The design of this innovative course is driven by the belief that the best way to learn science is to do science. During the whole of your first year, you will spend roughly half your time in the lab, doing experiments. The instructors on this course are all accomplished scientists and they will work closely with you to help you develop as an experimental scientist. You will learn lab skills by doing experiments that address unsolved scientific questions, right from the outset.
Year one is divided into two-week blocks, with each block defined by a scientific question. We begin Term 1 with four weeks (2 blocks) of introductory experimental skills and computer skills and then progressively increase the size-scale of the problems, moving on from Atoms and Molecules (Term 1) to Organelles and Cells (Term 2) and finally Organisms and Populations (Term 3).
In years 2 and 3, your course will make extensive use of existing, highly successful modules within the School of Life Sciences. To do this, your cohort will largely merge with a much larger cohort of SLS students for classes, alongside an ongoing programme of WMS integrated science labs and tutorials that aims further to develop your integrated science skills.
In year 4, you will focus almost entirely on lab-based experimental research, pursuing your own project, embedded in an active research lab and closely supported by the lab’s lead. You will then write a Masters thesis, and graduate with a Masters in Integrated Science.
In your first year you will learn through a combination of:
Lecture series delivered by an active researcher in the field, drawing on cross-disciplinary concepts and teaching the theory to be applied in the problem-sets and labs.
Working with your peers, you will be presented with real-world unsolved scientific problems and tasked with identifying solutions, drawing on understanding from your lecture series.
You will work in small teams, guided by active research scientists with international reputations, to conduct experiments addressing original, unsolved scientific problems. You will receive support to develop lab skills if you have limited or no experience in conducting experiments.
You will be taught computer coding skills using languages such as MATLAB and Python, enabling you to develop computer simulations to formalise and test hypotheses.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment for the course ranges from traditional examination and assignment-based work through to peer-reviewed group assignments, presentations, lab reports and individual oral assessment.