Welcome New StudentsNew Undergraduate Students 2017/18

Hello and welcome to the Department of Biomedical Science! Firstly, congratulations on gaining a place at Sheffield University. Coming to Sheffield marks the end of one period of hard work and the beginning of a new chapter in your life.  We hope the next few years will be both enjoyable and fruitful.  This page aims to provide you with some information to help make the transition to University life as smooth as possible; it mirrors information sent to you in the post and/or by email.

The Registration and Student Services sections of the University will give you information about registration and financial matters, and the Accommodation Office will deal with queries about where to live. The Students’ Union will also be in touch with you regarding their activities.

This 'New Students' page, though, is from your academic department, Biomedical Science (BMS), and deals with matters related to your programme of study. It also contains some rather more relaxing information from BMSSoc, the department’s student society.

Please find time to visit the 'New Students' page on the Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) website, that contains details on the things you will need to know during your first few days at the University.
Also, check out the Students' Union Introduction to New Students page.

If you use Twitter, you can follow the University's Intro Week events at.
Follow @shefintro17

Interactive Campus Map


During Intro week you will also have many opportunities to meet other students, join sports clubs and Societies, meet your tutor, meet your mentor (if you have elected to have one), formally register for your degree, accommodation, the computing facilities, the library, etc. It will be a busy time!

Departmental Intro Week activities will focus on the academic part of your time at University including meeting your personal tutor and other staff, visiting the department, meeting other BMS students and exploring how to learn at University.

You can access central University Intro Week events using iSheffield, however, you should check the 'Timetable' tab for up-to-date information on departmental events. Make sure you have these in your diary and attend. You MUST ATTEND Monday 18 September 12pm (Noon). If you know you will be arriving late, please contact the Level 1 tutor, Dr Buck.

Also, please note that we will provide a white laboratory coat for the practical sessions held during the course, but of course you may bring and use your own (as long as it is in a reasonable condition).  A dissection kit is not required. Those of you with a smart phone should install a QR code reader app (many good free ones are available) prior to Intro Week.


Intro Week 2017: Events in Biomedical Science

Your guide to compulsory Departmental events and optional (fun!) BMS Society events in Intro week.

Check this again the day before you arrive, in case there are any late changes to rooming.

Check iSheffield for your central registration events.

Link to campus map

Monday 18th Sept 2017
Event Time Venue
Welcome to BMS (Registration Advice Session) 12.00 – 13.30 Dainton Building Lecture Theatre 1
First Group Tutorial (meet your Tutor). Half of the year group will attend this session. You will find out which session you are in on the 18th of September. 13.30 -15.00 Various venues, but you will be collected from the room listed above
Collection of signed module choice form (if needed) 15.00 – 16.00 BMS office, Firth Court
Tuesday 19th Sept 2017
No departmental events, check iSheffield for your central registration events.
Wednesday 20th Sept 2017
BMS Lab Induction (in tutor groups). You will be told when your session is at the Registration Advice Session on Monday 18th. 09:30-16:00 Perak Lab 3
Completer ‘Bio-orienteering’, MASH test and IT starter guide All day  
BMS Society presents 'Meet Our Committee' 18:30 High Tor 5
Thursday 21st Sept 2017
Welcome to BMS (Head of Department and Director of UG Studies talks, BMS Society) 14:00-15:30 Richard Roberts Building Auditorium
First Group Tutorial (meet your Tutor). Half of the year group will attend this session. You will find out which session you are in on the 18th of September. 15:30-17:00 Various venues, but you will be collected from the room listed above
Friday 21st Sept 2017
Introduction to learning in BMS 09:30-13:00 Diamond Lecture Theatre 1

This timetable is the same for all UG courses B900, B909, B901, B902, B911

Pre-arrival Tasks

Pre-arrival Tasks

Task 1: Tutorial Task

Your first tutorial will be held during Intro Week, either on Monday at 13.30 or Thursday at 15.30 depending on your tutorial group (you will be informed of this on Monday afternoon at the departmental advice session).  Part of the tutorial will involve discussion of the following task and you are therefore asked to prepare to discuss your answers at this meeting.

This work will not contribute to your degree marks, but is formative (i.e. helps to develop or ‘form’ your learning).
You can download the task document in Word (you can also type your answers in this document) or a PDF version to print and write on by hand.

Task 2: What type of Learner are you?

We would like you to think about your approach to learning and visit the following website, below, to help explore what 'type' of learner you are.

Most people have multiple approaches to learning and if you know your strengths you can make the most of them while at University.

Task 3: Download a free QR code reader (if your phone allows)


Highly Recommended Textbooks:

We recognize the pressures on the finances of new students so we have tried to reduce the amount of textbooks suggested for purchase to a minimum.

We consult closely with Blackwell’s University Bookshop in Sheffield. Blackwell’s University Bookshop on campus runs a Student Price-Match promotion. This offer guarantees that they will price-match to Amazon, Waterstones and other online retailers, ensuring students get the cheapest UK price on their texts. They also have a limited number of current edition 2nd hand copies available, as well as older editions from as little as £10.00 per copy.

