Mellal4
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I am currently in the process of applying for an undergraduate course in Biology/Biological Sciences for 2021. I am predicted A*A*A and ideally want to study all aspects of biology during my first year before specialising any further.

With Open Days and university tours all moved online, choosing the right university for me - without the chance to visit and get a feel for any campus - has become rather tricky. University league tables largely vary and don’t paint the full picture.

Which universities outside London have a good reputation for being amazing in Biology? Which are the unis that come straight away to your mind for a Biology degree? Which are target unis for employers in this field?

My main criteria are:

• University with a solid reputation in Biology and in general
• Campus university
• Good work-life balance
• Sociable fellow students
• High employability after degree

Many thanks!
Last edited by Mellal4; 1 month ago
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LuigiMario
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so I just googled, got this starting point https://www.studying-in-uk.org/best-...biology-in-uk/

I initially ignored the 'complicated' Oxf'd, Cambs, St.Andy's & Durham - all fine certainly, but
they then suggest Dundee (lots of choices), York, Warwick, Portsmouth,
and seeing as how I'm typing this from an italian research centre with (normally) quite a lot of biological work,
see who in UK works closely with this bunch: EMBL-EBI, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SD, UK
UK based EMBL-EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany)

hacking, very slightly, google & EMBL-EBI websites (using the 'correct' use of 'hacking' to make something work better)
https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=1....uk+university

a search of EMBL-EBI entire website for the term "university" gives partners/workshops etc with, Warwick, Durham, Glasgow, Pavia Italy, Leicester.....
etc, but that now gives at least SIX which is a nice number to start with

now check out those six individual Biology websites and compare
(personally, my uncle taught Physics at York - lovely place, I studied Chemistry at Warwick, excellent place, I visited Dundee for Nursing, very friendly etc etc)
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Mellal4
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(Original post by LuigiMario)
so I just googled, got this starting point https://www.studying-in-uk.org/best-...biology-in-uk/

I initially ignored the 'complicated' Oxf'd, Cambs, St.Andy's & Durham - all fine certainly, but
they then suggest Dundee (lots of choices), York, Warwick, Portsmouth,
and seeing as how I'm typing this from an italian research centre with (normally) quite a lot of biological work,
see who in UK works closely with this bunch: EMBL-EBI, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SD, UK
UK based EMBL-EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany)

hacking, very slightly, google & EMBL-EBI websites (using the 'correct' use of 'hacking' to make something work better)
https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=1....uk+university

a search of EMBL-EBI entire website for the term "university" gives partners/workshops etc with, Warwick, Durham, Glasgow, Pavia Italy, Leicester.....
etc, but that now gives at least SIX which is a nice number to start with

now check out those six individual Biology websites and compare
(personally, my uncle taught Physics at York - lovely place, I studied Chemistry at Warwick, excellent place, I visited Dundee for Nursing, very friendly etc etc)
Thank you very much for this detailed info, LuigiMario! Mostly appreciated
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Mellal4
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By ‘solid reputation’ I mean uni names that come straight away to everyone’s mind for studying Biology. Same as Warwick and LSE do in Economics.
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by Mellal4)
I am currently in the process of applying for an undergraduate course in Biology/Biological Sciences for 2021. I am predicted A*A*A and ideally want to study all aspects of biology during my first year before specialising any further.

With Open Days and university tours all moved online, choosing the right university for me - without the chance to visit and get a feel for any campus - has become rather tricky. University league tables largely vary and don’t paint the full picture.

Which universities outside London have a good reputation for being amazing in Biology? Which are the unis that come straight away to your mind for a Biology degree? Which are target unis for employers in this field?

My main criteria are:

• University with a solid reputation in Biology and in general
• Campus university
• Good work-life balance
• Sociable fellow students
• High employability after degree

Many thanks!
Hi there,

I'm a current student at The University of Sheffield studying biology. The reputation of the biology department in Sheffield is good with a number of world-leading professors - particularly in behavioural ecology and sustainable food production - currently working in the department. Sheffield is a Russell Group university and consistently ranks highly in league tables for biology, as well as in general. Sheffield is technically a "city" university but the majority of the university buildings are situated less than 5 minutes from each other - the biology building is only a 1 minute walk from the Student's Union (allowing you to have a coffee after a lecture), a 10 minute walk from the university sports centre, and a 3 minute walk away from the main library on campus.

