Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Biomedical Sciences


We typically seek to admit two students a year for Biomedical Sciences.

We asked Prof Pawel Swietach to tell us a little more about Biomedical Science at Corpus. If you'd like to get the student view, head over to our Biomedical Sciences Subject Ambassador page.


 


1. What does the Biomedical Sciences course cover?
Biomedical Sciences - or BMS as our students like to call it - will help you understand how your body works, recognise how this knowledge is applied to medical practice today, and inspire you to think of future directions of research.  The first year is designed to give you a taster of the six key disciplines relating to molecules, genes, cells, body, brain and behaviour, and to train you in essential scientific skills, such as maths and stats, that will assist in your transition towards a biomedical scientist. After passing exams in the first year, you are given considerable freedom to pick-and-mix from the large number of options to design a course that best fits your interest.  We've had students interested in the immunology of neural disorders and others in the mechanisms of HIV replication; I'm interested in how acidity affects tissues in health and disease.  Our BMS students graduate with a degree in Neuroscience or in Cells and Systems Biology, depending on which options they choose.  BMS is an exciting opportunity to study a highly interdisciplinary subject.

2. What do students typically find most challenging and most rewarding about the course?
There's a big transition between school and university in terms of breadth and depth of learning, and this is well illustrated by the six threads of BMS in year one.  Our students tell us about "eureka" moments towards the latter half of year one, as they put the human puzzle together, and things begin to make sense.  The course in years two and three offers a lot of freedom of choice, but also expects successful students to be well organized and highly driven.  We think that as part of this learning process, our graduates have excellent skills for the job market.

3. What do you see as the benefits of studying BMS at Corpus?
At Corpus, we have a lively biomedical community of students and fellows.  You will get to meet the fellows in formal teaching classes, but also during social events.  We will monitor your progress and guide you through the course, so that you identify your skills quickly and progress along the learning trajectory that best suits you.  You'll find the student community very supportive and exceptionally friendly.

4. Who teaches BMS at Corpus
In the first year, Corpus tutors will be seeing you twice a week for tutorials. This includes me, and my colleagues including Prof Robin Murphy of the Department of Psychology. You will have a named mentor who will monitor your progress and see you throughout the year.  In years 2 and 3, we arrange that the best experts teach you in your selected options - this often means that you will be taught in other colleges, that have in-house expertise. 

5. What have students from the least few years gone on to do after their degree?
Biomedical Sciences is still a relatively new subject in our university - Corpus has seen two years graduate so far; we try to stay in touch with students.  We've had graduates moving into biomedical engineering and behavioural neuroscience programmes.  Examples of career aspirations that our current students have are to undertake further research (such as a PhD), enter an accelerated medical course, write for science journals, work in patent law or in the pharmaceutical industry, though many BMS graduates look into a hugely diverse range of non-scientific careers too.

6. Is there something unique or different in the BMS application process?
All colleges that accept applications for BMS take part in a centralised admissions process.  This involves a written test called the BMAT.  Medical applicants also take this test.  We then shortlist candidates on the basis of their BMAT results and also information given in their UCAS form relating to grades at GCSE or equivalent, if available. Shortlisted candidates are invited to interview in Oxford (an interview by Skype may be arranged if you meet the criterion). Visit the BMS website to learn more about the interview process. All colleges use the same criteria, but may ask different types of questions to probe your abilities.  We always like to learn about your experiences in biomedical sciences and research, and you will be given the opportunity to talk about what excites you most!


 



 


 



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