Second Year of Integrated Science: Mini module reviews
I’ve not finished my second year of MSci Integrated Science yet, but my all the teaching is finished and term 3 is mostly going to be exams. Therefore, this seems a good time to reflect on what I spent the year so far and briefly review this year’s modules. Though these are only my opinions, hopefully this might be useful and/or interesting! (Also, note that in future years of Integrated Science, compulsory and optional modules may be different.)
LF208 Enzymology (compulsory)
This is one of those modules that feels a little bit ‘important, but not that fun’. However, I did enjoy getting to do some more hardcore chemistry (mechanisms and kinetics) than there was last year or in other modules. The lab for this was interesting but the write-up was a little gruelling, as we had two weeks to write two reports.
LF219 Tools for Biochemical Discovery (compulsory)
Again, this module felt quite ‘boring, but important’ as it is mostly talking through different techniques for analysis. Although there was quite a lot of content, I found most of it straightforward to understand and there was some interesting physics involved in how a few of the techniques work. The lab was quite long but had a straightforward write up.
LF244 Protein Structure and Function (compulsory)
I enjoyed this module as it was a mixture of chemistry, analysis techniques and biology. Also, it was mostly stuff I’d already learned about in more detail, so was interesting without being overwhelming. The lab was in silico (on the computers) and quite straightforward, though I didn’t get a brilliant mark for my report.
LF252 Molecular Endocrinology (optional)
I found it really tricky to choose modules and though I thought molecular endocrinology sounded really interesting, I was worried I’d be out of my depth or it would be really hardcore biochemistry. Now, I’m glad I took it because it’s a very interesting module. Endocrinology (the study of hormones) is very easy to relate to your life experiences and this module also included more clinical information than other modules. However, there are a few quite complicated chemical pathways covered and I’ll have to wait for the exam to find out how well I understand them. I enjoyed the fact that different lecturers covered different parts of this as it felt like they were all enthusiastic about their topic. There was no lab for this module, but we did make a group poster using Microsoft Sway, which was a new and quite fun assessment method for me.
LF264 Immunology (optional)
Again I wasn’t sure about taking this one, but again I’m glad I did. It built nicely on from the block on the immune system we did in year 1, so again wasn’t too overwhelming. I think the immune system is super interesting as it relates directly to your life and is so fascinatingly clever. The assessment for this was quite a manageable question sheet on two scientific papers which we had quite a long time to tackle. I thought the lectures for this module were particularly well delivered, especially as these were prerecorded and online.
Integrated Science Modules: MD2A1 and MD2A2
MD2A1 was our fortnightly tutorial sessions. These were great as they covered things like how to read, write and critically review papers, how to present, careers advice and job interviews. They were fun and relaxed sessions. We had two assignments for this module: one quite a long peer review paper, which was a bit tricky as it was different from other writing we’d done; the other was to write a title and abstract for a paper, which was quite a lot more straightforward.
MD2A2 was split into three blocks: the first on gene networks, the second on high-throughput data analysis and the third on maths (this will be changed to population ecology in future). We also had a year-long project for this module. I quite enjoyed all aspects of this, and I will write a future post going into more detail about what we did and how it was.
Thanks for reading!