Hi, my name is Joe. I chose to study MSc Biodiversity, Ecology and Ecosystems at York, and I never looked back.
A little over a year ago, I faced an uncertain future. Continue at a job I didn’t like or take a chance and study my passion. I decided to take a leap of faith, and I landed in York. Having been away from academia for some time, I was a little worried about what to expect. But I needn’t have been. From the lecturers to the engagement team, I found the Department of Biology always eager to help.
So, why choose to study the wonders of nature in York?
A Thousand Years of History
Having studied in York previously, I leapt at the chance to return. You’ll never find anywhere quite like it. Living in York is living amongst history. Wander down a street and don’t be surprised to bump into ancient pubs, gothic churches and winding medieval lanes. They say, ‘All roads lead to Rome’. In York, they lead to the monumental – and utterly beautiful – cathedral. Wherever you are, you can always see its spires poking high above the rooftops.
Nestled in the labyrinth of alleys and roads, you’ll discover hundreds of pubs and bars, cafes and restaurants. If you’re looking for somewhere new to explore, you’re always in luck. Plus, the campus is also only a short walk from the city. In fact, everywhere is only a short walk (or cycle), making getting around a breeze.
The Teaching Staff
Do you ever fear that you’re asking a silly question? That you should know more than you do.
That was me in the first few weeks.
My background was in Medicine, which meant starting an Ecology Masters was an unnerving prospect. Luckily, the staff are lovely. If you’re confident in an area, they’ll let you run with it. Need a little extra help, and you’ll find the department more accommodating than you could have ever imagined. The course is always pushing your abilities and stretching your talents. Soon enough, you’re mastering skills and finding new passions.
Our first-term project involved analysing biodiversity in a landscape. Working in groups we played to our strengths, helping and learning from each other. It was fantastic preparation for the summer-term project.
The Course is Tailored to You
Throughout the year, each module builds on the last. Early experiments and programming enable you to plan your big summer project. Presentations and essays hone your writing skills for the spring assessments. But at every step, you’re the one setting the agenda. Interested in researching insect diversity? You can do it. Always wanted to do a literature review on cropping cycles? Go for it. I know, because I did.
Unlike other regimented courses, at York, students take the lead. That can be daunting. But it also gives you the freedom to guide your own education. Your future is in your hands.
The sheer breadth of teaching available also provides the foundation for a lifetime of opportunities. Programming, data analysis, literature reviews, poster presentations: you name it, you’ll experience it.
What more could you ask for?
So, follow your passion, embrace the opportunities and most of all: Study Biology at York!