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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Anna Thomas BSc Biochemistry, 2018

Undergraduate student

Anna Thomas's Photo

I chose Southampton as it is a Russell Group and well respected university.

My subject knowledge has increased dramatically with far more challenging content being delivered by the lecturers than what I covered in my A-levels.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

The Open days really helped me make my decision. Seeing how positive current students were about the university definitely encouraged me to apply. The facilities such as the library, the accommodation and labs were definitely important to me when looking at possible options and Southampton had the nicest and most modern I’d seen. I also was intrigued by the vast amount of variation with my course, which ensured me I would find a topic I loved and could study in more depth during my time here.

What is it like studying here?

The first year gives you the groundings for the rest of your degree and as the course progresses you are able to specify more and more to what you enjoy and want to learn about. Having a personal tutor throughout my course has really benefited me, with regular tutorials for constant support in first and subsequent years. The course itself has taught me so much already and helped me identify my interests due to such broad topics being covered. The lecturers are always approachable and enthusiastic during lectures as well as promptly replying to any queries. I feel that I’ve been always supported throughout my course so far.

How do you rate study facilities at the University?

The teaching labs are of a high standard. The library is open 24 hours and has all of the software needed for my course as well as all of the textbooks I would need. The campus always has a buzz with various events/stalls always present on the red brick outside the Student’s Union. I also make use of the campus gym which is so convenient after 3 hours of labs!

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences) so far?

A highlight was definitely making it through first year despite going out a good twice/three times a week! Living independently was also a high, since even doing a weekly shop seemed so daunting at first. Another highlight was being part of the BioSoc Committee where I lead the Biological Sciences Parenting Scheme. I loved being able to help groups of freshers by assigning second years to support them. This means they would always have some sort of guidance in their first year that was less scary than an academic!

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

I’ve become completely independent, not only just being away from home but being responsible for my own self-motivation to complete lab assignments and revise for my exams! My subject knowledge has increased dramatically with far more challenging content being delivered by the lecturers than what I covered in my A-levels. However, this is what I enjoy learning as the lecturers often have experience in the area they lecture on, and are sometimes conducting research on what we are being taught, making it current and exciting.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

I am enjoying the variety and choice that I have with my course. Finding out what I enjoy learning, and what I’m good at, definitely makes me look forward to my third year where I can learn in even more depth!

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

Yes. I think this is what makes Biological Sciences such a flexible department as you are able to choose a module outside of the faculty, allowing you to broaden your subject range. One of my friends took a Geology module last semester and is looking into taking Spanish next year!

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

Last year I lived in Chamberlain Halls which was just next to the campus. It was the perfect location with another Halls next door (Glen Eyre), meaning there was always a good atmosphere. This year I live in Portswood, half way between town and the university. I’ve always found travelling around the city very safe and very easy and I loved having my free bus pass in first year since the bus service is so frequent. The City Centre has everything (all the clothes shops) I need. In general, I think that Southampton is a very nice part of the country with lots of green spaces and lots of things to do off campus as well as on it.

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