Biology courses summer news!

Well A level results are out today and the statistics say that more students are doing sciences and mathematics at this level which is great! This means numbers entering biology courses like Biomedical Science or Forensic Science at university will also be booming. These are part of the STEM group (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and the Government is working to encourage these subjects in schools, and universities are working with employers to ensure that our graduates are high-quality and meet industry needs.

Biology Courses Graduates

Our summer graduations were held in July and a record six Medical Science students achieved upper first class honours degrees this year (firsts!). It is always a sad time to say good bye, but exciting too to watch everyone go on to achieve their goals and their dreams. Most stay in science or health using their biology courses knowledge, but some don’t and that is fine! Many people study subjects at university because they love it, and then go to do something different. The great thing about these science-based degrees is they include many skills employers seek including good communication, team working, problem solving and extensive use of computers and technology.

Here are some student highlights already this summer:

One student has been accepted on to the physicians assistant programme at Aberdeen – an interesting new role in the UK carrying out many medical duties but not as extensively as a fully qualified doctor. (

PhD student Nikil Patel who graduated in 2010 ( has completed year one of his PhD studies looking at blood flow in the brain in stroke. Here he is contributing to World Stroke Day last year.

2012 graduate Chloe MacDonagh had an article published in GURU Magazine and has just completed a second. She hopes to go into medical publishing. GURU is a new science mag that is very funky and very accessible (

2011 Medical Science graduate Libor Hurt, now studying for his masters, and 2010 Biomedical Science graduate Malgorzata Rekas, now working for this project, both have presented at National Conferences for the first time this year talking about open education. Libor talked about his work understanding student use of OER and Malgorzata talked about her parasite resources, and in fact won a prize for the best poster.


There are plenty of other students that go on and have exciting and fulfilled careers, but of course behind it all is hard work and dedication. But it all started with an interest in biology courses at school, and I’m just glad our students choose De Montfort. The great thing today with Twitter and Facebook particularly, it is easy to stay in touch with our alumni, and if you come here as a new student you can sign up to our Facebook page and chat to students across all years, those out in placement, and those in the work place.

Medical science degree taster – parasitology

Medical science degree taster – parasitology

Images: Medical science open educational resources.
Creative Commons BY SA.

Content Authors:

Malgorzata Rekas, De Montfort University
Marilena Ioannou, De Montfort University
Peter Gale, Department of Microbiology, Leicester Royal Infirmary


College, University, Specialist

OER Features:

58 light microscope photographs of 21 parasites.

OER Description:

The study of parasites – or parasitology – is perhaps one of the most fascinating area of medicine or a medical science degree. The subject covers the relationship between parasitic organisms and their hosts – be they human or animal. Thus in both human and veterinary medicine, understanding the life cycle of parasites, their means of infecting their host and the clinical picture, is important for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

Parasites are either microscopic or macroscopic organisms and often evolve innovative strategies for infecting and overcoming host natural defences. Our bodies react as an attempt to eradiate the parasite and this presents as symptoms, for example vomiting or diarrhoea.

Whilst healthy individuals may be host to parasites more common than they think, in malnourished or susceptible individuals, parasite infection can be life threatening.

The British Society for Parasitology brings together specialist and amature parasitologists from the UK and around the globe to share research news and information.

This series of photographs of 21 different parastites under the light microscope is freely available to use as part of teaching or student work, and is licenced under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA). All we ask is you attribute us.