What Studying Biomedical Science Has Taught Me
This blog post was written over a duration of 3 years to document my experience studying biomedical science.
First-year – Jam-packed
It is July 2016 and I have just completed what was a very stressful and jam-packed first year.
The course content itself is very manageable however there are simply too many assessments and essays to complete in the first semester.
The lectures are numerous and sometimes you have to sit through 4 hours of lectures on just one topic.
Often I would find myself skipping out on lectures just to revise in the library on my own because this worked better than listening to a professor read from slides for several hours.
There were large 3-4 hour gaps between lectures but as the year went on, this was reduced!
The best part of this year was all the practicals we got to do. We worked in proper labs, much different from high school, and got to use real chemicals, work with real microbes, and test equipment like centrifuges.
Second-year – A step up
I have just completed the 2nd year of my biomedical sciences degree and I am currently enjoying my summer holiday, working 12 hour shifts most days and spending the rest of my time revising for admissions exams.
This doesn’t sound like the best holiday but it’s the happiest I’ve been in a while and certainly offers a nice change from the hustle and bustle of uni life.
During this year, the contact time at university decreased however the assignments and independent learning drastically increased.
There were so many assignments, assessments, and hand-ins to do that I entirely forgot to hand in a piece of work.
Note to self, if you have plenty of things to do, set reminders.
Luckily I was able to bag a lucky extension under the guise of being overwhelmed with work.
Our exams saw the biggest change.
Everything thus far was multiple-choice, however now, 50% of the exams were essays from unknown essay questions.
A very nerve-wracking experience that saw many people failing the module and therefore the year.
Many friends left in the first year after realizing biomedical science wasn’t for them, however, many friends couldn’t progress from the second year as a result of failing the harder exams.
Third-year – A nice balance
After completing my third and final year of biomedical science, I have gained a renewed viewpoint about what this degree offers.
For many, it’s a way for them to redeem themselves from poor school grades and apply for medicine and dentistry.
For others, it’s just a generic placeholder course they can study while they figure they’re lives out.
For me, it was a combination of both.
I did however realise that as the years progressed, students began getting more knowledgeable about their options outside of medicine.
In the end, only about 5 people must have gained entry onto a medical program.
About 10 gained entry onto physician associate studies programs, and the rest probably sought out jobs and other postgraduate studies.
Out of the 300 who originally enrolled on the course, maybe about 75 ended up graduating the first time.
The year itself didn’t last very long; we began in October and finished the last exam in April.
The exams were purely essay and viva based. We had to read hundreds of research papers in order to complete our dissertations.
This by the way was the most interesting part of the degree by far!
We independently conducted experiments in a group and were in charge of the budgeting.
All in all, I don’t regret studying biomedical science.
There were definitely times where I wanted to quit as I didn’t believe it was useful, however, I stuck with it in the end.
I have had the opportunity to apply for several postgraduate options including microbiology, medicine, physician associate studies, and Bio-engineering.
In the end, I have decided to pursue a masters and subsequently a doctorate in biostatistics.
Please let me know what your plans are for the future!
alternatively, you can read about why Sociology isn’t entirely useless!