I'm a 3rd year Biological Sci student at Imperial College London - Ask Me Anything!

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Imperial students
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Hi everyone,

I'm Maya, a 3rd year BSc Biological Sciences student at Imperial College London.

I'm originally from Bath and studied A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.

What I love about my degree is the sheer breadth and depth of learning I get as a student at Imperial and exploring all the fascinating research being undertaken within my department.

What I love about studying at Imperial is being surrounded by other scientists and studying in such a bustling city like London. I personally think it’s a really ideal location to be a student!

Outside of my studies, I'm a member of the Women’s Rugby team and a member of the Environmental society. More recently I joined St John Ambulance as a Vaccination Care Volunteer.

Upon graduation, I plan to continue at Imperial and study for an MSc in Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses in the Faculty of Medicine.

Ask me anything! Image

Post your questions below and I'll be back on Wednesday 28 April, 2pm - 4pm (UK time) to answer all your questions.
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Hi! What sort of topics does biological science at Imperial cover and what's the teaching structure like? Also what was it like moving to London initially and what made Imperial stand out to you? Thanks
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chembio20
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Hi Maya, can you describe a normal day of studying? What's the hours of work like? Is it all just work work work?
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Sinnoh
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Favourite outlet on campus, and favourite farmer's market stall back when it was around?
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Imperial students
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi! What sort of topics does biological science at Imperial cover and what's the teaching structure like?
Hi! The Biological Sciences course at Imperial is very broad and covers quite a range of topics.


First-year comprises fundamentals with intros to biological chemistry and microbiology, some cell biology and genetics, ecology, and evolution.

Then, second-year builds upon this with modules on genetics and applied molecular biology, as well as some bioinformatics, statistics, and programming. At this stage, you're also able to select elective modules, and the curriculum has been expanded in recent years to include modules on neuroscience, computational 'omics, and molecular and cell biology skills, in addition to pre-existing modules on immunology, behavioural ecology, vertebrate form and evolution, etc.

Finally, there's a huge range of elective modules available in third-year, and a lot of these modules are shared with the Biochemistry degree stream. To give you an example of the different routes you can go down, I've chosen predominantly microbiology-based modules this year, whilst I have friends that have specialised in plant science or evolutionary biology, Other routes include ecology, synthetic biology, the list goes on. I've linked the course page so that you can have a look at all the modules currently on offer https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/...bsc/#structure

Also what was it like moving to London initially and what made Imperial stand out to you?

Moving to London was pretty exciting for me, but also quite daunting, especially since we're based in the centre of the city. As a kid, I'd lived in London for a bit (but further out) and gone to school here for a few years, so I guess the shift wasn't too difficult since I'd spent a lot of time in the city, but I definitely felt more like a tourist for the first few weeks! Compared to the small village I live in outside of term-time, London is definitely a lot busier, and there's always something new to experience (outside of lockdowns anyway!)

The first time I saw Imperial in-person was in 2017 when I came for an undergraduate open day. I think the main things that stood out to me were the location of the main campus, the facilities, the Imperial Bursary for Home students, and the opportunity for extracurricular modules, such as the Horizons programme. I've always wanted to learn Japanese but never really had the chance to have taught lessons, so to be able to learn a new language alongside my degree for free was a really big attraction for me. And then the main attraction to the course itself was the breadth of study, since I had no clue what I wanted to specialise in when I was applying for unis! Over the course of my time here, I've realised that I'm really fascinated by infectious diseases, which is not at all what I thought I'd be specialising in three years ago. So, I think the course is particularly great for those that know they enjoy biology as a whole but are undecided about which field(s) they would like to specialise in.
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What's the benefits of studying Biological Sciences over Medicine? What exactly is the difference?
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(Original post by chembio20)
Hi Maya, can you describe a normal day of studying? What's the hours of work like? Is it all just work work work?
Hey! So my pre-covid normal day was: head into campus for 2-3 hours of lectures (morning lectures in first-year, usually afternoon in second-year, with some morning slots), then a practical once a week (more like every fortnight in second-year) and a tutorial once in a while.

