Course MRes Molecular and Cellular Biology
Country United Kingdom
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Hi Liam, could you please tell me roughly how the terms and holidays are distributed in an MRe molecular and cellular biology course?
How did you fund your MRes? I’ve noticed that postgraduate loans cover tuition fees but don’t really seem to cover much of the cost of living, did you get a job or seek funding from organisations?
Apologies for the late reply I have had some time away and trouble logging in.
The cost of my course was £4200 this year and the loan you can take out can be up to £10,000 I believe.
Although, I am local and I am fortunate enough to live at home and commute in which was cheaper than rent but not by much with both train fare and bus fare combined.
I an addition to my studies I worked as a cleaner part-time but this was easy to fit around as my course is an MRes and I could go into the lab when needed and this was flexible. I would recommend finding part-time work if you need to but I would not take on too many hours so that it impacts your work.
I am also a postgraduate ambassador, and I would recommend applying as it is paid work and flexible and usually only a few hours or days at a time and mostly on weekends for open days.
I hope this helps with your question, feel free to ask further questions if you need to.
Can you recommend an helpful book to study while we wait for the courses to begin? Where can i find more information of the modules?
Do you have access to Canvas prior to your start date? They should have or should email soon your login details or a website to create log in details.
If so you could look for your specific module in Canvas and see if the lecturers or module / course leads have uploaded resources such as books and online texts or even the module presentations. These could be a start and will prepare you well for your course material.
If you don’t have access to Canvas yet you could always email your module / course leads for recommended texts for reading or look for related texts in your local library or journals online.
I hope this helps. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?
I would say to ask yourself what you want to get from the course and where you want to be after the course has finished. This will determine a few things like the subject area that you want a masters degree in as it is more refined compared to your undergraduate degree as well as the type of masters you want to do, be it a research masters or a taught masters. Both me and a friend did the same undergraduate degree at a different university but have both ended up doing different masters at the University of Birmingham as we are interested in different fields.
How will your degree prepare you for what you want to do afterwards?
The course is directly suited to preparing me for a PhD in Molecular Biosciences due to the modules in how to go about acquiring funding as well as the current and relevant techniques within the field. On top of this the research projects that we do as part of the course provides you with good hands on experience in actual research labs that publish papers with professionals conducting their own research in various areas.
Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?
I chose the University of Birmingham due to the University being part of the Russell group and prestigious within the league tables, at 15th out of 129 institutions. On top of this, the course was suited perfectly for what I want to do, with the models preparing you for life as a molecular researcher as well as the two research projects. The research projects allow you to get a flavour of what researching is like while also giving you experience in the role, which will look good on PhD applications as well as giving you and developing key relevant skills.
Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?
For me personally I do not think there was a large transition between undergraduate and postgraduate study. So far it feels like a continuation of the third year of my undergraduate degree as the workload currently is similar and I am in the same mindset and have the same work ethic. From experience, the gaps between GCSE and A-levels and A-levels and Undergraduate study were bigger than the gap between degrees, as the levels really changed and what was expected from you between these modes of study, whereas with postgraduate degrees you have already grown accustom to the type of work and Journal articles and Referencing etc.
What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?
I chose to undertake the MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology as I want to do a PhD and this course is excellent in preparing someone for that. This is because as part of the modules within the course you are taught the theory behind relevant techniques within the field and also how to apply for funding grants or how to start a business, depending on what route you want to take following your course and/or PhD. Additionally, because of how the way the course is structured (being an MRes) you carry out two research projects and these can potentially be with any supervisor and a whole range of fields. Mine for instance are metabolomics and cell death, two very different fields.