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BSc (Hons) Biology course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:

Suggested reading

You will be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.

In the meantime, there are a couple of popular science books you might like to read before starting your degree if you can. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive but if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online, our Head of Biology suggests:

  • The Medical Detective: John Snow, Cholera and The Mystery of The Broad Street Pump – by Sandra Hempel
  • The Knife Man – by Wendy Khadijah Moore
  • The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World – by Stephen L. Brusatte
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History – by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Gene: An intimate story – by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • I Think You Will Find It’s A Bit More Complicated Than That – by Ben Goldacre.

Useful websites

Did you know you can hang out with scientists online via The Natural History Museum?

You can also use the BBC and Guardian websites to follow science (especially biology) stories in the press. Focus on the scientific principles rather than the human element as you read.

For some great articles and insights, the NewScientist.com is highly recommended.  And, as it’s never too early to start thinking about topics you enjoy, you could try comparing news articles to scientific papers you can find on Google Scholar. This will be a useful skill for your studies.

Other useful websites include:


Things to do over summer

Here are a couple of ideas for you to try some Bioscience related fun:

  • Try some home experiments: STEM Learning has some good ideas
  • Discover a new and exciting topic with a TED talk
  • Start a journal: get practicing for writing a lab book.

Meet your programme lead


Additional ways to prepare

Preparing to start

This session examines how to make a successful transition to university. From planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you and general advice on uni life.

Watch the session

Find out more about who you are

The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.

Start preparing yourself