BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Review Breakdown

Course / Module Content
Teaching Quality
Learning Resources
Assessments & Feedback
Academic Support
Enjoyment Factor

Reviews

Anonymous

I feel the degree programme at Exeter that I attend is really well structured, teaching everyone the basics and getting everyone to the same level in first year, before giving you the freedom to completely choose all your modules in 2nd and 3rd year. There is also the availability to graduate with a specialist should you have completed all the correct modules in a certain area, for example 'Animal Systems' or 'microbiology and infectious diseases', which will make it easier to get a job in your area of interest without having to explain what you've studied to make you qualified as it will be evident in the degree title. The lecturer qualities differ, with some being very interested and passionate and easy to follow, whereas others would much rather just be in the lab rather than doing their obligatory teaching. The balance is more towards good ones though. Assessments are spread throughout the year so that in January and may I had 3 exams each time and some coursework throughout the year. My friend from maths has 10 exams this May.

Anonymous

I chose Biological Sciences because of an interest developed while doing A-level biology. The course has provided experience in the lab and offered a wide array of modules to explore many directions of the subject.While my time in the lab has confirmed this isn't the direction I want to take my career, I'm extremely glad that I chose it. It's provided me with a lot of skills to take forward and helped me to grow.

Anonymous

I found my degree incredibly intellectually stimulating and for the most part the teaching was good. However I was disappointed with the quality of some of the marking and lack of experts in the field for certain modules. My course did have field course components which was a massive plus.

Anonymous

First year is great as it provides a grounding of all the biology areas you need to specialise in second year, including Genetics, Microbiology, Plants, Animals and Cells. The lecturers are enthusiastic and do put a lot of time into making powerpoints and providing reading resources for every lecture that are good. Second year allows you to specialise in basically whatever area of Biology you want, it is incredibly broad! You have 8 modules each year all worth 15 credits and do have a lot of work throughout term and holiday time. But I have found a lot of areas incredibly interesting, such as Medical microbiology.

Anonymous

Biological sciences at Exeter is a very versatile degree and suited for students that have a broad interest and have not yet decided in what exact direction they want to go. In first year students get a broad foundational knowledge in plant, animal, genetic and molecular biology. there is a “Fundamentals “ module that helps students gain essay writing skills, employability skills and group work experience. Overall first year was well structured. How helpful employability events really are for first years is questionable and I guess up to personal judgement.For second year you get to choose from more than 10 modules a selection of 6 modules. Up to 30 credits can be from any other department (language, business,…) within the Uni as long as timetabling manages to fit it in. I loved this as it enabled me to take Japanese which was loads of fun. Work load especially essential reading increased strongly, however, the modules are a lot more fun and most of the lecturers are very passionate about the lectures they give. Most of your time will be spent in labs as each module comes with about 4-5 sessions during a term. Labs are assessed mostly with posters and presentations or with a lab report. Some modules short CA tests halfway through term, which is a good opportunity to get good grades in preparation for the May essays.Due to the large choice of modules there are 3 possible specialists degrees you can end up with if you intend to do so. ( BSc in Animal Biology/ Microbiology and Infectious Disease/Molecular and Cellular Biology)There are also modules on Marine biology that include a field trip to the Bahamas in term 3.Haven’t done year 3 yet so can’t give much information on it besides that again there is a wide selection of modules to choose fromI’ve enjoyed my Microbiology and Plants modules the most because they have one of the best lecturers and labs, especially Plants. Any module to do with Cellular structure is relatively easy compared to some other modules on offer and again very funny lecturers.Though the workload has increased a lot since first year, I still managed to keep up with work, sports practice and 3 additional societies’ socials and events (for 2 I’ve got in committee position)

Anonymous

If you are interested in Biology and know that in the future you want a career within this field, but are unsure what you want to specialise in I would highly recommend this degree. You are capable of picking from a wide range of modules in your second and third year and if you so choice are able to specialise through this selection process to add to your degree title through a specialism. Last year i selected the modules that will allow me to specialise either in "cellular an molecular" or "genetic and microbiology" which i feel will give me a little extra something when it comes to applying for a phD. I am also currently taking part in a year in industry placement which the university assist you with. I am really enjoying my time spend within a real working lab and believe this experience will be extremely valuable. The campus and university itself is a lovely place to work and live. It is a green campus based university within walking distance of Exeter city centre itself. I think it is defiantly worth at least a look around if you are interested and i hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

Anonymous

My degree structure had a wide range of choices and many options of modules especially in final year. Teaching was generally very good and encouraged students to develop their interests and research outside of lectures.I found support from tutors to be very helpful especially when I needed advise for certain assessments.

Anonymous

So far the content has been broad and interesting. The course enables you to choose all seven of your modules in second year so you can focus on what interests you most. Labs are not too long, ranging from 2-4 hours depending on how quickly you finish, and the number of lectures per week in first year has been perfect. Nearly all modules are videos and put online as well which is very helpful!

Anonymous

I enjoy my degree. The teaching quality is good and there are many lecturers who are are happy to help if something is too difficult. With the harder modules like biochemistry, I feel that there is not enough preparation whereas for other modules I feel very well prepared. I would say that a chemistry backing is very helpful if someone were to take this subject. I like that the 1st year exams are mostly mcq and we get t write a paper in ecology, but I kind of wish it had been in a different topic other than bees.Assessment feedback could be more detailed and quicker to be returned to students...

