We spoke to Tyler to find out what he is enjoying about studying BSc Biology at Queen Mary
When choosing my ideal university, I was looking for one with an excellent academic record and close to home (I prefer to stay with my family and commute). QMUL ticks both of these boxes; in fact, we are taught by world authorities from various fields – giving me an excellent education and a stepping stone into a future career within academia.
Since finishing my GCSEs and A-levels, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my career towards studying nature and ultimately helping to fight the current biodiversity crisis. Queen Mary’s BSc Biology course starts off with a broad overview of all aspects of biology in year one. It allows you to choose your modules in years two and three. This allowed me an extra year exploring my options before choosing to specialise in ecology and evolutionary biology – the choice is up to you!
All of the lecturers are friendly, making an effort to get to know you on a personal basis, tailoring the lectures to the classes needs – if you don’t understand a topic, they will be more than happy to spend time explaining it to you. Furthermore, being taught by leading researchers allows you to join the front line of scientific research, learning about the new and exciting developments first hand.
All of the university’s facilities are fully equipped and continuously refurbished. During my time at QMUL, I have experienced the Mile End campus’ library undergo major refurbishment making it the ideal place to study. The library website is hugely beneficial, providing an online catalogue of physical and digital resources and a variety of guides, including a handy guide on how to navigate the bookshelves.
The Mile End campus is easy to navigate, with accommodation on the north end and the primary teaching/research facilities in the west. This “L-shaped” layout prevents you from getting lost (most of the time!). It is aesthetically pleasing with exciting architecture ranging from a 130-year-old library (the Octagon) to a statue of an elephant!
Every year, you will have lectures run by the careers service about various topics, including writing letters of application, creating your CV, and finding internships. These inspired me to have a 1-1 meeting with a career service mentor to proofread my CV. This was incredibly useful and helped me make it easier to read (it was a mess beforehand!), teaching me how to personalise the CV for each application.
It is nigh on impossible to choose a favourite aspect of studying at QMUL. From the outstanding teaching to the campus’ pristine facilities, I love it all!
I love having the opportunity to interact with academics both inside and outside the lecture hall. They are really approachable and more than happy to explain concepts or even debate scientific theories with you. My biggest highlight (so far…) was during the year 2 Diversity of Life module when our lecturer took us on a fungal foray in Wimbledon commons. This was not just a fun day out but allowed us to see a wide range of fungi in the wild, learning about their phenomenal diversity. My favourite find was the edible Beefsteak Fungus (Fistulina hepatica); it literally looks like a steak of beef, believe it or not!
I would recommend looking at the modules (found on the university’s website) for every year of the course and visiting the open days. This will help you to decide whether the course is right for you. After that, all that’s left to do is apply!
Being a student ambassador for the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences (SBBS) has been a great and fun way to build upon my public engagement skills. Furthermore, it has allowed me to learn more about the university’s unique history (spoiler: our great hall was one a swimming pool!), supporting prospective students along the way.
I wish to pursue a career within academia, researching ecological and evolutionary biology. This involves completing an MSc and PhD course, hopefully within Queen Mary.
Learning science is a continuous process filled with many “points of no return” when you learn something which changes your worldview. At Queen Mary, I encounter many of these “Eureka!” moments on a weekly basis and am desperate for more!
Intellectually stimulating and fascinating