Bethan Horscroft-Preest

Country: United Kingdom
Subject of study: Biological Sciences
Year of graduation: 2022
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

What did you enjoy most about your degree programme?

The most enjoyable aspect of my degree programme was the diversity of topics available to take. In my first year, I was unsure of what fields I wanted to pursue in the future or what topics I best understood. The range of core modules; from biochemistry, to microbiology, to plants, to animals; gave me a general idea of what I enjoyed and what I was good at, allowing me to make better module choices for subsequent years. The variety of optional modules available in second and third year was beneficial. I took mainly animal-related modules but was still able to take a forensics module which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also liked how they got more specific and detailed as the years progressed, and by third year I understood what it means to be a scientist and to conduct science.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

BioSoc, Salsa society, BodySoc.

What was the highlight of your time at Exeter?

 My individual project during the third year of my degree was the highlight of my time at Exeter. It was a field-based project on the Exe estuary where we observed Eurasian Oystercatcher birds foraging. We visited the beautiful estuary frequently, in our waterproofs and wellies, which was a nice change compared to typical learning environments. After a year of lockdown, an outdoor and active project, working in a fantastic team on our own research questions was a valuable and worthwhile experience. We also recorded the birds doing something not recorded or observed on the Exe estuary before, which was very exciting.

What will you miss the most about University?

University life is unique in that there is always opportunity to talk to and meet with likeminded people. This could be your flatmates/housemates, friends on your course, or friends in societies and other extracurricular activities. These opportunities are more infrequent outside of University and it will be something I miss.

What advice would you give to current and future students? (If you are an international student what would you like to tell future students from back home who might be thinking about applying to study in Exeter?)

 A work-life balance is key. Studying all of the time can make you feel burnt out and also limits your social life and time for self-care. On the other hand, spending too much time socialising could hinder your academic performance. Finding the balance between these will help make University life less stressful and more enjoyable. Your work-life balance may be different to others, as everyone learns differently, at different paces or requires more or less down-time, but it’s important to find what works for you.

What are your plans now that you have graduated?

In September I will begin my Master’s degree at Exeter to gain more laboratory experience as this was largely limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to try some new modules to better decide the pathways I want to pursue in the future. Currently, I am interested in reproductive/developmental biology which could be applied to human healthcare or in animal conservation research.


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