With regard to having a work-life balance - no matter which university you go to, there will always be points where you feel the pressure of your workload. The university and the biology department are really supportive when it comes to student welfare so, if you do feel under strain, you can have a conversation with relevant parties for additional support. In my own experience, I find the biology course really manageable - in first year I still had time to: go to the gym 3 times per week, attend rugby training 3 times per week, make it to all of my lectures, go out 2-3 times per week, go on a week-long holiday during the university break, volunteer, take up a part time job, and still attain a first in every module I took during that year. The biology course at Sheffield also gives you the opportunity to take a placement year, or go on a year abroad (I went on my year abroad to New Zealand during my second year).

The people in Sheffield are absolutely lovely and it's one of the few places in the UK where strangers will smile at you in the street! Students tend to close to each other so you're always seeing people you know when you're out and about. The university also has over 350 societies / clubs which provide an amazing way of making friends.

As part of the Sheffield biology degree, you will go on a field course (either in the UK or abroad to places like Borneo, Portugal, or Sweden) to study ecology which really increases your employability. The University of Sheffield also has an amazing Careers Service to help you improve your employability through helping you develop your CV and your knack for writing job applications.

I hope all that helped, but do you have any other questions? I'll pop some useful links down below.

Standard Sheffield biology course
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/prospect...do?id=C1002021

MBiolSciBiology with a Year Abroad course
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/prospect...do?id=C10C2021

My personal "Ask Me Anything" page
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6675612

Daniel
Third Year
MBiolSci Biology with a Year Abroad
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Mellal4
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Thank you so much, Daniel. That really helps
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QuentinM
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(Original post by Mellal4)
I am currently in the process of applying for an undergraduate course in Biology/Biological Sciences for 2021. I am predicted A*A*A and ideally want to study all aspects of biology during my first year before specialising any further.

With Open Days and university tours all moved online, choosing the right university for me - without the chance to visit and get a feel for any campus - has become rather tricky. University league tables largely vary and don’t paint the full picture.

Which universities outside London have a good reputation for being amazing in Biology? Which are the unis that come straight away to your mind for a Biology degree? Which are target unis for employers in this field?

My main criteria are:

• University with a solid reputation in Biology and in general
• Campus university
• Good work-life balance
• Sociable fellow students
• High employability after degree

Many thanks!
Sorry for the late reply, how's your search going?

I have studied biology at Exeter and Bath, and am currently doing a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield, and with those sorts of A-level grades you could be aiming for any of those universities. The so-called "Russell Group" universities are all within reach, but there are a few very good universities that aren't members of it so don't limit yourself. I think to help narrow down your search I'd ask yourself the following questions:

1) What kind of city would you want to live in while studying? Are you looking for a large city, like London, or smaller cities like Exeter/Bath?
2) Do you have any reason to want to stay in a particular region of the UK (e.g. North? South? Midlands? Scotland? Wales?) All of these regions should each have their own reputable universities
3) What are your career goals post-degree? If you are interested in scientific research as a career, what areas interest you? Based on what universities specialise more in what research you could narrow down your search. For example if you are interested in microbiology, you want to avoid universities with small/no microbiology department (stupid example as all universities have one but hopefully my point is clear)
4) Is there anything in particular you want out of your biology course? e.g. lots of practical courses?

My other advice: I know you mentioned "reputation"-I think there's a belief among most people that university reputation is far more important than it actually is when you apply for jobs post-degree. The experiences you develop during your degree (and between terms) are vital. So look for information on whether people take on summer placement students and/or placement years, as if you want a career in scientific research, having lab experience is a big plus when applying for positions. The most important thing is being at a university that you feel comfortable at, and where you can build the experience needed for great applications further down the road.

Anymore questions feel free to ask
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Mellal4
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Thank you very much indeed 🌹 This shall help me further too
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