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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Jake Weeks BSc Biology, 2019

Undergraduate student

Jake Weeks's Photo

The University of Southampton has a fantastic Biological Sciences Department with modern teaching labs and a wide range of modules to tailor your degree.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

I chose Southampton because I can choose modules to make my degree almost unique to someone else's who is on the same course, whilst studying the fundamental principles of the subject. Also, there is lots of prospective opportunities such as various masters and PhD programmes should I wish to continue my studies, and a new Cancer Immunology Centre. In addition, it's easy to escape city life for the day by hopping on the train to the nearby New Forest where I also volunteer as a Forestry Commission Volunteer Ranger.

What is it like studying here?

The course is varied, you can specialise in certain modules, and your lecturers will often be an expert in their specialist field of biology rather than generalists. The campus has lots of green spaces including the centre with a stream as well as the Gardens. There are lots of societies to get involved with relevant and totally different to your course such as SU Photographic Society and Herpetology Society.

How do you rate study facilities at the University?

The teaching labs are high quality and some modules give you the chance to visit the research facilities such as the greenhouse at the top of B85 although generally access is limited. During non-peak times it's easy to get a seat or computer in the library, which is now open 24/7.

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

The first year biology field trip to Bolonia, Spain was a great experience as we were learning in a totally different environment. Getting involved with student societies SUDofE, Herpetological Society, SUPS and BioSoc has extended my friends group and provided further extra-curricular academic opportunities such as the student-staff liaison committee and reptile surveys.

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

I have learnt to enjoy aspects of the course that I previously didn't because they are taught in a different way as school or college. For example I have become better at statistics because instead of answering seemingly pointless hypothetical statistics problems, I am applying stats to my own data from real laboratory practicals. I am more confident in my subject and I can also read articles in fields I have not been taught yet and be able to understand it myself because I now think like scientist.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

Module variability, regular practicals.

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

A few modules that overlap with the biomed side of the course such as medical microbiology and neuroscience.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

I live in Portswood which is halfway between campus and the city centre. Regular bus services bring you into campus on time for lectures, and also run late at night back too. If not, the night safety bus is on hand to make sure you get home. I am also in close proximity to the train station and the town centre. We live so close to the main student clubs and bars that we do not need to pay for taxis.

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