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Biological Sciences BSc(Hons): What our students say

Student profiles

Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.

Kazuyo Stevens

Name: Kazuyo Stevens
Age: 30
Course: Biology with Chemistry BSc(Hons)
Level: Year 3
Route to University: Mature student via foundation course
Accommodation: Rents own flat

"I came to the UK from Japan in 1999 and had been teaching Japanese part-time in a private school, but I found it difficult to obtain a work permit visa with only one subject to teach. This degree is the first step to starting a new teaching qualification with more subjects, in my case biology and chemistry.

I chose to study at Kingston because I was looking for a university that had a foundation course as I had no educational background in the UK. Since being here, I have found the lectures very stimulating, encouraging and challenging. All the lecturers are very helpful. 

About the second semester of the second year, I realised that we should not consider each module as an individual topic and that the different subjects are interrelated. I found I could actually use knowledge from one lecture to help myself understand the topic in another and that was really interesting.

Compared to college, university is more demanding.  In lectures, we are given an outline of the topic from which we have to start our own study. It is not enough to only learn what is given in the lectures; we have to do more reading outside the class to extend our knowledge.

There are many advantages to being a mature student. I am more organised than when I was younger. I am also more determined than when I was 18 (when I first started university in Japan). I know why I am doing this degree – I have always wanted to teach and this course is the first step towards my future career."


Sandra Machlitt

Name: Sandra Machlitt
Age: 22
Course: Biology with Business BSc(Hons) sandwich course
Level: Year 4
Route to University: International student with A-levels
Accommodation: Halls of residence in first year; shared a University flat in second year; now rents privately

"I am from Germany and decided to work in England and study the language for a year before starting university in Germany. However, I really enjoyed being here so decided to stay.

"I chose this joint honours combination because I have had a passion for biology since I was little. But these days, science is not just about research – it's also about applying business knowledge. The business modules enable me to focus my research on areas of demand.

"I chose to study at Kingston because I really enjoyed its open day; everyone was very helpful and friendly. In addition, the University has one of the best ratings for teaching life science modules. I've since found that I really enjoy living in Kingston. It is a very nice place to study, especially since the river is only a few minutes walk from the University.

"Studying so many different subjects makes the course very exciting. It never gets boring. In general I like the style of teaching, especially since I am now in my final year and everyone seems very familiar. I really enjoy the laboratory work – even though I am not very practical and a couple of things have gone wrong! The business course is a challenge because I am more scientific so I need to work harder at these modules. However, I have always managed to get good grades.

"For my placement year, I worked in the clinical dictionary department of a pharmaceutical company. I learnt how to code medical and drug terminology, and about different diseases, drugs and chemicals, which will definitely benefit me. It was a fantastic experience.

"I am no longer scared of getting a job after university – instead I am now really looking forward to graduating. I think the placement has opened a lot of opportunities for me and I feel really motivated to finish my degree successfully."


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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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