With remote learning, I've actually had a bit more time on my hands, since commuting was eliminated and I no longer had those odd hours between lectures stuck on campus that I'd usually spend grabbing a coffee or hanging out with friends. Most of our lectures have been pre-recorded both this year and last year, so I would usually watch my lectures in the afternoon and schedule in downtime around that. On average, we'd have around 10 hours of taught content a week, plus some live Q&As a few times a week, and the occasional practical on-campus, beyond that I was quite free.

Since I've been in London for pretty much the whole of this academic year, I've had the opportunity to meet up with friends and go for walks/to cafes, and take part in a couple of societies when in-person activities were still allowed in autumn term. I also had time to take Japanese as an extra-curricular in the autumn and spring terms, with a 2-hour zoom lesson every week, plus 2-3 hours of homework. So it's definitely not just working all the time, there's enough time for hobbies/clubs/etc. (though activities are obviously more limited right now)
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Favourite outlet on campus, and favourite farmer's market stall back when it was around?
Ooooh tough question! I was actually having a similar conversation with my housemate a couple days ago, we ended up disagreeing haha. I would probably say fusion cafe in the Dyson building, I really loved their salads and wraps! Farmer's Market-wise, definitely the cake stall (I cant remember their name, but the one with the pink gazebo), their tiramisu cake is to die for!
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What's the benefits of studying Biological Sciences over Medicine? What exactly is the difference?
So funnily enough, I was planning on applying to Medicine up until halfway through year 12! I chose Biological Sciences instead as I realised that I wasn't 100% sure if I really wanted to be a doctor, or if I just enjoyed the theory. I could have also gone for Medical Biosciences, but I decided to go for as broad a course as possible, and it worked out for me, as I really enjoyed all of my modules, especially my final-year ones!

Medicine is more human-focussed than Biological Sciences, and there's also the patient contact aspect. Medicine is also a longer degree than Biological Sciences, so it's definitely more of a commitment. You can still end up in the medical profession with biology though if you take a graduate medicine course, and I know of some people on my course that are planning on going down that route once they graduate
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nraizada
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(Original post by Imperial students)
Hi everyone,

I'm Maya, a 3rd year BSc Biological Sciences student at Imperial College London.

I'm originally from Bath and studied A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.

What I love about my degree is the sheer breadth and depth of learning I get as a student at Imperial and exploring all the fascinating research being undertaken within my department.

What I love about studying at Imperial is being surrounded by other scientists and studying in such a bustling city like London. I personally think it’s a really ideal location to be a student!

Outside of my studies, I'm a member of the Women’s Rugby team and a member of the Environmental society. More recently I joined St John Ambulance as a Vaccination Care Volunteer.

Upon graduation, I plan to continue at Imperial and study for an MSc in Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses in the Faculty of Medicine.

Ask me anything! Image

Post your questions below and I'll be back on Wednesday 28 April, 2pm - 4pm (UK time) to answer all your questions.
Hi Maya

I have wanted to study Dentistry as long as I can remember and am part of last years year 13's. I did the October 2020 exams and got A in Bio, B in Chem and C in Maths. I took a gap year and was going to resit Chem and Maths in summer 2021 and then thought would do this in Oct 2021 but even that is not possible. I had one interview from Cardiff for Dental Hygiene and Therapy but was refused. Birmingham, Bristol and Plymouth said they would not wait till Dec 2020 for my grades. I have now used UCAS Extra to secure a place at Bristol for Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Do you think that if I redo my Chem and Maths Next summer 2022 and reapply for Dentistry in Oct 2022, that I might have a chance? Also, The BSc in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, is that just like doing Biomedical Sciences and will this help me progress onto Graduate Dentistry maybe? Please let me know if you can help with any advice at all. Thank you
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ellatrain
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Do you have to have Chemisty as an a level to study biomedical sciences
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(Original post by ellatrain)
Do you have to have Chemisty as an a level to study biomedical sciences
Hi there,

I'm Ben and I'm a 4th year Medical Student and an official rep. The entry requirements for biomedical sciences at Imperial are as follows:
Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is AAA overall, to include:

A in Biology or Human Biology
A in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Further Mathematics
A in another subject (if your second A grade is in Mathematics or Further Mathematics, your third choice must be a non-Mathematics subject)

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


So as long as you are doing one of the alternatives to chemistry it should be fine!
If you would like further information, please find it here:
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/...y-requirements

Best wishes,

Ben
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