If you come straight from upper secondary school, you may experience student life as a bit of an upheaval. However, some things are similar to upper secondary school. You are part of a class of approximately 20–25 students who have the same timetable and attend the same lessons. During the first two years, you have approximately 20 scheduled hours per week. At a later stage of your studies, the number of scheduled hours decreases as the time spent on independent study increases.
University studies are a full-time job and, at times, your working week is very long. As a student, you do not have much leisure time, so you have to get used to studying during the evenings and at weekends. This means that you spend a lot of time with your fellow students and many make lifelong friends during their studies.
Your everyday life at the Department of Molecular Biology is interesting and varied. You go to lectures in lecture theatres and attend classroom lessons. In addition, you carry out laboratory exercises, write reports and complete assignments. It is quite common for students to get together with one or more other students at the beginning of the degree programme and form reading groups, where you discuss, read or work on assignments. A reading group supports you in your studies and helps you develop good study habits. As a student, you are personally responsible for your learning.
The Bachelor’s degree programme in molecular biology includes laboratory exercises that are typically concentrated in one week per term, per subject. During that week, you have no lectures or other exercises in the subject in question. Your timetable therefore changes from one week to the next.
|Theoretical tasks in scientific theory and ethics of molecular biology|
|Lectures in molecular cell biology||Laboratory exercises in immunology||Laboratory exercises in immunology|
|Lecture in scientific theory and ethics of molecular biology|
|Theoretical tasks in molecular cell biology|
The above is an example of a timetable for molecular biology students in the human biology field of study in November 2005.
There are many good reasons for choosing to study in Aarhus:
The Department of Molecular Biology also offers many activities and associations that you can get involved in to ensure that your everyday life is more than just books and lectures.
During your first few days at university, you get to know your new classmates. You are also introduced to life at the university by your tutors, who are senior molecular biology students. Your programme is crammed with lectures, classroom lessons, eating together, a gala celebration, help with buying books and much more. Your tutors subsequently organise a pub crawl and an excursion for new students.
A Friday bar is held every second Friday in Die Rote Zone, a former officer’s barracks from the war, so the Friday bar has its own very special atmosphere. Here you can chat with students from different year groups or your teachers over a beer, a drink or a soft drink. You can also meet molecular biologists at other Friday bars and parties for students of chemistry, biology and physics.
Students at the Department of Molecular Biology have their own association – the Molecular Biology Student Council. Here you can discuss study-related matters, help organise parties and study tours, find other reading rooms and meet students active in student politics at the university.
As a molecular biology student, you can become a member of the UNF (the Danish Youth Association of Science), which organises lectures on science topics every Thursday evening. As an active molecular biology student member of UNF, you can also help organise a biotechnology summer school for upper secondary school students during their summer holidays.
During the Aarhus festival, students from the Department of Molecular Biology participate in “Nature in the Tent”, which demonstrates science to primary and secondary school students and other curious onlookers. The students answer questions like “What do the bacteria in your mouth look like?” and “Is DNA dangerous?” Of course, they also carry out a lot of fun experiments.
The university also has a film club, student sports activities and a number of political associations, where you can meet students from other degree programmes.
Christoffer, molecular biology student:
“In my experience, it’s extremely important to get involved in the social environment. You get to know students from other years so that the university isn’t just a place where you study, but also a place where you meet your fellow students, make new friends and do other things than sit and panic about the exam.”
Thomas, molecular biology student:
“The social environment helps provide inspiration for your studies. If you just read and read and read, you can get fed up. It gives you a boost to get involved – both socially and academically. You get a broader network at the university, so if you’re in doubt about anything, you know who to ask.”