Hi, my name is Harini and I’ll be sharing my typical week as a 2nd year Medical Sciences student.
The timetable varies quite significantly in 2nd year depending on the modules you take. Some have fewer contact hours compared to others. For my second term, I chose the ‘Introduction to Neuroscience’ and the ‘Medical Genetics’ modules (I enjoyed the content of both modules to its entirety so I highly rate them). Of course, these were integrated onto my timetable alongside the core modules (Disease, Diagnostics and Therapeutics (DDT) and Principles of Medical Research (PMR)).
The modules I took functioned on a 2-week basis so the first week was slightly busier than the second week. On the first week, I’d have a busy Monday and Tuesday to kickstart the topics with lectures (1 hour each) and structured small group learning (SSGL) (2 hours each) for some modules. Thankfully in term 2, I was given free Wednesdays, which meant I had ample time to start my independent learning on the new topics. On Thursdays and Fridays, I’d have a couple more lectures or sessions to support my learning.
On the second week, I have 2-3 additional lectures at the start of the week to consolidate my knowledge. Later in the week, I have SSGLs to wrap up the topics of my different modules. And that pretty much sums it up. It sounds rather simple but there is a significant amount of teamwork and independent work required. There are also some really exciting lab practicals that I have not mentioned which can be either campus (Streatham or St Luke’s) depending on the module you chose. As a Peer Mentor, I have meetings and sessions every now and then, but they don’t take up much time and they work around mentors’ availability so it’s pretty flexible.
My timetable starts at 9:30am at the earliest (only slightly better than an 8:30am) and generally finishes in the afternoon. Occasionally I finish a bit later at 4:30pm or 5pm. There’s plenty of gaps between lectures and SSGLs during the day so plenty of opportunities to do a bit of work here and there. I do find myself studying or working most of the week, including the weekend, however, I should emphasise that there is also enough time for outside activities. I give myself evenings off to run errands, do shopping, volunteering, go to socials and meetups and whatnot.
All my modules in my second term were based on St Luke’s campus so there wasn’t much need to walk up Streatham hill. However, because there aren’t enough rooms to run multiple sessions on St Luke’s at the same time, some of us would have to attend sessions at Streatham. Also, in my first term, I completed a bioscience module based at Streatham meaning I would have to go there for lectures and practicals. Although this would be a trek, it wasn’t much a hassle because I got to experience learning and utilise the facilities on both campuses. Streatham library has numerous copies of some useful books and I can be sure to get my coffee there as well.
In summary, Medical Sciences does get a bit hectic in 2nd year however it does prepare you to become more independent, collaborative and organised. It is important you take time off regularly and not work too hard, so you make it through 2nd year with plenty of memories and experiences to relish (particularly your PMR research project) 😉