Hear from some of our students about their experience of studying on our BSc Immunology and Infection programme:
“Never in a million years would I have thought I would genuinely be excited to attend lectures. The lecturers were not merely regurgitating textbooks, they were actually enlightening us with their very own research. UCL houses many well-esteemed researchers at the forefront of immunology and infection research which can clearly be seen in the content that I was taught. Furthermore, the research project was the highlight of my year, where I got to work in a team of brilliant people. This deepened my love for research and inspired me to pursue a PhD. Lastly, the support given by Prof Milne and Biljana really makes you feel taken care of. I can’t count the number of times I stumbled into their offices to rant about my academic and career progression struggles which was always received with open arms. I could not recommend this course enough! Two thumbs up!"
Li Rong Tan, BSc Student 2019-20
I switched from BSc Biomedical Science to BSc Immunology and Infection and it was one of the most rewarding decisions I made in my time at UCL. As you can take almost all the I&I modules outside of the programme, the real value of the BSc Immunology and Infection programme is the learning outside lectures. For example, in our year, 5-6 students were paired with a senior researcher, and every 2-3 weeks we would have a journal club. These casual but intense meetings gave me insight as to how to approach, critique, and understand scientific writing.
Another unique learning opportunity are the bi-annual symposiums (opportunities to present your lab project. Because of the small cohort, each student is allowed ample time to discuss their finding and time to answer on-the-spot questions from their peers or more senior research staff. These two events taught me how to be a confident scientific communicator.
There are the little things too. Your peers will motivate you to work harder as everyone operates at such a high level. Your project supervisor or Professor Milne will sit down with you to help you with your professional development. The Department will hold internal seminars to keep you at the cutting edge of infection and immunology science. As I start work as a research assistant with a PhD offer at the University of Hong Kong, I can't help but to feel grateful for the BSc Immunology and Infection programme."
Walton Chan, BSc Student 2018-19
This degree programme is the best thing ever! I chose to transfer from the Biomedical Sciences BSc because I’d enjoyed the Infection and Immunology modules the most in second year, and I’m so glad I did. It was definitely the most difficult, the most rewarding and the most enjoyable year of my degree. Right from the beginning, you’re expected to not just learn information, but to critically analyse it; making connections across subject areas and coming up with your own ideas. There were times when I felt totally out of my depth, especially around my research project, but I remembered Dr Milne’s advice and kept calm, did my best, asked for help when I needed it, and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. It was challenging at the time but I learnt I could step up to the plate and it’s been invaluable in allowing me to grow as both a scientist and a person. My academic confidence has grown immensely over the year and the skills I have learnt will stay with me for the rest of my career. Furthermore, the extra advice and support I received from Dr Milne and my peers with regards to my application to study medicine means I will now be starting on the graduate medicine course at Imperial this year. I honestly could not recommend this course more highly and I am very grateful to all the tutors, lecturers, journal club leaders, administration staff and my fellow course mates for making it such a brilliant year!
Here’s an acrostic poem to show my love for the I&I BSc:
V - Very challenging, Varied content. Don’t be fooled! It might be immunology and infection focussed, but there is plenty of cell biology, biochemistry, public health, clinical information etc - there’s something for everyone.
I - Individual interests. The chance to tailor your research project to something you are truly interested in - the best part of the course (and the main reason I transferred from Biomed).
R - Research, Relationships. All teaching is based on real research, delivered by real researchers at the top of their field. And being a small year group means you get to know your teachers and classmates much better!
U - Useful skills. From critically reading and analysing original research papers to practical lab techniques, these skills will come in useful in any science or medicine-related career.
S - Small year group, Support. Having fewer than 30 people in your year means that everyone knows everyone and the teachers actually have a clue who you are. Small group journal clubs are great for building confidence around scientific literature. The academic and administrative staff are always happy to chat and help in any way they can. They’re amazing!
Alexandra Kondratiuk, BSc Student 2017-18
I started off my education at UCL studying biomedical sciences but I had always had a feeling I would go down the route of infectious diseases. With this and after two fascinating introductory modules in second year on Immunology and Infection it was only logical that I transferred to the Immunology and Infection BSc for my final year. This turned out to be the best decision I think I have ever made not just because of the large range of modules in which I was able to explore this field further but also due to the care and support of the course organisers. With their help I was directed to work on my dissertation project in the Towers lab working on HIV which enhanced my love research and ultimately led to my choice to undertake a PhD at Oxford. The Immunology and Infection BSc is a brilliant course for making connections and forming close relationships with scientists of all levels (students to professors) without which I would never be where I am now."
Alun Vaughn-Jackson, BSc Student 2015-16
“I transferred from BSc Biomedical Sciences to the BSc Immunology & Infection for my final year (2014-15). The course was immensely enjoyable and left me feeling both prepared and excited for a career in research. I think the extended laboratory-based research project is a key strength of the course. My project was based in the Towers Lab where I investigated the role of an HIV protein in viral immune evasion. The lectures and tutorials were great for introducing a variety of different research areas whilst also allowing us to explore our own specific interests in more depth. There was a lot of opportunity for discussion in lectures and tutorials and it was great to have both science and medical students in the same class. Finally, the staff in the division are very approachable and supportive."
Layal Liverpool, BSc Student 2014-15