Exploring options in Biosciences

The process of choosing what subject to study at university can be a difficult choice for many A-Level and AS-Level students. To help with the decision The University of Sheffield held an event for prospective students to talk to current students from a variety of subject areas to gauge their interest in the area and discuss relevant career options.

Around 60 AS-Level students attended the event discussing University options in biology or biotechnology. Eleven departments, from across the faculties of science, engineering and medicine, Dentistry and Health, were present: Animal Plants Sciences; Bioengineering; Biomedical Science; Chemistry; Human Communications Sciences; Medicine; Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; Orthoptics; Psychology; School of Clinical Dentistry and the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Interactive Stands

Each department was represented at their own stand manned by ambassadors from various levels of study. Each had various interactive elements for students to have a taster of the various subjects. Medicine allowed students to perform injections on a training mannequin; similarly, the nursing stand provided students the opportunity to practice resuscitation.

The Chemistry stand at the biosciences event Sam Ashworth demonstrating chemistry at the biosciences eventFaculty of science subjects proved to be very popular among students. The MBB stand allowed students to see some of the latest Virtual Reality technology to view the structure of DNA like never before. While the chemistry stand, manned by Dr Jim Reid, Sam Ashworth (on right picture), Charlotte Kiker and David Cousins included demonstrations of dry-ice and pH measurements; a selection of Dr Jo Buckleys edible experiments such as tasks to identify the esters present in fruit, and identifying supertasters.

Taster Lectures

The day also provided students the opportunity to experience “taster” lectures. Director of Undergraduate Studies of the BMS department Dr Louise Robson gave students a lecture on Cystic Fibrosis. The lecture is delivered to level 2 undergraduate students, only tailored to the typical understanding of an AS-level student. In addition, Anne Bjerre spoke to students about her field of Orthoptics, a subject students might not have considered, to discuss the journey of degrees.

Taster lectures introduced students to one of the biggest differences of university education. Teaching schemes at school typically involving higher contact times and small group contact, incontrast the majority of university teaching is perfomred in lecture theatres to a larger group with self-study being prevalent.

Written By:
Joe Clarke

With thanks to Dr Sara Bacon, , Dr Jim Reid, Sam Ashworth, Charlotte Kiker and David Cousins