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6 UK Life Science schools at the forefront of today’s most pressing health issues

Life Sciences are essential for the progression and survival of the world’s living organisms. We are all affected by the groundbreaking discoveries made in this ever-evolving ecosystem of innovational science. But research is crucial to the process as our understanding of life on earth can never be fully resolved, and there is always room for improvement on existing ideals. With our transitional and fluid society, global issues in human health are forever changing, requiring us to adjust our focus whilst keeping the broader picture in the frame; as noted by the Office for Life Sciences on our changing world, ‘In confronting these realities, traditional ways of working will become outdated.’

Research and degree programmes could never be more important. Now is the time for fresh, innovative thinkers in the field.

With patients at the centre of their model, a strategy put forward by the Office for Life Sciences, wills the UK to ‘[…] become the global hub for life sciences’, but regardless of the business industry (pharmaceutical companies etc.) and the NHS (the world’s largest single-payer healthcare system), academic innovations stand as the foundations for the future in human healthcare research.

Arguably, there are some neglected areas regarding modern healthcare concerns. Mental health issues, for example, have risen in numbers so strong that they now account for the highest percentage (28%) of all diseases in the UK, but at the same time only receive 5.5% of the total funding put into the UK’s healthcare research spending. Dementia still has no cure and Alzheimer’s Research UK implores that, ‘We need more of the best scientists working in this field. Alzheimer’s Research UK wants to see 50 percent more neurodegeneration researchers by 2020.’

Image courtesy of Glasgow Caledonian University

And what better way to understand the most pressing global issues in health than with a new generation of students under the pressure of these concerns, preparing a future of their own as the people they care about most reap the benefits of their achievements.

Where can you find yourself at the forefront of this valuable research?

SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES, GLASGOW CALEDONIAN UNIVERSITY

Making up a third of the academic practices at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), the School of Health and Life Sciences has recently gained a £45 million investment in new cutting-edge facilities. With this contribution, GCU has dedicated itself to the future of first-class education, making it one of the most contemporary and forward-thinking universities in the UK. Confirmed by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework results, GCU retains its position as a ‘world-class research institution’, with the Life Sciences department offering five core subjects as degrees and research courses: Biomedical Science; Biomolecular, Microbiology and Food Science; Human Nutrition and Dietetics; Physiology and Pharmacology, and Visual Sciences.

GCU has pledged to the ‘Common Good’ to positively affect the conditions of human health, with its current research aimed at 21st century societal concerns. GCU aspires to construct inclusive societies, to focus on healthy living, and look to build sustainable environments, as sustainability is key to progression.

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF YORK

Image courtesy of the University of York

Rated first in the UK for research impact and consistently making the UK’s top 6 for Biological Sciences, the University of York offers over 50 years of teaching experience focused on Biology. Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for their undergraduate degree courses, York graduates are entitled to the title of Chartered Biologist.

With a highly regarded and broad portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, York boasts a leading Biological research department where it proactively takes on the challenges of the world, including the current impact of health and disease, sustainable provisions in food and fuel, and climate change, looking to conserve our transforming environment to secure a healthier, prosperous future.

COLLEGE OF LIFE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

Combining the complementary disciplines of Biosciences, Geography, Psychology, and Sports and Health Sciences, the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter provides a rigorous, diverse and interdisciplinary teaching portfolio. As a reputed facet of a renowned Russell Group institution, the College is committed to pursuing world-class teaching and research to make a tangible, positive difference in our ever-changing world.

Placing heavy emphasis on the provision of outstanding, innovative teaching informed by ground-breaking research, the College nurtures a collaborative learning environment alongside an unforgettable student experience. Students benefit from access to Exeter’s first-rate facilities, including subject-specific equipment so you can get the best out of your specialised education. Investment in fresh and updated facilities has already enhanced the experience of Life Sciences at Exeter University and, with further investments being implemented, students have a  lot of additional advantages to look forward to.

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SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

Another esteemed member of the prestigious Russell Group, the University of Edinburgh is known to be one of the UK’s most distinguished institutions. As one of the largest biology departments in the UK, the School of Biological Sciences boasts a 400-year tradition of excellence, and is eager to propel students to the top of the life science sphere.

The School’s undergraduate cohort rates it highly for education quality, recording 92 percent satisfaction overall with biology-based courses at Edinburgh, awarding an even higher rating in terms of teaching quality. Students can choose from a wide range of topics, which provide them with firm foundations in fundamental biology, as well as the chance to gain experience with the most recent research developments later in the programme. The also School offers 10 exceptional Masters programmes, including distance learning and collaborative degrees with other research organisations.

COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCES, BANGOR UNIVERSITY

Recognised as the second-best place for courses and lecturers in the UK by What Uni? Student Choice Awards 2016, Bangor University’s College of Health and Behavioural Sciences comes highly-recommended and internationally-respected for quality of education by external analysis and postgraduates alike. Named Best in the UK for Accommodation, the university is home to around 3,000 students and 400 dedicated members of staff, the college is split into four well-known sectors: School of Healthcare Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, School of Psychology and School of Sport, Health and Exercise.

Image courtesy of Bangor University

To ensure professional development, the College has forged a dynamic partnership with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to fine-tune research, training, medical and healthcare education which, in turn, provides for the needs of North Wales and the world.

FACULTY OF HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES, OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY

With 95% of its research receiving international-recognition, Oxford Brookes University aims to prepare you for a career in Life Sciences in ‘today’s knowledge-driven global economy’, with 92.7% of Brookes students working or in further study within six months of graduation. The department boasts outstanding facilities to get students’ scientific expertise up to scratch as they study in the historic city of Oxford.

The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences offers flexible courses that range from Animal Behaviour and Welfare, to Medical Genetics and Genomics, allowing students to exercise their expertise in a range of areas. Oxford Brookes takes environmental studies seriously with the Centre for Ecology, Environment and Conservation which finds allegiance with the Environment Information Exchange and other partners. Here, they offer high-quality courses and first-class facilities to give practitioners a place to develop their understanding of current concerns in order to grow a consultancy service at the heart of conservation and biodiversity.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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