Biomedical Science is a broad area of science which underpins both medicine and medical research. It’s a three year course at my university, with the option of a placement year between year two and three, and a masters year.
Why I Chose It
My entire childhood I was set on being a vet, but as I made my way through A-Levels I soon realised that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was studying A-Level Biology, Chemistry, Sociology and Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate and there wasn’t one area of science that I was more interested in than another.
After taking some time to research potential courses, I was set on doing Forensic Science until I stumbled across Biomedical Science. After researching the degree, I decided that it was what I wanted to do.
For me, I chose it as I don’t like being limited in what I do. It allows me to study different areas of science so I can decide what I like and don’t like, and provides me with many options for when I graduate. It also allows me the opportunity to specialise into one area if that’s what I want.
In Cardiff University we do a common first year across the Biosciences degree, meaning that we all do the same 6 modules. These modules are: Skills For Science (essay-writing based), Structure and Function of Living Organisms (anatomy and physiology), Organisms and Environment (microbes, animals and plants), The Dynamic Cell (basically cell biology), Biological Chemistry and Genetics.
I felt that doing all of these modules instead of being able to pick what I wanted to do in first year allowed me to understand what I actually enjoyed, and gave me a great feel of the rest of the course.
I’m now currently in my second year studying Physiology, Concepts of Disease and Cell Biology. I’ve still kept the broadness to my degree with these modules, but my exit degree has changed to Physiology. I’m really happy with the modules I’ve chosen this year, and I am really enjoying both lectures and labs.
Lectures and Labs
In first year contact hours were quite high due to the amount of modules, however, I would say there were still only around 3-4 lectures (50 minute lectures) a day. The gaps in-between them were just quite long. We also spent 3 hours on a Friday morning or afternoon in the lab, which looking back at it really wasn’t a lot.
In second year contact hours have been reduced drastically, which when I looked at my timetable at the start of the year I was quite disappointed. Now, I can understand why. There’s a lot of extra reading to do, a lot of independent study and a lot of hours need to be going into coursework. Labs for each module usually run in chunks, with a few weeks at a time being based on one module. Tuesdays and Thursdays are typically lab days, with labs running from 9-1 and 2-6 on each day. I’ve really appreciated this extra time in the lab this year, and have felt like my laboratory skills have really improved. It’s definitely preparing me ready for my placement year.
As I said, the reason I chose this degree was due to the doors it opened in terms of careers. It isn’t limited to one specific job, and there’s gateway to go into different areas of science.
A few careers include: a biomedical scientist, clinical scientist, forensic scientist, microbiologist, toxicologist, rapid response labs, research, pharmaceuticals, teaching, you see where this is going.
In September 2021 I will be starting my placement researching the human cytomegalovirus. This is so exciting and I’ve decided to do a placement year to understand what I want to do when I finish university. Right now I’m leaning towards doing the NHS Scientist Training Programme and would really love to into something related to disease and microbiology.
My other option is teaching. I’m so passionate about education, sharing resources and helping other people learn, hence why I try and post as much on my Instagram. I’d love to teach A-Level Biology and really help change young people’s lives, inspire them and motivate them to do well.
Overall, I am really enjoying my degree and I’m very happy with my choice. I feel as if I’m learning a bit of everything, my options aren’t restricted and my modules all seem to link together very well.
I’ve been provided with a lot of opportunities as part of my degree and at my university, which have made the experience so much better!
Hope this was a helpful post for some of you thinking about studying Biomedical Science! If anyone has any questions leave them in the comments or give me a DM on Instagram!