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Throughout your time at UCS all of the BioScience team do their very best to enhance your studies. Whether through organising trips, sometimes to museums or to visit and meet with local business leaders, these experiences enhance your chances of finding a graduate job in science at the end of your course. 

Guest Speakers and Seminars

Throughout your studies you are always encouraged to attend talks and seminars presented by visiting speakers who are experts in their fields. Some speakers lecture on specific topics, for example Dr Sue McGlashan (Department of Anatomy, University of Auckland Medical School, New Zealand) discussed her work on “Primary Cilia and the Ciliopathies” whilst others such as Dr Pe Myint (Veterinary Tissue Bank, Chirk, Wales) described the challenges of setting up a biotech company, the first in Europe and one of only two in world, to provide high quality bone grafting products and stem cells for veterinary orthopaedic surgeons to use in the management of osteoarthritis in ageing companion animals.

Lab Experience 

Employability skills, especially laboratory skills, are at the forefront of our minds and each taught module has a set of five or six laboratory projects which are required to be completed by all students. Beginning, in the first week of your course, with very basic skills such as learning to use a range of pipetting devices both consistently and accurately. This is often considered by some to be “boring”, but a good, consistent pipetting technique is essential to a biochemist, especially when you will be required to dispense fractions of a micro-litre into a tube for genetic analysis. As the course develops you will learn increasingly more complicated, and usually more interesting, skills such as designing and setting-up PCR (polymerase-chain) reaction experiments using both the old-style manual thermo-cyclers before moving on to more modern and automated real-time, quantitative (RT-qPCR) machines.

Work Based Learning 

Throughout the first two years of your Biochemistry course your laboratory practical sessions give you experiences that enable you to stand on your own two feet in the lab. This is important since the second year culminates, following the spring assessments, with the “work experience” module known as Work Based Learning.  This module comprises a series of week-long laboratory projects supervised by various staff members and run under work-like conditions. With this in mind, we expect excellent punctuality and engagement, good timekeeping and project management, good record keeping and so on, essentially all that an employer demands from a new member of staff. The module ends with a careers session comprising a week-long series of talks from prospective employers and experts from across many disciplines. Although some students do actually stagger out of the lab at the end of the six-week module it does provide you with an intensive and challenging lab-based learning experience. During this time you will learn to apply and also refine your lab skills on techniques you’ve already encountered and also learn new techniques and devise different approaches to answer a range of scientific problems. All these experiences can be used to enhance your CV and employability skills.  


We also encourage you to Volunteer. Whether organised through the Student Union or as work experience placements, this aspect of your extracurricular activity can greatly enhance your chances of finding suitable employment in a scientific field. Not only do you gain valuable work experience, often in a scientific discipline of interest to you, but it also puts you into direct contact with potential employers. Several of our recent graduates who have found employment in the local bio-tech sector have benefitted from this.


So, if you have applied, or are thinking of applying to UCS to become a Biochemistry student and wish to learn more about studying Biochemistry or one of our other BioScience programmes (Biotechnology, Genetics and Evolution, Medical Genetics and Medical Science), why not come along to our Open Day? You can book your place here.  

Find out the latest news from the UCS BioScience’s department at our Facebook page.  

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