2015 – The year I received those all-important A Level results that would determine whether I would be accepted into university or not. After not meeting the grade requirements for my insurance choice (never mind my firm choice!), I lost all hope and thought my dream of becoming a biomedical scientist was over. After several meltdowns about what I would now do with my life, I came across the Foundation Leading to BSc Health Sciences course at Cardiff Met. Four years later, I am able to say that I have a first class BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree, something I never dreamed I would be capable of back then, and it is all thanks to the amazing teaching team at Cardiff Met!
It is perfectly normal to feel nervous about making the daunting transition to university, but rest assured, everyone is in the same boat and you will be surprised at how quickly you make friends and settle in. The course involves a mixture of lectures, seminars and laboratory practical sessions that give you the chance to put your knowledge into practice and work with different types of cells that you’ve learned all about during lectures!
I cannot explain how helpful every single member of staff has been throughout my time at university. Whether it be face-to-face in lectures where you have the opportunity to ask questions, or just being at the other end of an email in times of stress, they really do have your best interests at heart. The teaching team also arranged weekly seminars where guest speakers would tell us interesting research from their field of work. This was particularly useful in year 3, as the majority of our learning involved keeping updated with a wide range of scientific news. My advice would be to always attend the seminars, as you never know when you might need a piece of their information. Afterall, it is not just about learning the course content and being able to pass an exam, it is very much about the wider learning and going above and beyond what is expected that will enable you to show off what you know in examinations!
Although the Biomedical Science programme does not include a placement year, we receive regular emails about exciting summer placements and job opportunities that are available to us – that’s how I have managed to secure a placement at Hereford County Hospital as a Medical Laboratory Assistant in the Blood Sciences Department this summer! With professional accreditation from the Institute of Biomedical Science, the course really prepares you to enter the world of work within a clinical laboratory, and this will look great on your CV to future employers.
I couldn’t recommend Cardiff Met enough and I have enjoyed my time thoroughly, so much so that I am coming back to study a Masters in Biomedical Science here in September. I hope that by sharing my journey it helps anyone who may feel like I did, and it just goes to show that you are capable of much more than you know when you have the right support around you.