The core content for each module will usually be delivered through lectures, which may include practical demonstrations. Individual lecture styles vary considerably, depending on the topic – and the lecturer! Alongside lectures you will attend tutorials, in which a small group of students meets with a member of staff for an hour to discuss and explore topics, or solve problems as a group. Some tutorials will require you to research a particular topic beforehand.
All of our Biological and Medical Sciences courses are practical degrees with strong emphasis on lab work and fieldwork, and the skills involved in these. Practical classes take place in well-equipped labs, under the guidance of academic staff and postgraduate demonstrators.
Assessment for each module is split between exam and coursework, with the exam accounting for 55-70% of your overall mark for most modules. Your first year exams will mostly be multiple choice and short answer papers, with longer essay-style questions in your second and final year exams. The nature of the coursework varies from module to module: it may include practical lab work, a lab write-up or report, a practical skills test, essays, online multiple choice assessments, a data handling exercise, solo or group presentations, a field journal or critical evaluation of scientific papers. At the end of each semester in Years 1 and 2 you will be able to judge your overall performance, enabling you to closely monitor your progress and, if necessary, adjust your work pattern.
A significant part of your final year will be spent on an individual research study which will form the basis of your dissertation.
You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they are academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.
When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.
Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.
Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:
- study and exam skills
- academic writing
- numerical data skills
- referencing sources
Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.