I’ve just finished my second year studying Biomedical Science at Cardiff University and here’s a little about my experience so far.
Biomedical Science is a broad degree, underpinning medical science. It aims to equip graduates with advanced laboratory skills and the ability to apply their scientific knowledge to a range of complex situations. It’s typically a 3 year degree, with the option to do a placement year in industry and even a masters.
What drew me to this degree was the broadness of it. I love science, but still to this very day I’m not 100% sure on the direction I’d like to go in. I wanted something that would enable me to carve out my own path, choosing what modules suit my interests and taking part in related extracurricular activities which would enhance my opportunities.
My experience with Biomedical Science has been great from the get go. In my first year at University, it was compulsory for everyone on a Bioscience degree scheme to take the same 6 modules. This gave me an overview of the different areas, from anatomy to genetics. It allowed me to understand what stood out to me, and what I was interested in. The only downside to my first year was that the amount of time spent in the lab really was limited, with contact hours for lectures being quite high.
I’ve just finished my second year where I’ve studied Concepts of Disease, Physiology and Cell Biology. These modules have given me an overall well rounded balance in a variety of areas, and time in the lab was significantly increased to around 16 hours each week. Second year really has heightened my interests, with disease being one of the areas I’d like to focus on in my final year at University.
The contact hours in second year were significantly lower than first year, although a lot of extra reading was required, it was much easier to balance my time and take part in extracurricular activities and volunteering. It’s important to remember that your time at university should be spent doing a wide variety of activities, enjoying yourself and also enhancing your CV.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and get involved. For me, I’ve been a student mentor throughout my second year, and am now progressing to be a student mentor consultant in my final year. I’ve attended give it a go events, extra employability sessions and completed an Award that recognises these things.
Overall, I’m really enjoying my degree so far. It’s definitely been the right choice for me in terms of what I want to do in the future. It’s enhanced my love for science, and allowed me to explore options for the future that I never even knew existed.
Let’s talk about career options. When I talk to people about my degree, the most common question I get is ‘So what can you do career-wise then?’. The obvious, being a Biomedical Scientist, but there really is much more to this degree than just that.
Again, the reason I chose this degree is because I wanted something that provided an open door to many different routes upon graduation. With that in the near future for me, I’ve started to look into potential career options. My personal plans are to apply for a Masters degree and then I’d love to get onto the NHS Scientist Training Programme and work within the microbiology department. Obviously this isn’t a solid plan, and I am keeping my options open!
Here’s a few things you can do with a degree in Biomedical Science:
- Graduate Entry Medicine: Biomedical Science is often the most popular degree to progress into GEM. With many universities offering a direct route into the programme.
- Teaching: From secondary school to higher education, teachers in science are always needed!
- Clinical Scientist: Assisting other workers within the healthcare industry to diagnose and treat patients.
- Forensics: Visiting crime scenes, collecting samples and providing vital information.
- Research: A lot of students tend to go into the research side of science, completing their PhD and working in a research lab.
To sum up, the majority of areas of science are accessible with a Biomedical Science degree! The IBMS website has a lot of useful information for anyone wishing to study Biomedical Science, from career options, to choosing the right place to study.