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Teaching and Learning

How will I spend my time?

As a Life Sciences student you will have plenty of contact with the staff who teach you. Independent learning, reading, group work and preparing assessments will occupy the rest of your study time.

Academic talking with students

Taught sessions

Normally you will study one module at a time for two weeks (there are some exceptions). This approach allows you to focus on gaining an in-depth knowledge of the subject area by concentrating on one topic at a time. Module leaders and lecturers adopt different teaching styles in order to provide you with the knowledge and understanding required to be successful in your chosen area of study. Teaching is by interactive lectures, small group workshops or tutorials.

Key teaching staff

According to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2019), 91% of our students said 'Staff are good at explaining things'.

According to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2019), 96% of our students said 'I am encouraged to ask questions or make contributions in taught sessions'.

According to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2019), 94% of our students said 'My ability to communicate information effectively to diverse audiences has developed during my course'.

Researcher in lettuce field

Field trips and lab work

Biotechnology and Business Management
Biotechnology and business management courses are focused on commercialisation of biosciences concepts, and do not involve lab work. Students have previously had the opportunity to visit a brewery and an anaerobic digestor plant processing commercial food waste to produce electricity and bio-fertiliser.

Environmental Bioscience, Food Security and Sustainable Crop Production
Modules may include lab sessions and data analysis workshops to develop your learning. During some modules students visit Warwick Crop Centre, an internationally recognised centre for translational research in sustainable agriculture, horticulture and food security. Students have previously had the opportunity to visit the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Plant Health and Seeds Inspectors at Heathrow Airport.

Students studying Sustainable Crop Production will learn from field visits over the course of the year, covering stages of field preparation, crop establishment, phases of growth and maturation and harvesting.

PGT students at a laptop

Assessments

Most modules have an in-module assessment and a post-module assessment.

In-module assessments may be group presentations or case studies, or for some modules may be a short-answer test.

Post-module assessments are normally a task for you to complete individually, such as an essay or report, with a deadline a few weeks after the end of the module.

Project dissertations

All masters degrees include a project. During your project you are closely supported by a member of staff. Most students will complete desk-based dissertations, but some complete lab-based or placement-based projects.

Biotechnology and Business Management
You will choose from a range of project topics areas offered by academic supervisors and will have the opportunity to develop your own project title. Students who are able to source a work placement for themselves are able to use their placement to form their project. This must be by agreement with the Project module leader, as the company and placement must be suitable.

Environmental Bioscience, Food Security and Sustainable Crop Production
You will choose from a range of projects offered by academic supervisors and also have the opportunity to develop your own project title in conjunction with your supervisor. Previously a small number of placement opportunities with host companies have been offered.

Ensuring your success

Alongside your studies there are a range of things available to enhance your experience within the School and ensure that you are fully supported:

Student Staff Liaison Committee

The Student Staff Liaison Committee is made up of student representatives from all taught postgraduate courses and members of staff. The committee provides a space for students to discuss anything related to teaching, learning and student support and get involved with the running of the School.

According to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2019), 94% of our students said 'I have appropriate opportunities to give feedback on my experience'.

Personal Tutors and Senior Tutor

Taught postgraduate students have a dedicated Senior Tutor as well as a personal tutor. Your personal tutor will be an academic member of staff. The role of a personal tutor is to give students help and advice about pastoral and academic matters, to signpost students to support services for further professional assistance; and to assist students with induction into university life.The Senior Tutor is responsible for the welfare of students in the department, which means they are always looking to improve your learning experience.

Quantitative Biology Centre (QuBiC)

QuBiC provides an opportunity for you to obtain support with the data handling skills that are important for Life Science research and a range of careers. The Centre provides drop-in sessions for students at all levels within the School.

Two female students smiling