Anonymous

A well structured course which manages to address much of today's Biological Science content. Complexity is accessible yet challenging. Unfortunately, assessment is heavily exams based, failing to recognise the importance of essays, practical work or data sharing in favour of remembering facts. A disappointing lack of tutorials and seminars to develop knowledge. Large majority conveyed in large lecture theatres, leaving students feeling like a number instead of an individual whose learning is to be cultivated. Compared to other departments and universities of which I have experience, feedback is poor.

Anonymous

I am thoroughly enjoying my degree; there is a lot of variety in learning methods, including lecturers, occasional seminars, reading, practicals (both in the laboratory and on computers) and field trips. I have had many amazing opportunities to travel, both directly and indirectly through the university (including to Guyana, the Bahamas and Australia). There are loads of modules to chose between in both second and final year, covering many different fields of biology and biochemistry, with a lot of flexibility in selections (modules can also be taken from other colleges and courses). However, no choice is given in first year and everyone must take the core modules. Although this gives a broader view of biology in general, it forces students to take modules they may not enjoy, and are unlikely to remember many details from after the exams.Assessments are straightforward; most modules have course assessment tests and a piece of coursework (usually a lab write-up) during the term, and a 60% exam during exam week. In first year, the exam is multiple choice, but is an hour long essay exam in 2nd and final years.I have very few complaints about my degree!

Anonymous

Exeter University provides a fantastic student experience as well as great teaching. The college of life and environmental sciences has helped me every step of the way, and provided a great practical lab experience as part of a research project. Also the extracurricular music societies have been the highlight of my degree, with a massive range of social activities to be involved in, as well as so many performing opportunities.

Anonymous

There is an excellent choice of modules, with varying topics, so you can tailor your degree to your interests. The lecturers are enthusiastic and the lecture content is very interesting. Practicals are engaging and prepare you well for laboratory work, by teaching you many of the skills required for this field of work. The only downside is that feedback given for coursework is brief and so could be improved upon by giving a more detailed idea of how students can improve their work.

Anonymous

Very well taught degree with flexible module choice to suit any interest in Biological Sciences. Highly practical degree with many hours of lab time to keep you engaged and learning hands-on. High standard of academic teaching.

Anonymous

Very interesting course, great flexibility in the modules you can choose and first class teaching. Very hands on and engaging degree when it comes to practical work, and certainly enough contact hours to keep you driven.

Anonymous

My degree is really enjoyable as there is a good level of high quality lecturers and great choice of modules, catering to a wide range of biological interests. My degree also includes a year abroad which enables you to go to a different country and learn about a whole new culture and explore even more interests. The degree at Exeter also offers various field course modules which I have particularly enjoyed. Assessments include exams, tests and coursework with multiple choice exams in first year and focus on outside reading in second and third years.

Anonymous

The content of the biological sciences degree is very good because you cover such a broad range. Personally I came to university not really knowing what to study so me getting to try a little bit of various disciplines was very useful. Teaching is good although it can be lecturer-dependent. There is good opportunitys to go abroad both for a year out and for field work, both of which i have been able to do with out planning to when applying for the degree.

Anonymous

The quality of the module completely depends on the lecturer as there may be some modules that are so boring but the lecturer is really passionate about their subject and makes it more interesting. Biology is a great degree to do though as it teaches many transferable skills which employers are always looking for. It doesn’t matter whether you realise half way through the three years of university that you don’t want to do anything science related as biology is a degree that opens many doors. The first year is pretty straight forward, there is a lot of A level material which is reviewed but they go into a bit more detail and as long as you stay on top of your lectures it’s pretty easy. I would recommend having taken chemistry and maths at A levels, even though its not required it definitely does help.

Anonymous

The quality of the module completely depends on the lecturer as there may be some modules that are so boring but the lecturer is really passionate about their subject and makes it more interesting. Biology is a great degree to do though as it teaches many transferable skills which employers are always looking for. It doesn’t matter whether you realise half way through the three years of university that you don’t want to do anything science related as biology is a degree that opens many doors. The first year is pretty straight forward, there is a lot of A level material which is reviewed but they go into a bit more detail and as long as you stay on top of your lectures it’s pretty easy. I would recommend having taken chemistry and maths at A levels, even though its not required it definitely does help.

Anonymous

If you love biology, thins is perfect. It's a really flexible degree and you can choose almost all of your modules in the second and third years, so you really can pick and choose the parts that interest you the most! The standard of the lectures is very high, and the labs are generally informative, although sometimes in labs it would be useful to have some more guidance. But overall, a well rounded and enjoyable degree that I'd highly recommend to anyone looking to study a biology related course.

Anonymous

Degree course offers varied modules covering many areas of Biology from microbiology to Marine Biology and Plants. Professors are all actively involved in research and have great knowledge and understanding of their topic. You are encouraged to work independently as well as within groups. Have the opportunity to study for a year abroad or to undertake a year in industry. Some modules also offer field trips. Although the work is often difficult, I have immensely enjoyed studying Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter. 

Anonymous

I really enjoy the course and think it is well run. The lecture content is interesting and the lecturers are engaging and enthusiastic. Feedback on work could be improved upon as it is usually very brief and leaves you unsure as to how you could improve.

Anonymous

The teaching support is excellent, you can email any of the lecturers at any time with questions or go to their office and they will always respond. The second year becomes a lot more challenging as the lectures build on the content from the first year meaning you need to know all the definitions of words inside and out to be able to understand the fundamentals of each lecture.  

Anonymous

You learn about a vast range of biological modules, ranging from animal to microbiology. Perosnally I specifically studied microbiology and the strcuture of the modules os great. I studied immunity, disease and infection, and also got to undertake a research project.

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