Bridging the skills gap: Universities that produce enterprising Life Science grads
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Bridging the skills gap: Universities that produce enterprising Life Science grads

The Life Sciences aim to understand the most complex parts of our existence. From the microbiology of bacteria to the ecosystems of the rainforests, the Life Sciences look at all areas of life, big or small.

Studying the Life Sciences allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the living world. Not only will you enrich your mind intellectually, you will also begin to understand the way our mind, bodies and environment interact.

Unlike studying a particular area of biology, the Life Sciences opens up an entire subject area for you to explore. One day could see you analysing cells under a microscope in your genetics module, and the next you could be collecting samples in the forest for your module on plants.

As a result, you will have a whole scope of knowledge to delve into when analysing the world and a multitude of skills to apply beyond your degree.

Graduates of Life Sciences are respected by employers as some of the best equipped to tackle the world’s problems for these reasons. Whilst students who studied a niche subject might be experts in one field, you will be ready to apply your broad knowledge and diverse skills to a whole range of industries.

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A degree in Life Sciences involves theoretical understanding, practical problem solving, analytical thinking and interdisciplinary applications, all centred around the living world we are part of. The breadth of subject matter covered prepares students to apply skills they have learnt to any industry they enter after university.

Of course, students can enter fields directly related to the Life Sciences, such as research of environmental conservation, but graduates are also geared for more entrepreneurial routes. Having to juggle different module topics, as well as different empirical methods and approaches makes Life Science graduates innovative thinkers.

“Coming out of the other side of a biology degree has equipped me with a refreshed perspective, a filter over my normal vision that has made me even more inquisitive about the inner workings of my surroundings. This boosted appreciation and curiosity to understand is present whether I’m looking at a millipede or a professional problem that needs an integrated and inventive solution,” said Victoria Herod, recent graduate from BSc Biological Sciences.

Innovation, organisation and creation are the three magic ingredients for successful enterprise. The pursuit of a Life Science degree prepares students to think for themselves, make judgements based on evidence and remain diligent on monitoring results. All these skills are essential to making it in the business realm, plus the added benefit of having a deep understanding of the living world’s biological processes, which proves an invaluable tool in businesses involved in scientific research for the environment.

If you are interested in studying the Life Sciences and developing your entrepreneurial skills, these universities are worth considering…

FACULTY OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS – UK

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Located in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, the University of Leeds grants students the chance to enjoy unique British culture at a prestigious Russell Group University.

The Faculty of Biological Sciences at Leeds prides itself on the breadth and diversity of study options it offers. Undergraduate courses such as Medical Sciences, Biological Sciences and Biology offer a broad overview of the scientific arena – an ideal option for students with a general interest in biological sciences. On top of this, the university hosts a range of specialised degree options – including Sport and Exercise Science, Medical Microbiology and Genetics.

Research in the faculty covers all areas of the biological sciences, from molecular medicine to conservation, with recognised expertise in gene therapy and new drug discovery. And, being ranked 6th in the world for research, the faculty is at the forefront of the field.

The faculty also has a strong international community and encourages global collaboration. The faculty’s student body is made up by 45 different nationalities, while students have the option to study abroad and international thinking is encouraged.

COLLEGE OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TWIN CITIES – USA

As a Higher Learning Commission accredited institution, The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is a world-renowned university in one of America’s most exciting cities.

Committed to producing the most dynamic minds in the Life Sciences, the College of Biological Science operates ‘active-learning classrooms’ that provide interactive working spaces to encourage innovation and collaboration.

The college provides a range of undergraduate majors including Biochemistry, Biology, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Plant and Microbial Biology, as well as some minors such as Biochemistry, Plant Biology, Marine Biology, Biology, Neuroscience and Pharmacology.

There are also postgraduate options such as Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics and Plant and Microbial Biology. Doctorate programs are also offered under the supervision of world-leading academics.

The college boats excellent facilities with its own laboratory, Biological Science Centre, Ecology Centre. This provides students with state-of-the art equipment to propel their scientific knowledge forward and teach them expert research skills.

COLLEGE OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH – CANADA

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Nestled in the picturesque Canadian state of Ontario, the University of Guelph offers students wonderful country views, and with Toronto only 100-kilometres away, escaping to the city for weekend breaks couldn’t be easier.

The university has strong international links and plenty of study abroad options. Within the College itself, students have the chance to study at numerous European and US universities. This creates an international culture on campus and promotes a global perspective.

Offering both broad degrees such as the Biological Science, and more specialised courses including Human Kinetics and Marine & Freshwater Biology, and Biochemistry the College of Biological Sciences has something to suit all students with an interest in the Life Sciences.

“We have an active, vibrant teaching and learning environment, where knowledge is not only translated and transferred, but it is also created,” said Jonathan Newman, Dean of the College.

COLLEGE OF LIFE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER – UK

 Consistently ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide, the University of Exeter is globally recognised for its academic prestige.

At the heart of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences culture is an emphasis on multidisciplinary skills. Students here gain laboratory, fieldwork and classroom experience in order to develop “highly sought-after employment skills, such as problem-solving, decision-making, planning, organising, personal communication and leadership.”

Undergraduate students can choose to study Biosciences, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Human Sciences, Natural Sciences, Psychology, Sport and Health Sciences. Postgraduate students are offered Master’s courses in Biosciences, Geography, Psychology, and Sport and Health Sciences.

“For me the transferable skills gained throughout my degree have been the most useful. My ability to prioritise tasks is challenged everyday whether I’m bouncing between meetings, brainstorming ideas or sieving through emails I constantly need to ask myself; is this achieving my overall aim and is it the most important/ urgent task?” said Bethany Joslin, recent graduate from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.

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

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