With induction week over, third year is now underway with linear algebra, programming, molecular evolution, a journal club, and a lot of papers on solvating metals in helium nanodroplets. The first social event held by the I-Science Society is also now just around the corner, with laser tag taking place this coming Monday, and it looks to be the biggest social yet due to the amount of new natural sciences students!
Having now been here for two years (or three including the foundation year), it’s been interesting seeing how the course has been refined, particularly in the student staff committee meetings that take place twice a term. Here elected course representatives (usually one per year) come and give feedback about the course, and the staff often suggest minor changes and ask for the students’ opinion. I was course rep for years one and two and I was really surprised how receptive the staff were to our ideas. Advanced study modules, for example, were initially only planned for first year students, but after my year expressed interest in these they were also designed for the second year (coincidentally these were my favourite modules and made me decide on the area of my third year project!). The department is also very supportive of the I-Science Society, offering to publicise events and help with projects where being involved is an advantage (such as the buddy system we set up last year), so it’s a good chance to let them know what we’re up to. Speaking of the society, anyone wishing to keep up to date with news and events, or any interdisciplinary research can join the society’s Facebook group and Twitter page!
As the size of the years in natural sciences is much smaller than other degrees, I think it allows your voice to really be heard in how the course should continue to develop, and I really encourage anyone thinking about applying to go for it.