Ecologists and Environmental Expertise advices Imperial College and Royal Holloway Watch

vferreira
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Hi there dear community,

I am a Portuguese student that at this moment is studying a Biological Sciences Foundation Year at London Met. I decide to go under this path to meet the requirements for the degrees of ecology and environmental biology.
Previously I did my high school in Portugal, and also finished a Degree of Business and Accounting in Portugal, I am 30 years old and realised after many travels, that nature fascinate me and things like Agroecology moves much of my interests nowadays.

I study in London and also work, so to move out from London is not an option at this moment. Looking for courses available, I only could find suitable and practical, to my interests and life, Ecology and Environmental Biology (Imperial College London), and Ecology and Conservation (Royal Holloway University of London).

Looking at the structure of this two courses, I believe the ICL course is more turned to Science itself, which I also find really interesting and with wider options, and also more intensive which possibly gives you a stronger preparation. Although the RHUL course offered is more related to natural world, ecosystems, land, plant (topics that are I am really interested also), I am afraid won't be fully prepared.

At this moment I am trying to decide how should I do my applications. The other day spoke to admissions office in ICL, and trying to get some answers about applications and clearing dates (if they do), and they straight away told me that they don't accept Foundation Years.
I know is really hard to get in ICL, and straight away emailed them in order to get more information, and nothing so far.
Considering that at 1st year the modules are biological base and really similar, with one or another exception, someone at my Uni advise me to, apply to Biomedical Science in London Met (as it is accredited from Institute of Biomedical Sciences), and then apply for the 2nd year in ICL.

Living in London, ICL would be perfect because of location, also because of the recognition the degree can give you, in other hand RHUL can be also more related and enjoyful course to do, just having to travel 1h20min to reach Uni can be not so motivating.

Considering this I would like to ask your thoughts?

Ecology and Environmental Biology (ICL)? or Ecology and Conservation (RHUL)?

Anyone in similar situations?

Should I ignore all this Biomedical Science accreditation and just take the RHUL course at first?

Many thanks for your time reading this!

Last edited by vferreira; 1 month ago
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artful_lounger
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It's unusual to apply for second year entry in England, and for Imperial especially I doubt they would consider it - they might accept it for first year entry, but you should check if they would accept that before doing so.

Biomedical sciences is a very different course from ecology and conservation; the IBMS accreditation possibly makes it even more so, as those courses that are accredited are structured to support training prospective NHS biomedical scientists.

If you really want to target Imperial, you might want to look into the possibility of taking A-level Biology and other subjects as appropriate as an external candidate, and self study for the exams (using the material you're covering on your foundation year as a base), and apply with those results. If you took three appropriate A-level exams this would then meet their entry criteria. The only possible problem with this route is the science endorsement, as it's quite expensive from what I understand - you might want to check with Imperial if you did follow that route, whether the science endorsement would be necessary or if the lab content of your foundation year would be considered a suitable replacement for it (I wouldn't get too hopeful about that, but it's a possibility).
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vferreira
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Yes, to be honest I also don't want being studying something that donno where it is going to get me.

Imperial is definetly more convenient, also is pretty well structure. I am still waiting from some email answers. But I will also look for RHUL detailed program.

Is that possible to apply as external candidate for A levels? Do they get the same recognition as traditional A levels? When you think is deadlines for this applications? Can I also apply to ICL clearence?


I am still waiting for more answers from ecology students to listen your thoughts.
Many thanks again for your time.
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JackSkinner1997
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Hey vferreira,

I'm currently a 3rd year student on the Ecology and Conservation course at Royal Holloway.
The structure for first year has changed to allow more diversity of options, which is a really great change as you can tailor your degree to get exactly what you want out of it. I've been really enjoying my course thus far, it's had its ups and downs with some significant levels of challenge, but overall I've had an amazing few years studying the course.
In my degree I've been able to go to Portugal and Scotland, in addition to carrying out work experience at the Eden Project between said trips. These outdoor courses have been especially interesting and very good fun as an optional part of the course. I've heard that new students now have the opportunity to go to Bourneo as an optional course unit, which sounds absolutely amazing!

I'm happy to answer some more questions on the Ecology course for you, but all I can really say is that I've had a lot of fun with it, and that if you love science with an environmental focus then you'll suit the degree perfectly! As for your worry about being fully prepared, first year will cover you in that sense as that year is unmarked and thus allows you to 'catch' up to other students and gain the knowledge and skills needed to continue the degree in good form. I had very little idea about Ecology before university, but I can certainly say I do now!

Hope this has helped you, and I wish you luck in your applications!

Jack
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vferreira
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Many thanks for you reply Jack,

Is good to hear all that! And yes I start to look better and I can see how you can tailor what actually you want, and is cool you have this chance to choose the modules you feel more interested! Yes about Ecology, I just would like to ask if there is any detailed programme of the modules information? As far as I look, RHUL might be my first option, but just wanted to be sure what exactly I am going to study for some of the modules.

I am just dealing with a problem of migrating from a 4 year course to a 3 year course, so I really would like to have a overall information for as much I can.

Many thanks for your time.
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JackSkinner1997
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Usually the detail for the modules becomes available when you apply for them during each academic year, with the first year modules likely being presented to you within days of entering the university.

The university website may be useful in giving some further information, however the exact course structures I am not sure on.
https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/stud...-conservation/
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vferreira
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Hi Jack,

Thanks for your help. I looked more and I found more information about the modules on the website of RHUL.

About the courses, I also found out that Biology course gives you the option of choosing what are the modules you want to take in all the years. So I could move to Biology and tailor my interests into a ecology modules. What can be the differences choosing Biology or Ecology and Conservation? About these outdoor courses, would this choice make any difference?

Many thanks,
Vitor
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