Welcome to the Fresher’s webpage for the Department of Biosciences 2018!
This area is to provide you with useful departmental information in advance of your arrival in Durham. There are a number of topics, and we would advise you to read all of them before you come in late September, but there are three particularly important ones: Enrolment Online, Module Registration, and Induction Assignment.
This is a summary of the induction information for 2018 Freshers. Further information on induction will be posted to the Fresher’s module on DUO (http://duo.dur.ac.uk), and you will be able to gain access to this with your dur.ac.uk username and password, both of which will be sent to you in the next few weeks once you have completed enrolment (see below).
Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme. After your acceptance has been processed you will receive two email messages from firstname.lastname@example.org which provide:
•Your Computing and Information Services (CIS) username
•How to derive your CIS password and guidance on how to access the system
The messages are sent 24 hours apart and are sent to the email address you provided when you applied so it’s important to let us know of any changes to this information by contacting the Student Records Team at email@example.com You may also need to monitor your spam folders to see if the messages have arrived there.
After you have received both emails you will need to:
•Change your password
•Log into Durham University Online – duo https://duo.dur.ac.uk
•Choose the “Banner Self Service” link in duo under “External Tools”
•Choose Registration and Enrolment
•Enrol with the University
•Upload a photograph for your campus card
See information below about registering for bioscience and optional modules.
Module registration is a two stage process which includes:
(a) Selection of modules
(b) Approval of modules
The first stage is where you confirm your programme of study and choose your optional modules. The second stage of the process is where your department(s) approves your choice of modules.
More information on module registration can be found at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/student.registry/student/registration/modreg/
Single Honours Module Registration
Single honours students (BSc Biological Sciences, MBiol Biosciences) will be registered for the five compulsory modules automatically:
Molecules and Cells BIOL1281
Organisms and Environment BIOL1161
Scientific Skills for the Biosciences BIOL1321
All single honours students will have one module they can choose as an option. There is one optional module delivered by the department:
BIOL1181 Introduction to Biosciences Research
However, you can pick from any level 1 module delivered across the University as long as you have the pre-requisites, the module is not full, and it fits with the timetable. The list of available modules can be found in the faculty handbook online at this link. A timetable checker can be found here.
Natural Sciences Module Registration
If you are a Natural Science student who wants to take bioscience modules, then you are VERY STRONGLY recommended to take one of the following three pairs of modules as a minimum:
Molecules and Cells BIOL1281 + Genetics BIOL1171
Organisms and Environment BIOL1161 + Genetics BIOL1171
Molecules and Cells BIOL1281 + Physiology BIOL1151
If you want to take a single Biosciences module as part of Natural Sciences, then Organisms and Environment (BIOL1161) is our recommended option. For any other module you will need to contact Prof Gatehouse in the Department to discuss this (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For single honours students only.
Scientific writing is a skill which you will develop over the three or four years of study, but helping you get up to speed as soon as possible will make sure that you can deliver work to the best of your abilities as soon as you can. In order to help develop your writing skills, we would like you to write and submit a short essay (maximum 1000 words) on one of the two topics below.
a) “The world’s population is likely to increase from seven to ten billion humans in the next thirty years, creating a potential problem in the global supply of food. How can the techniques of genetic modification (GM) of crops be used to make a significant contribution to solving this?”
b) “Describe briefly what is meant by the term “genome editing”, and discuss how this technique could be applied in the treatment or prevention of human disease”
You need to submit this essay electronically before midnight on Friday 29th September You will submit your essay via duo.dur.ac.uk, and information on how to do this is posted in the Fresher’s module ("Freshers Site Biosciences 2017") within that webspace.
- The purpose of the exercise is to help you. No marks are going to be recorded. The exercise is to allow your academic advisor to discuss the essay with you when you meet with them in Induction week. They will help guide you as to the good points and how it could have been improved, so that you can use this advice for the assignments which will start in the first few weeks of term.
- Don't worry about which essay to choose. There is no merit/disadvantage in choosing one title over another.
Your first week in Durham
Use the University Online Planner to plan your weeks activities.
The University has organised a schedule of activities that will take place from the weekend of Saturday 29th /Sunday 30th September to Friday 5th October for all of our new undergraduates (from Wednesday 26th September for International students) with lectures starting on Monday 8th October. This timetable has been designed so college and sport do not clash with any of your academic departmental activities, allowing you to meet all of your academic induction commitments.
Induction Timetable (provisional)
|Monday 1st October|
|14:00||Single Honours: Welcome talk in Lecture Theatre L50 (Psychology Building)|
|15:00||Single Honours: Registration and equipment collection in Teaching Lab 1|
|Tuesday 2nd October|
|09:00||Natural Sciences: Welcome talk in Lecture Theatre CG91|
|10:00||Natural Sciences: Registration and lab coat collection in teaching lab 1|
|10:30||Single Honours: International student welcome. Whitehead Room ( in Department)|
|Thursday 4th October|
|Single Honours - meet with your academic advisor (Morning)|
|09:00||Natural Sciences: Induction Talk in L50|
|10:00||Natural Sciences: Practical Workshop in Teaching Lab 1|
|Friday 5th October|
|09:00||Single Honours: Induction Talk in L50. Surnames A-J|
|09:00||Single Honours: Practical Workshop in Teaching Lab 1: Surnames K-Z|
|14:00||Single Honours: Induction Talk in L50. Surnames K-Z|
|14:00||Single Honours: Practical Workshop in Teaching Lab 1: Surnames A-J|
Information on the teaching timetable for level 1 will be posted to the Fresher's module in duo.dur.ac.uk. The definitive University timetable for all modules can be found here, but you may need to have a University login/password before you can access this site.
What do I need to bring with me?
It can be a busy time in the first couple of weeks on arrival, and having a few pieces of kit when you arrive can make the transition easier... here is a list of some of the stuff you should bring, some you could think about bringing, and some you can leave at home.
Wet Weather Gear
One of the early practical exercises you will do is to collect samples on a local field trip. In October, Durham can be nice and dry, and your field trip will be a sun-dappled journey through the beautiful woods, needing only reasonable footwear and a T-shirt. Or it might be snowing. You are going to be doing the field trip regardless of the weather, so bring some waterproofs, and good boots or wellies. You'll need them sometime in the next three or four years in any case, and better to have them to hand than running round the local outdoor shops at the last minute.
Information on recommended texts is posted under the link above. If you want to get books once in Durham, the Waterstone's University Bookshop on Saddler Street is normally fully stocked with the recommended books for all our courses (note, there are two branches in Durham, both on Saddler Street in the City Centre. The one nearest the Cathedral is the University branch).
Many students do bring a personal computer or laptop, and nearly all college bedrooms have network access to facilitate their use, but there is no requirement to do so. The University, both centrally and in colleges, provides around 2000 computers for common use. Hours of access to them depend on the building in which they are located, but for example, many college computers are available 24 hours a day. If you did want to bring a computer or laptop, then feel free to do so. There is no specified computer type/model/colour to recommend, so it is entirely a personal choice. I am writing this on a Macintosh, I run my lectures on a Windows 7 computer, some of my colleagues run Linux... it is up to you!
Lab coats/Safety Specs
We will provide you with a lab coat during induction week. If you have one already that you would prefer to use, no problem, but you don't have to go and buy one now. We will be providing Safety Specs.
We will be providing dissection kits as and when necessary.
If you have any questions about induction, please send an email to email@example.com.