Why Study Biology at Bristol University? A Student Insight

Being a Biological Sciences graduate equips you for a wide range of careers: whether it be finance, law, environmental management, or further academia; and of course the BBC Natural History Unit is right here on our doorstep. Biological Sciences is really special at Bristol because you can basically tailor your course to whatever you’re interested in; so from plants to mammals to marine ecology to cell biology to genetics, it’s really quite a variety. I think the Biology course at Bristol is really good because it’s a really social course; everybody is so lovely, everyone gets along. In first year, you’re thrown straight into labs, sat next to people you don’t know so you get to meet loads of people around you, and there’s ten people sat around you so you get to meet a big group of people; and it continues through second year and third year with other projects and other labs. In second year there’s a compulsory field course, and I was actually lucky enough to go to Costa Rica. Some of them are in the UK, but I got to go to the jungle which was amazing. My project was on bats so we got lots of practical handling stuff in which was so cool, but generally it was just a really fun way to learn about biology. I think the best thing about studying Biological Sciences at Bristol is the state of the art facilities we’ve got here in the new Life Sciences building, from the undergraduate labs downstairs to the special research facilities upstairs that you get to use for your third year projects. I chose to come to Bristol because I knew the city quite well before I came to uni here. I’m quite into my live music, and there’s a lot going on – a lot of gig venues, a lot of places to perform. It’s just quite a fun city in general. I think the best thing about Bristol is you get all the perks of a university campus, with the precinct being right in the middle of the city centre, so everything is within walking distance as well. Well I really like how there’s loads of societies. There’s over 300 actually, and loads of them specifically relate to biology, so they complement the course really well. There’s Sustainability, Conservation, Scuba Diving. I actually learned to scuba dive through the society at Bristol, so I’d never done it before and I’ve now become a trainee instructor, so I’ve advanced quite a lot. It’s really fun, we do awesome trips to Egypt, Gozo and quite a few in the UK as well. BioSoc is the department’s society. It’s run by students and there’s a committee of about 10 people that organise social nights for all three years. They also run intra-mural football teams and intra-mural netball teams. So on Wednesday afternoons we play football against other societies or just other teams, and on Sunday’s there’s mixed netball, which is a great laugh. And it’s a great way to meet people not just in your year but in all three years. My advice to students would be to make sure you get involved in extra-curricular stuff, because it’s a really great way to make friends and it really just adds to your three years. I think advice to give to people coming in is to get stuck in, get involved. Go to all your labs, go to all your lectures, get involved in societies. It’s just the best way to get to know people. My advice would be to choose a city that you really love, because you’re going to be spending the next three years of your life there, which is a very long time. My advice would be to get lots of relevant work experience during your long vacations, and that will give you such an advantage when you graduate.

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