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The BA in Biomedical Sciences is a three-year degree course, which provides an integrated understanding of how cells, organs and systems function in the human body, relating this knowledge to scientific research.
Trinity College has a strong tradition in the biomedical sciences, having hosted two Nobel Prize winners in related fields. The first, Rodney Porter, whose medal was recently donated to the college, received the Nobel Prize in 1972 for deciphering the structure of antibody molecules. Hans Krebs, of ‘Krebs Cycle’ fame, was also a fellow of Trinity and received the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work on cellular metabolism in 1953. With such an illustrious history, biomedical science continues to play an important part in the life of the college. The research interests of current Fellows and Lecturers are diverse, covering fundamental aspects of physiology, cell biology, pathology, neuroscience and cancer. All of them enjoy discussing their research with our undergraduates.
We are looking for applicants who are fascinated by how the human body works and who are highly motivated to undertake tutorial and practical work (with significant levels of independent study) across molecular, cellular and systems biology and neuroscience. You should check the course requirements to make sure that you are studying the relevant subjects at A Level or equivalent.
Throughout the course students will attend departmental lectures, seminars and practical classes. Students will also prepare for tutorials (usually one to two per week) which, during the first two years, will be held in College, and are provided by Trinity’s own Fellows and Lecturers. In the third year, an exchange system with other colleges allows students to choose to have tutorials in specific topics relevant to their chosen subjects and individual interests.
The first year course covers numerical and scientific skills (Mathematics and Statistics, Chemistry and Physics), body and cells, genes and molecules, brain and behaviour. Assessment is carried out by a combination of written exam papers and the student’s record in practical sessions.
In the Second Year (Part I Finals), students are able to pursue the topics that most interest them, selecting ten courses from a wide range of subjects (e.g. Psychological processes and disorders, intra- and intercellular signalling, and pharmacology). Students are assessed again through written exam papers and their practical record. The final term of the Second Year focuses on experimental research in a laboratory setting.
During the Third Year (Part II Finals), students continue to work on their research project. They submit a project report and deliver a presentation on their research findings to the examiners. Options available for study in the Third Year include infection, immunity, molecular pathology and cellular and systems neuroscience. According to the specialisms students have developed through second and third year options, they will be awarded either a degree in Cell and Systems Biology or in Neuroscience.
The BA in Biomedical Sciences provides a strong foundation for those wishing to develop a career in basic research and opportunities to develop the necessary practical skills, both through scheduled practical classes and a dedicated research project in the second and third year. There are also opportunities for internships in laboratories in the scientific departments of the University which inevitably provides an essential insight into academic science as a career. The proximity of Trinity to the University’s Science area, where many of the pre-clinical departments are located, helps students to forge close ties with individual laboratories. Graduates in Biomedical Sciences also go on to pursue successful careers in industry and in the pharmaceutical sector, and some will take on further study before becoming clinicians.
Trinity is able to offer financial support (for travel and living costs) to students undertaking internships and other work related to their degree.