All Life Is Here for Biology Students

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), September 7, 1997 | Go to article overview

All Life Is Here for Biology Students


Byline: SARAH SNYDER

DELIVERING babies in Africa was probably not what students Rachel Burton and Heather Robinson expected when they decided to study biology at university.

Rachel and Heather, both 21, spent six months in Uganda as part of their degree course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Heather, of Stafford, recalls: 'We went to research HIV but the hospital was so short-staffed that we did everything from blood transfusions to delivering babies, watching Caesarean sections and helping in a mother and baby clinic.

'We also raised money for a local orphanage and since returning we have given talks about our experiences to schools and students.' Rachel, of Halifax, West Yorkshire, failed her biology A-level but her determination led her to a foundation course at Manchester that covered biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.

She says: 'With hindsight, it was the best choice I could have made because it gave me a strong start to the degree and provided a wider scientific perspective.

'I most enjoy the practical work, where we do everything from growing fungi to dissecting insects. During the first year we researched our own projects and I chose to find out about Alzheimer's disease and to investigate the benefits of aloe vera for treating different conditions.' Rachel has found the course broad with plenty of scope for specialisation.

She says: 'I have decided to give up plants and focus more on physiology and microbiology because I find the body so fascinating. I am thinking about taking up medicine as a career.' Jenny Herbert, 21, of Hull, enjoys the fieldwork on her BEd.

course in biology at Homerton College, Cambridge.

She says: 'I spent several days at Slapton Sands in Devon studying bees visiting the flowers along a shingle ridge. We looked at the range of flowers and counted the bees visiting each type of flower to discover any connection between the number of flowers and the frequency of bees.

'Of course, the fact that I was sitting on the beach all day conducting the research just added to the enjoyment.' Jenny's degree is combined with a primary school teaching qualification, so apart from the biology she is also gaining experience in the classroom. …

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