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Studying and Courses

A typical week for a 1st year Biomedical science/Human Biology student*

Hannah is here to give you the inside track on Biomedical Science and Human Biology at Queen's...

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A-levels are over, you’re ready to relax but you realise September isn’t so far away. Thoughts turn to university and you perhaps realise that you’re not quite sure what you’ve signed yourself up for…

As part of the course you’ll take on 3 modules – Human Structure and Function (HSF), World of Microorganisms (WOM) and Molecular Basis of Life (MBL).

WOM and MBL are part of the School of Biological Sciences – in these modules you’ll be seated alongside Biologists, Zoologists, Medicinal Chemists and many others. These are also the bigger modules with 300 in each!

These modules have lectures on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In addition to this you’ll also sit a 3 hour lab once a week.

HSF happens on Tuesday and Thursday (so yes… you’ll be in everyday of the week). The class is a lot smaller – 115 people. The content here is pretty varied and you’ll have a mixture of lectures, practicals (anatomy and physiology) and tutorials.

Here’s a sample of a typical week from my timetable:

sample timetable 


As a whole the lecturers are very accessible. You can easily contact them by their email – either to get an answer to your question or arrange to meet with them if you’re have particular difficulty with something. You can just as easily approach them at the end of the lecture.

Extra studying

You are expected to work outside the lecture hours but how much or how little you do is up to you. They give you estimates for how long you should spend (we were told at the start we should expect 9-5 days) but work it into a schedule that suits you. I know from experience that going over a lecture can take me from 1 to 3 hours!

Almost all lecturers will also provide you with additional reading to go alongside the lecture – it’s great for learning more about a topic… especially if it’s an area you are specifically interested in.

What is a practical?

All practicals are timetabled and are carried out in one of Queen's many labs. You’ll learn many techniques that are used in professional laboratories. They also give you the opportunity to visualise what you have been learning in lectures.

What is a tutorial?

Tutorials are part of the HSF module. They provide an opportunity to apply what you have been learning in lectures to real life situations. I definitely find them challenging as sometimes the answer isn’t always clear so they’re a great opportunity to ask questions too. 

They’re also great for interacting with the lecturer who’ll be able to guide the direction of your thoughts to help you answer the question.

Assessments and examination

Throughout the year you will sit a number of assessments across all three modules. The marks from the assessments are included in your final module mark. Assessments can take very different forms – computer multiple choice, written or group work!

In the case of WOM and MBL weekly labs also make up part of your final mark.  At the end of the year you each module requires you to sit a written exam.

Once you’ve got through all this you’re more than ready for the weekend to come!

Find out more about studying Human Biology or Biomedical Science at Queen's. 

*In first year Human Biologists and Biomedical Scientists have an identical timetable.


Hannah Badger 

Human Biology | 1st year | Portadown, Northern IrelandHannah profile

I’m a 20-year-old Human Biology student, commuting to Queens on a daily basis. Never known to turn down a chai latte or slice of cake. Admirer of art and theatre enthusiast. On the side I’m an amateur crafter hoping to progress to greater things. Hope you enjoy my blogs!

Photo: Hannah Badger
Hannah Badger
BSc (Hons) Human Biology