Books can be pre-ordered from them and picked up from the campus shop on arrival. Their contact number is 0114 2787211. Alternatively you can email them at sheffield@blackwell.co.uk. They are based in the Jessop West Building (close to the Diamond).

Highly Recommended Textbooks

Molecular Biology of the Cell (6th Edition). Alberts, B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walters, P.  Publ. Garland. Value bundle from Blackwells includes the Problems Book.

Medical Physiology (3rd Edition) Boron, W and Boulpaep, E. Publ. Saunders.

Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. (4th Edition). Bear, M., Connors, B., Paradiso, M. Publ. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

Pharmacology (8th Edition) Rang H. et al Publ. Churchill Livingstone.

Principles of Development. (5th Ed.) Wolpert, L. And Tickle C. Publ. Oxford University Press. 2011. Good for Level 1 and 2 developmental biology.

These books are quite advanced and may look daunting to a first year student, however they are intended to be used for several modules in Level 1 and Level 2, with lasting benefit into Level 3 even though emphasis shifts to primary source material e.g. journal articles. We hope that these purchases would be the most cost-effective for you.

Other Textbooks

We will also make use of a number of other books over the course of Level 1 and Level 2. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the “handy to have” books.

Cell Biology. Pollard, T.D. and Earnshaw. Publ. W.C. Saunders. A less threatening alternative to Alberts, but may lack depth for Levels 2 and 3. Some cell biology lecturers use images from here.

Practical Skills in Biomolecular Sciences.  Reed, R., Holmes, D., Weyers, J. and Jones, A. Publ. Longman Press. Referred to quite a lot in Level 1 practicals.

Essential Developmental Biology. Slack, J. Publ. Blackwell Science, 2012.  Not as widely used as Wolpert, but covers useful ground, and some lecturers may prefer it for some aspects of Level 1 and Level 2 modules.

Basic Pathology: An Introduction to the Mechanisms of Disease. Lakhani, S., Dilly, S., Finlayson, C. and Dogan, A. Publ. Hodder Arnold. Really well written book that will be the basis for pathobiology lectures in Level 1 but it isn’t used on other BMS modules.

Non-technical reading

On a lighter note, the following is a list of some reading that we think you might find interesting, but none are essential.

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre (books or his newspaper column in the Guardian)

Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep by Timothy Verstynen, Bradley Voytek (interesting take on neuroscience!)

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes by Adam Rutherford

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

…And some quotes to inspire

Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. humorist, writer, and lecturer.

Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) American poet.

As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible but more mysterious.
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) German theologian, philosopher, and physician.

Module Choice

Module Choice and Online Module Selection

You have 10 credits of free choice in Level 1 (unrestricted modules) so you can select whatever Level 1 module you would like to do - subject to restrictions that the department running the module may have, and as long as there are no timetable clashes. Note that you may not take some MBB modules as these have too much overlap with BMS topics.

BMS run two optional 10 credit modules in L1. Please look at the information provided below and decide if you would like to take one of these. If you wish to take BMS114 or BMS110 then we encourage you to register for the module prior to your arrival using the Online Module Selection system (pre-registration task, available from 29 August 2017). Note: the places on these modules are capped.

BMS110 Research Topics in Biomedicine. Aims/Description: This module will allow students to develop an understanding of the research areas in Biomedical Science that inform our understanding of disease and the development of novel treatments in biomedicine.  The module will be delivered as a series of short research seminars, each focusing on a specific research area under investigation within the department.  Assessment of the module will be a combination of a multiple choice question (MCQ) exam and coursework.  The MCQ component will be an open book online exam that is completed during the module, assessing all seminars.  For the coursework students will write a summary of one of the research areas.

BMS114 Stem Cells and Society. Aims/Description: Stem Cells.  What are they? Where do they come from? What can we use them for? What are the ethical issues associated with their use?  Building on a basic understanding of cell biology this course will equip students with the knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of stem cells, the scientific and ethical issues of their clinical application and the future directions of stem cell biology in regenerative medicine. Examination by multiple choice question (MCQ) examination.

If you aren't decided, don't worry! There are many other options to choose from and you can register your 10 credit module during Intro Week - more advice on this during the Monday meeting and you can also read the information provided by the University on non-BMS modules in advance (Unrestricted Module Guide).

Note that the structure of the BMS degree first year means that you do not have BMS examinations in the Semester 1 examination period after Christmas but you do have a 'Mini-Project'. If you take a non-BMS optional module, we would prefer you to take a Semester 2 one to avoid possible clashes with your examinations. If you take a Semester 1 10 credit module, and know that your examination will be in the Jan/Feb examination period, please contact Dr Buck.

You will have a lot to think about in the coming few weeks. My good wishes to you and I hope you enjoy and make the most of this exciting time!

Lauren BuckLauren Buck (Year 1 tutor)

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 2391
Email: l.buck@sheffield.ac.uk