have any more questions and I hope you enjoy your time at QMUL.I know its scary at first but people there are very nice and helpful so Im sure you will enjoy your time there
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    (Original post by sunny1111)
    For both trips you learn a lot about how to do a proper scientific journal/ notebook, and learn skills in like field work. In both we have mini tasks and projects that involve animals and other wildlife there so you also learn how to properly collect data and what being an ecologist is like. So it is interesting to learn about especially in the field rather then just in a classroom. Plus the memories of kruger park are amazing, like my time there will deffo be something ill remember for a life time

    To be honest for year one you dont need any textbooks. The outside reading is only necessary for the year 2 and 3 exams where there are essays in the exams and they expect you to include your own things outside of the lectures. Year one really doesnt need it- you just need to learn off of the powerpoints/ lecture notes, or if somethign doesnt make sense you can always borrow one they suggest from the library- but honestly dont worry about it in year one

    hope that makes sense and im glad it helps let me know if you have any other questions or so- im happy to help hehe
    Thanks for all the help I am feeling less anxious to start the year. One last question, how is the coursework structured and what does it entail?
 
 
 
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