Life Sciences – Modules, Timetables and Advice from students.
As a First-Year Life Science student, you will find that you have quite a few contact hours, many more than some of your friends in other degrees and courses. This is no reason to panic, but it is nice to have an idea of what you can expect. So I’ve gone ahead and compiled all the timetabling and module information I could get for each course at Warwick SLS. I’ve spoken to students in other degrees as well, to get you the most accurate information! So, without further ado, please, read on!
Quick disclaimer, you should not use the information here as an exact plan of how your timetable will look like this year. Because of COVID, and the unpredictability of the situation, timetables are going to be very very different and far more susceptible to change this year.
- Lectures are all going to be online for the time being, and they won’t be timetabled quite the same way.
- – Labs are hopefully going to be in person, but they will probably more spaced out and very differently timetabled because of the precautions to be taken.
- – You will have tutorials, but not the same as usual.
(I will be making a video about what to expect this weekend)This is more of a guide to show you how much work there is in a week typically, and how you should think about managing time 🙂
Okay, now you can read on!
All of the Life Sciences Degrees, Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Neuroscience, follow the same basic core modules in the first year.
First-Year Core Modules (All Life Sciences)
- MCO – Molecules, Cells, and Organisms (Continued in Term 3)
- AoID – Agents of Infectious Disease
- Quant – Quantitative Skills for Biology
- P&M – Physiology and Metabolism
Each of these modules covers the basics to studying any biology-related degree, starting you off with the small molecular compositions and functions of cells, and building up into organisms, and then ultimately how they work, and how different organisms interact with each other and their environments.
Another module that you may have to take is Chemistry for Biologists. You will only have to take this if you haven’t taken Chemistry at A-level, or the equivalent. This is a pass-fail module. You do worksheets with the chemistry necessary to understand the contents of the degree, and then take an assessment at the end of term 1, and again in term 3. You only need to get 40% to pass, and you need to pass in order to continue on to Year 2.
Of course, they wouldn’t be separate degrees if they all followed the exact same modules. Aside from the main core modules, if you do Biochemistry or Biological Science, you have a few extra core modules. And if you do Biomedical Science or Neuroscience, then you get a few options as well 🙂
BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES & NEUROSCIENCE
I’ve put both of these together because in your first year both courses have the same core modules, as well as the same optional ones.
Your core modules are the ones I’ve listed above.
- AAH – Animal Anatomy & Histology
- H&C – Health and the Community
- EB – Environmental Biology
You get to choose 2 out of these three options to take in term 2. Your decision will depend a lot on what type of science you are more into.
AAH is a very lab-based module. You are very hands-on with dissecting, cutting real tissue samples, staining those samples and learning how to identify different tissue and cell types. There are only 4 lectures, which are to prepare you for the labs.
H&C is all about diseases and how they spread, becoming epidemics or pandemics (hehe, kinda relevant right now). You will learn all about the very deep and intricate link between diseases and humans.
EB is not a module that I took, because plant biology isn’t something I’m super interested in. However, if you are considering going down the less human route in biology, then this may be a good module for you 🙂
- From me (a 2nd Year): Though it seems like a lot, it really is manageable! Do your assignments on time, and keep up, but don’t forget to have fun. Your first year is a learning experience all around, both in learning how to study a university-level science degree, and learning who you are, and how to have fun at a university level.”
Pay attention to the week labellings – the timetable will vary from week to week 🙂 I’d also like to note, I’m not sure how labs are being organised this term, due to COVID-19, so I can only share my experience from last year.
Term 1: Yes, I got Wednesdays off 🙂 It was a true blessingTerm 2: Again, look at weeks! You won’t have a full Monday every Monday!!
- Organic Chemistry – Term 1 and 2
- Physical Chemistry – Term 2
These two core modules are actually run by the chemistry department, so biochemists are the only life science students who have any lectures in central campus. Aside from the lectures, you also take part in chemistry labs in term 1, which I’ve been told are less time consuming, but more mundane than the biology labs.
This will mean that you will sometimes have to leave your life science lectures slightly early to make it down to chemistry for those lectures, but don’t worry, the lecturers completely understand, and work to accommodate this.
Plus, with the high chance that lectures will be online, at least for term 1, It’ll mean that you won’t need to physically move to get to your next lecture, so you probably won’t miss anything at all!
Biochemistry is such a full course, so there are no optional modules for you to take in your first year. But trust me, you’ll have plenty to do throughout the year!
- From a 3rd Year: “As difficult as it may seem while you’re in it, it gets easier. So just chill and enjoy first year!”
- From a 2nd Year: “Power walk! And make sure to stay on top of Organic in order to really understand it.”
Term 1:Term 2:
- Environmental Biology
- A&P – Animal and Plant Biology
Both of these modules are in term 2, so your first term will look pretty identical to Biomed or Neurosci students. And since Environmental Biology is optional for Biomed and Neurosci, there is a chance that you will have second term lectures with a lot of them too. As told to me by a second-year Biosci student, both of these modules are very broad, covering a huge range of topics, in a short time. They are more of a set-up so that you can then go into further detail in year 2.
There are no optional modules for Biological Sciences because you already have two more modules in term 2.
- From a 2nd Year: “Just turn up! And if you miss, don’t wait too long to catch up. Also, remember that lectures will answer pretty much any questions you have, so ask away!”
Term 1: This is how anyone taking Chemistry for biologists would have it.Term 2:
I hope this is helpful to all you prospective Warwick SLS students 🙂 If you have any further or extra questions regarding this, or anything at all, just ask!