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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. In your first year you should expect around 10 lectures a week, a full day in the laboratory and a taught tutorial with your personal tutor and 6-7 of your peers. Independent learning, reading and preparing for lectures and preparing assessments will occupy the rest of your study time.

Lectures

Our lecture theatres are equipped with the latest equipment and different 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. Assessment of the knowledge gained through lectures is undertaken by in module multiple-choice tests and exams.

Laboratories

Laboratory based practical work is an integral part of all degrees in Life Sciences, providing you with the practical skills required as a modern scientist. You will follow a programme of taught labs in your first and second year and complete a six-week laboratory or data analysis project in the final year. Students progressing onto the integrated Masters programme extend their lab experience by completing a longer, 6-month project within the School or a 12-month industrial placement. Assessment of laboratories is undertaken through the production of scientific lab reports and data handling tasks.

Taught tutorials

Weekly tutorials in your first year and fortnightly in the second and final years, provide the opportunity to interact regularly with your personal tutor and a small group of peers. Tutorial sessions develop a range of scientific and transferable skills and ensure that you gain regular feedback on your academic progress. Your personal tutor stays with you throughout your degree and is your point of call for any academic or welfare support. Assessment of tutorials includes the production of a scientific poster, analysis and discussion of academic papers and seminar presentations.

Projects and research placement opportunities

All degrees include a research project in the final year. You can choose from a range of laboratory-based and data analysis projects offered by academic staff in a wide range of diverse areas. During your project you are closely supported by a member of staff and carry out your research in the School’s state-of-the-art facilities.

During your time at Warwick, you have the opportunity to apply for and obtain research experience during the vacations, when you can work alongside PhD students, technicians and postdoctoral staff in our research laboratories or outside the University in a range of other organisations. These vacation projects attract a variety of bursaries including the Warwick URSS scheme.

Field courses

Field courses are an important part of learning in Life Sciences. A range of optional field courses are currently available in the second year:

  • Pembroke, Wales
  • Brazil (subject to availability of host institute)

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 undergraduate 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.

BioSoc – the University’s Biology Society

Friendly, innovative and open to anyone, the society is a focal point for all biology students. The student-led society run peer support sessions, socials and events throughout the year. Being part of BioSoc is also a great way of meeting new people and making friends on your course.

Senior Tutors

Each year group has a dedicated Senior Tutor. As a team, the Senior Tutors are 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.

Lecture

Teaching lab

Tutorial

Pembrokeshire fieldtrip